After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:28-30 NKJV
Over 2000 years ago today at 9:00 in the morning the first Ram’s Horn was blown sounding forth the first sacrifice of the day. At the same time, the perfect Lamb of God was being lifted up as the final blood sacrifice. Unlike all the other animal sacrifices up to that time who were killed painlessly and quickly, Jesus the Lamb of God had to be tortured and suffer a long painful torturous death on a cursed cross. And the amazing part is that John 10:18 tells us He willingly laid down His life, no one took it from Him.
From the time Thursday evening at the Last Supper, where He knew He would be betrayed in only a matter of hours by one of His own followers, Jesus had others on His mind. John 17 tells us He first prayed for Himself, then His disciples and then us! As the song goes, When He was on the cross, I was on His mind. He prayed for Peter because He knew He would fail Him, but even in His hour of mental anquish, He encouraged Peter telling him, he would be restored.
All the disciples but John left Him, and it was the thought of how much Jesus loved him, that he was able to stand at the foot of the cross. There he gave comfort and support to Mary as she watched the life’s blood of her Son slowly leave His body.
The translation of today’s verse reminds us that He remained on the cross until all He came to do was accomplished. He who knew no sin, became sin, so that we could know total and complete forgiveness, and become the righteousness of God. At this point He felt the full separation of sin that happened to mankind when Adam and Eve fell in the Garden. He never knew how devastating and destructive that was until that moment when He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me!”. Then in one last grand gesture of obedience, reverance and honor to His Father, He bowed His head, and then He died. All so we could be reconciled back to God and receive His Holy Spirit to restor our Spirit to Him. What self-control as He cried out Finished!
Satan and his demons were throwing a party and celebrating their victory. But what they didn’t know, this was far from over. As a matter of fact, it was only the beginning for those who would trust in Jesus and it was the end for Satan, because Jesus’ blood brought remission of sin, which isn’t just forgiveness, but gave us back our dominion over sin. It is truly amazing Good Friday!