[FROM Thursday, 3/25]
"After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), 'I am thirsty.'"
The crucifixion of Jesus. It's probably the most portrayed event in Jesus' life. More than any story he told, any miracle he performed, more than even his birth or resurrection. Books have been written about it, films made, songs sung, sermons preached, etc. Paintings deptict it. Crucifixes (cross necklaces) remember it. The crucifixion is everywhere.
But today as I was reading, my heart alighted on John 19:28... "After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished..." First I had to look back at what "this" was. Immediately preceding this verse, Jesus "gave" his mother to "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John!?). Was this the last "loose end" Jesus needed to tie up before his death? I think it's more than that...
I don't know at what point it was exactly... when he was "left behind" in Jerusalem at age 12... or at his baptism by John at age 30... or after his temptation in the wilderness... or some time into his ministry with his disciples... or heck, even earlier in his life that we don't have record of in Scripture... but at some point, Jesus figured out WHO he was! He saw the "Big Picture." He grasped how he fit into the Eternal Plan for God's Kingdom. He knew that the way he would love the people would eventually lead to his death.
So Jesus worked hard to prepare his disciples for the Big Picture. He wanted them to not only get what it is he wanted them to do... but begin to understand why Jesus did what he did (including offer his life as a sacrifice for all).
What a burden Jesus bore. To make sure everything fell into place as God intended! Talk about stress & pressure. And now, hanging no the cross, after entrusting his mother into the care of one of his closest friends, Jesus realized "all was now finished." Wow. What a moment of realization. now he could let go. Now he could give up his spirit. He didn't have to fight or be storng anymore (and God knew exactly what he had been going through, and the impact it was having on him!).
All was now finished. Indeed. Well done, good and faithful servant.