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Day 39—Good Friday, March 29

John 18:25-30

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

“It is finished.” You know the feeling. It’s that moment you look around the house one more time before handing over the keys to the realtor, your time in that home “finished.” The moment your finger hovers over the mouse before the computer and you click “submit” with the term paper. The work is now “finished.” The painting, the model airplane, the impossible jigsaw puzzle- the last brush stroke, the final piece inserted, and you lean back, “It’s finished.”

When Jesus pronounces “Finished” from the cross, there is this sense of completion. All that is necessary is done. His life of faithfulness to God is complete. His intercession for the Sin of the world has reordered the cosmos. His work is finished.

But the Good News that comes to us in this moment, the Good News we fight against time and again, is that all of our work is also “finished” in the cross. All of the need to justify my worth by being a great worker, parent, friend, advocate. All of my anxiety and guilt and shame. All of my envy, comparing my life to others. All the words from my Instagram feed telling me what to do to make my life better, rendered useless and unnecessary. All of the pressure to be my most authentic self, released. “My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more.”

In the cross the story of our lives is “finished.” And that story is redemption, salvation, and peace with God and with one another. The cross reveals that we no longer must earn anything or prove anything or protect anything for ourselves. The Cross is God’s divine “Yes” to us for no other reason than the Truth that God Loves.

On this Good Friday, trust that there is no God (or lesser god) we must please, fear, or impress. True God, the Eternal One, has already finished any works we would try to do. Live instead, in humility and gratitude, live that same love that has been given to you.

O God,

In Jesus you took death into you.

You refused our death-dealing defeated Sin.

You finished any work we would try to make for ourselves.

You loved us to the very end.

I stand in awe, wonder, and even in joy to know that I am free.


-The Rev. Andrew C. Whaley



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