I have had some long days the past few weeks. Days that I thought might have no end. But, historically, this might be the longest day ever.
In the middle of the night, after Jesus and the disciples had left the Passover meal, Judas and a large mob came after Jesus at the place called Gethsemane, and thus begins the longest day in history. For the sake of you not having to read a 2000 word blog post, I would highly encourage you to go read this account in the Gospels:
The part of the story that has always hit home for me is John 19:28-30, titled in most Bibles, “The Finished Work of Jesus.”
“After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now finished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, he said, ‘I’m thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it up to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.” – John 19:28-30 CSB
After everything that Jesus had endured leading up to the state He was in, He knew that everything in Scripture – all that the Law and the Prophets had to say about being made right before God and how a Messiah would come to redeem all things once and for all – it was then that He gave up His spirit. It was not taken from Him. Even in His death, Jesus was in control.
Another thing I find interesting is the hyssop branch. Maybe people smarter than me have had things to say about this, but I’m too lazy to do the research right now. But what I have to say is this: at the institution of the first Passover in Exodus 12, the Israelites were told to use a hyssop branch to spread the blood of the sacrificial lamb over the door posts.
Psalm 51:7 NIV reads, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
It is not lost on my that the branch used for spreading the blood so that death might passover is the same type of branch that touched Jesus’ lips before He gave up His spirit.
It is not lost on my that the branch the psalmist asked to be cleansed with is the same type of branch that was the final earthly thing to touch the Savior before the whole of humanity was cleaned by His sacrificial act.
And finally, it was finished.
According to John’s account, the final thing that Jesus cried out was “Tetelestai” meaning, “It is finished.”
About a year and a half ago I got that word tattooed on my body. It’s the newest addition of things that I have permanently marked myself with to anchor me in the Truth that I am quick to forget. An image that reminds me, especially on my darkest days, that I cannot add to or take away from what Christ had already done for me.
It. Is. Finished.
I am fully made right before God the Father because Jesus the Son saw everything that needed to be accomplished and accomplished it on my behalf.
Today – Good Friday – Christ has died. The perfect Passover Lamb has been slain. The debt owed for all of our rebellion has been paid.
In my story, there is still a lot of work to be done. But the most freeing thing that Christ has already given me is that ultimately, the work is already finished.