When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Looking to Christ during Lent
Lent begins tomorrow. For many Christians, the next six weeks leading up to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday are as important as Advent, the build up to Christmas.
While Advent is marked by rejoicing and anticipation, Lent tends to be more solemn. It’s a time for repentance, reflection, and fasting for many as we approach the sacrifice and victory of Jesus.
During Lent, we’re going to explore the meaning of worship. If you missed the intro last week, read “Relearning Worship” here.
What better way to prepare for our Lord than learning more about worshipping Him?
It is finished. (with a period)
Before we talk about what worship looks like and what pleases God, I want to focus our eyes on the completed work of Christ. It’s easy to talk about worship and only focus on good deeds or actions, only to lose focus on what Jesus has done.
When Jesus gave His last breath on the cross, He declared His work as “finished.” Paul explains Jesus’s death as a once-and-for-all thing, and that we should also consider ourselves “dead to sin and alive to Jesus” (see Romans 6).
This means so much for you...
- On those days when you feel like you’re struggling or exhausted, remember Christ’s words: “It is finished.”
- When you find yourself delighting in worship, may His “it is finished” encourage you further.
- When you find yourself taking too much pride in your own good deeds, remember, “it is finished.”
- When you feel you have nothing left to offer, remember "it is finished."
The One who can...
Not a single human could have accomplished what Christ has done. Even if we could offer a million sacrifices or live a perfect life, we could never initiate or perfect salvation for ourselves.
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:21-24 NIV
When we were powerless to save ourselves, Christ did it.
When we feel not good enough to please God, Christ already has.
When we feel we have nothing to bring, Christ brought everything.
It’s in this state of poverty that Christianity finds its liberation and joy. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We worship and love not out of reluctant duty but out of loving abandonment to our King who first loved us.
What we can bring…
So, if Christ has accomplished salvation for us, what can we bring to please Him?
This is what we’re going to explore between now and Good Friday. But I just wanted to clear the air first: Right worship comes from a right relationship with God. Have you placed full trust in Jesus as your only means of salvation? Has His goodness, love, and holiness compelled you to turn from sin and turn to His mercy?
If you’ve answered “Yes!” to both, then the coming weeks will spur you on to love Him more. If you are unclear or uncertain, then please strike up a conversation with me or another Christian.
"It’s in this state of poverty that Christianity finds its liberation and joy."
Doubts and questions are fine. I always remember Thomas, who had doubted Christ rose from the grave. He declared he wouldn’t believe unless he saw the holes left by the nails. One day, Christ appeared to Thomas. Instead of berating him, Jesus invited him to come and touch His scars. Thomas approached and realized…it’s all true!
His declaration was beautiful: “My Lord and my God!”
I hope that by talking about worship, we all will approach Christ, deepen our love for Him, and declare “My Lord and my God!”
Because we can look back at Jesus's "it is finished," we are free to bring all of our selves in response.