posted on April 22, 2011 09:00
What does it mean for me to say to Jesus, “It is finished,” and then give up my spirit to him?
There are some things that are worthy of being finished, such as habits that distract me from God and serving others well. Such a list could never be completely identified through simple brainstorming; I am apt to leave something off, hopefully by omission rather than commission.
The will to decide “it is finished” seems to crumble if relying on its own power. Many, including myself, have decided that something is over once and for all—only to see it rear its head again. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
That’s why the “giving up my spirit” part is so crucial. This is the dynamic of yielding to a greater power, a surrender of things external to a Life internal. Only once Lord Christ has my spirit can my will persevere in nailing to the cross what must be finished in my flesh. Only after a true death can there manifest an authentic resurrection.
It was not finished when Christ spoke these words on a Good Friday long, long ago. The finishing was cemented a second later as he breathed his last: when he, who had every right and power not to surrender his spirit to the Father, did so out of love and obedience.
The word must be followed by the deed for the word to be actualized. And then our false nature has truly died, and our true life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).