It is finished.
It seemed as if He spoke to His own ending with those words.
The world watched in wondrous horror as the man they thought to be Savior lay bloody and dead with nail scarred hands and thorn filled head. They saw their whole world, every belief, every hope, every peace, obliterated in a moment of violent attack from the enemy. And like the temple veil, their souls were torn. A mother sonless, followers leaderless, faithful scattered because the matter had been too much for them to stand with. Women destitute of name and notice because this nearly unrecognizable gory image of a man was the only one to ever pay them any attention. And what now?
The world knew all to well who they were and who they followed, but after all this they couldn’t even speak their identities. Now, they were really alone because this King, they were convinced, He would ascend to Heaven’s throne, but instead He descended and seemingly succumbed to Death’s groping fingers and anxious violence.
His hands had holes and his feet and his side. His forehead was spattered with blood oozing from the countless holes the thorn crown had adorned Him with. And soldiers numb to this common brutality could still see the fatality of this Son of Man’s death. For it had distinguished itself from the rest – with the Earth’s response and the Father’s breath.
The Son of God – it was surely He. For no other explanation would do for what happened while this strange Man was hanging on that tree. He’d walked the Earth well known with His teachings teaching a higher Kingdom and an only-one way. But now here He hung, lifeless after He had claimed that the very breath of God was Him – the Father was the very essence pulsing through His veins. But the Father seemed so far away and Jesus was in the grave.
Then whispers began to spread. They had forgotten until now about the promises He’d left. It was almost as if with every breath the words “three days” were spread among those who thought Him dead. But fear took hold, and the promises fled the hearts of men held captive by this spread of events. Because if things don’t work out and He doesn’t return, we’ll need to flee so our lives are not conquered too by that Roman cross where so much has already been lost.
But all the while, as their doubts seemed to spread, the Father had planned something unfathomably beautiful ahead, and He was eagerly awaiting to reveal it to His children. For as they fled in fear and confusion, the Father of Lights was already moving. See, the Son of Man was wrestling Death for us. We nailed Him to a cross and then He fought – not for the sake of His own life but for ours.
And as He wrestled, His body began to breathe, His heart began to beat, and His eyes began to blink. Angels came and the women too – they were the ones that got to spread this news!
His body is gone! The grave has been robbed! But not by thieves, by the very Life-Breath of God. This is so much more than we ever could have dreamed because this man we thought to be Messiah – He is that, and He is King.
And His Kingdom will reign without end forever. Because He rose again, we are brought under this rule, and condemnation stops with the accusers at the cross.
For all He forgave and the lame He made walk and the truth that He spoke and the radical love that He taught, He came back from the grave to save us from ourselves. To save us from eternal separation in hell. And there’s no other love that could be quite this strong. For God to know we would continue to do wrong – continue to push away and reject this big, big grace.
For God so loved the world He gave, and now He’s risen from the grave! Exalted on high with scars everywhere – a testament forever to the bride He carries.
And this is the song echoing throughout the world: He is risen indeed, exalted on high, and soon He will return for the Church, us, His bride.
No one, no one, is out of grace’s reach – I would know and so would everyone filled with this Holy peace.