In lieu of our usual Holy Week activities at Emory, we have posted a three part animated series from Full of Eyes Ministries that considers Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Resurrection Sunday (which will be available on our website early Easter morning).
In John 19:30, we read some of the final words Jesus spoke from the cross: “It is finished.”
What did He mean? What was “finished”? This animation seeks to explore that question and to give two primary answers to it.
First, when Jesus died on the cross, the wrath of God that was against the people of God because if sin (the preference of “Not-God” instead of God), was absorbed. Jesus bore the sins of His people and the punishment that they deserved in His own body when He died and so the infinite chasm that sin had torn between God and Humanity was overcome in Christ’s death. What was finished? Everything that was necessary in order for sinful humanity to be forgiven and drawn into life-giving fellowship with the Living God.
But there is a second – and I believe more primary – achievement that was finished on the cross. and it is this: in the death of Jesus Christ, YHWH God, was climactically and perfectly made known. We see this second achievement primarily in John’s gospel. In that book, we learn that the central work of God the Son in the incarnation was to make God known to the world, or said in another way, to “glorify God” (John 1:18, John 12:27-28, John 13:31-33, John 17:1,4-5,26). Paradoxically, Jesus makes God known to us with greatest clarity when He is lifted up on the cross and willingly poured out in love for the good of His beloved ones.
It is in the sovereignly chosen death of the Infinite One that the depth of love that is the heart of God is declared to us, it is in the sinner-redeeming, self-outpouring of God that the identity of God is made known to the world, it is in the wrath-absorbing steadfast love of Christ crucified and risen that YHWH proclaims Himself to be Himself with perfect clarity. The Name, the Identity, the Character, the Glory, the Beauty of Who God Is rings out with definitive finality from Calvary’s tree….if we want to know what God is like, if we want to know who He is, if we want to behold our God, then let us look to Christ….especially Christ crucified and risen……And it is this proclamation of God’s Name that is “finished” in Christ’s death on the cross.
One of the beautiful things about the cross of Christ is that it not only does it enable our renewed communion with God, it also climatically shows us the beauty of the God into whose communion we are called.
You can download an accompanying study guide for the animated video here.