Friday of Holy Week: It is finished.

Kari continues writing meditations for each day of Holy Week

Friday’s Reading: Matthew 26:47-27:51, Mark 14:43-15:38, Luke 22:47-23:49, John 18:3-19:37

“It is finished.”

—Jesus (John 19:30)

I clicked “send”, made sure it went through, then closed my laptop and exhaled in relief: Ahh…It’s finished. I’d been working on it night and day, and when I wasn’t working on it I was thinking about working on it. Ever been there? It’s not so much the time you spend working on something but the time you spend thinking about working on it. My mind and energies were depleted. As soon as the kids were settled for the afternoon, I crawled into my bed and took a nap, the first time I’d really rested that week.

I couldn’t rest until it was finished.

And as soon as it was, my whole body knew it. The sleep that had evaded me swept back all at once as I slept soundly despite the bright afternoon sun. The rest of knowing it is finished.

We rest because we know that it is finished.

Today, Good Friday, we meditate on Christ’s final words, His victorious cry from the cross of Calvary, the sacred words that fill my eyes with tears:

“It is finished.” (John 19:30)

From eternity past Jesus had a project. Nothing surprises God, and it was not Plan B that Jesus had to die in our place. He knew all along, and Jesus knew all along that this was His project. In a divine sort of way, Jesus never rested. Until then.

Then He finished.

In one final surrendering act Jesus “gave up His spirit” and the full wrath of God was poured out on His sinless perfect lamb. All the punishment for my selfishness, my pride, my greed. All the punishment for the rapists and robbers, swindlers and sex-traffickers. The most heinous of crimes, He took the punishment. He laid down His spirit. Died.

But of course Sunday’s coming.

But here’s where I get excited. Do you know what Jesus did after He rose from the dead? After he appeared, bodily, to more than 500 people? After he gave the great commission and then ascended into heaven? Do you know what He did after that?

He sat down.

Why? Because it was finished.

“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:12)

I took a nap. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God. His work was done. Finished. But here’s the beautiful part.

Because it is finished we too can rest.

“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:10-11)

Of course this rest involves striving, because our work is to preach this holy rest to the rest of the world. But the work of reconciling our sinful selves to God is finished. We can never add to it.

It is finished.

So even in our striving there is rest. There is peace. There is sleep and calm and sweet sleep because Christ has done it. He has conquered death. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. No matter what the outcome of whatever is our “thing”, we can still have rest because of Christ.

All week I have been praying, “God arrest me all over again with the wonder of the cross.” Who knew that in arresting me I would discover rest?

I pray, this Good Friday, that our souls are arrested by the truth that it is finished. And I pray that you, dear friends, can rest in the finished work of the cross. Nothing we can add to it.

We can bow, give thanks, receive …

… and rest.

{Revisiting these thoughts; Thanks for reading.}

Other reflections on Good Friday:



One thought on “Friday of Holy Week: It is finished.

  1. Thanks for the Holy Week blog series. I have a new appreciation and understanding of “It is finished”…and “rest.” Can’t wait for the sun to rise tomorrow as we celebrate His resurrection.

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