In a few short days, we will remember and celebrate Jesus’ death. We refer to this as Good Friday. Did you know that the event of this Friday has the potential to impact your marriage, your parenting, even your life direction? In my personal quiet time devotions (since 1998, I have used the Word of Life Quiet Time), I have been reading through the book of John. Yesterday’s passage came from John 19:23-30. This passage is telling of Jesus’ last moments on the cross before He died. In verse 30 it says, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” This is an incredibly important verse! Those three words He said were more than a dying declaration. They were more than His announcement that He was about to die. He was announcing to the world, to Satan, and to his demons that the work of paying for the sins of mankind was done. He was declaring the world free, Satan defeated, and Heaven opened!
His cry of “It is finished!” was not a cry of giving up, but rather that of conquering. His exclamation was that the work He had set to accomplish was done. He had paid the debt. He had covered our sins. He became our sins, so that we could become His righteousness. “It is finished” – there is no more work to be done. When Paul wrote in Ephesians 2 that salvation comes by grace through faith, not of works, he could say that because Jesus had already done the work. There is nothing left for you and me to do, but to believe!
When Jesus cried, “It is finished!”, He was declaring that there was a completed way out of eternal death in hell and a completed way into eternal life in heaven! In John 14:6 Jesus announced that He alone was that way! Many believe that all roads lead to heaven, but the Bible is very clear that only those who believe that Jesus is God, that He died on the cross in their place for their sins, and that He rose again from the grave will be given access into heaven. Many say that this is exclusionary, but actually it’s very inclusionary!
Romans 10:9-13, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame,’ 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. When Jesus said, “It is finished!” He was letting every man, woman, boy, and girl that ever lived or ever will live know that they too can receive forgiveness, relationship with God, and eternity in Heaven. This is not based on their merit, but on His.
When we get to Good Friday, is it really a good Friday for you, or is it just another date on the calendar? The only way to truly celebrate Good Friday (and a good every day!) is to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Then, Good Friday will truly be a good Friday for you!