“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 NIV.
This morning I was up early, perhaps it was the deer outside our bedroom, prematurely awakening the pup? Maybe it was the edits that needed to be done on yesterday’s hurried post, worked in before two funerals.
As I worked through those edits, I noted a scribbled piece of paper from several mornings ago, that now seems worthy of processing.
The header read: Calvary was the “I Am” finishing the “It.” Earlier still in my predawn devotionals, I had begun my journey through the Gospel of Luke. Of course, as you might guess, one of my favorite Bible characters is John the Baptist. This morning my read was a revisit with his dad, Zacharias. This man of God was so strong willed that he had to be silenced in order to be convinced of God’s will for him to have a son. I can relate to stubbornness!
John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, leaped in his mother’s womb when Mary arrived at Elizabeth’s door. Stories like that always create a hunger in me to experience God!
This blog may be my “re-treat” during moments like this. You see, when I process the things hidden in my heart, good and bad, the Lord unfolds amazing joy. Interestingly enough is how the internet, this vast library with such immediate access is often employed as a tool for my personal discipleship.
This morning as I studied the life of Zacharias and Elizabeth, I came upon the writings of Richard L. Strauss, now deceased. This worthy read can be found via the link below.1
Strauss described this couple as different than the priests of that day. Many of the elite priesthood were caught up in the classism later depicted in the story of the Good Samaritan. “But there were a few who were different and among them was an old priest named Zacharias, whose name means “the Lord remembers.” Since the law of Moses insisted that a priest marry only a woman of highest reputation, Zacharias had chosen the daughter of another priest to be his wife. Not only was she a descendant of Aaron, but she bore the name of Aaron’s own wife, Elisheba or Elizabeth, which means “the oath of God.” Their names would spring alive with new significance before the sun set on their life together.”2
These two are more attractive to me as I age, for I too want to stay above the fray, free from the institutional bog so damaging to the church of our day. And in that freedom, remain captured by the wonder of the God who was Christ!
With John’s help, Jesus stepped right into the middle of the religious swamp of His day…their “It”! No longer would the Kingdom of God be controlled by the elite, but by the “whosoever will”. Whatever hindered “whosoever” was gone! Freedom from the Law had arrived, yet the righteousness to keep the spirit behind the Law was now freely given.
Yes, The “I Am” had finally finished the “It”!
The Lion of Judah had come to lie down as the Lamb!
The Lawgiver would truly lay down the law!
The Son had given back to the Father, what was His original intent for all Creation!
Dominion was restored to those dominated!
“After Zacharias had committed his problem to God, he simply kept on with the job God had given him to do. He did not stop praying and bail out because his situation looked hopeless. And neither should we. Our God is the God of the impossible! He delights in doing impossible things for us when He knows we shall give Him the glory. It is so much easier to quit and run away from difficult circumstances, but that usually compounds the problem. God wants us to take our difficulties to Him in prayer together, search the Word together for encouragement and direction, and then wait patiently for Him to work.”3
By His grace, I too will patiently press on, giving way to the “I Am”, so He can complete the “it” planned for my life and my generation.