Pastor Chris White
“ A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” –John 19:29-30
The Cross of Jesus has multiple implications for everyone but in this series I will be focusing on ways the cross speaks to our mind and heart. I call this “the Four Peaces of the Cross” because ultimately, each of these, when embraced, bring us to a resting place of peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding.
The first peace is Shalom. In the Bible, the Shalom of God speaks of well-being, wholeness, soundness, completeness, harmony, and tranquility. The cross of Jesus brings us shalom because we are healed of our sins and given a new heart through the Holy Spirit sent to us by Christ at his ascension.
Another form of peace the cross brings to us is relief. Relief from what? Relief from the guilt we feel from the weight of our sin. Some people do a lot of mental gymnastics to get some relief from their guilt. They can deny the very premise of guilt and call it a socially-constructed falsehood or, as many do, assign it to an antecedent cause. I was born this way or I did those things because I had bad parents or I grew up in a bad neighborhood. Remember Adam in Genesis? Lord, I ate the forbidden fruit because of the wife YOU gave me. I’m sure the Lord felt guilty after hearing that line don’t you think?
But in our heart of hearts we know the truth. We are sinners and we need someone greater than ourselves, someone greater than our excuses to actually forgive us. And when we are completely forgiven, without reserve, we do find relief.
The very last word Jesus spoke, which translates as “it is finished” in English, is “completed”. On the cross, as Jesus suffered the last measure of our punishment, God’s full plan to redeem a fallen and lost humanity was brought to completion. Nothing more needed to be said. Nothing more needs to be done. It is fully completed and the debt of our sins before a holy God is paid in full.
The full weight of your sin was laid upon his shoulders that you might not carry that weight. That is a relief that came at a great price but gladly given. For God so loved you, that he gave his only-begotten son, that if you believe on him you will not perish but have everlasting life. What a hope. What a relief.
Hope your heart is lighter because Christ alone has taken your sin and given you His righteousness,