Summary: Jesus last words were those of love, forgiveness, pain, and victory
John 19:23-30 “Last Words”
None of us like change. Sometimes even being introduced to something new is threatening. As we ponder the events of the first Good Friday, we are witnesses to the response of the world powers (at that time) to a message of love and compassion.
The world seeks peace through power. The cross was one of the greatest demonstrations of power and violence in the ancient world. The goal was to remove all of the subversives so that order could be kept and peace could be perpetuated.
On the cross, we also see the power of love. Love’s power cannot be overcome by the world’s power of violence. In fact it is the power of love that overcomes the power of the world—the power of violence.
Love is able to touch and impact lives in ways that the power of violence will never be able to accomplish.
LOVE TO THE END
In the previous chapter of John, the writer records that Jesus loved the disciples to the end. Jesus even loved Judas, the man who betrayed him, to the end.
A person would think that the intense pain and suffering of a crucifixion would justify the person focusing on himself, the pain, and the injustice being perpetrated on him. Jesus did not become self-centered. Instead, Jesus was focused on the needs of others and of building community. From the cross, Jesus instructs the disciple to care for Mary, his mother, like a son cares for his mother. He instructs his mother to care for the disciple as a mother does a son.
Demonstrating the depth of his love, Jesus refused to be turned away from his mission. He refused to take up arms and fight violence with violence. Jesus continued to share God’s love and grace to the end of his earthly life.
IT IS FINISHED
A few of Jesus’ last words were, “It is finished.” What did Jesus mean? What is finished?
Certainly Jesus’ life is finished—ended. His message and his demonstration of love, grace, forgiveness, and acceptance have drawn to a close.
His work of establishing the kingdom of God on earth has been completed. God’s kingdom has come and is now on earth and in heaven.
Still, the disciples of Jesus have their work to do and their ministry to carry out. We are now called to expand the kingdom of God one life at a time by sharing God’s love, grace, forgiveness, and justice—just like Jesus. Our calling is to carry on the calling of Jesus.
As we ponder the cross and its meaning for our lives, we are overwhelmed by the love.
As we behold the cross, we also see our calling and the purpose of our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.