Gateway Gazette

Faith Forum ~ It Is Finished

Good FridayThe words “It is finished” rang in her ears as Mary stumbled and tripped over the rocks on Golgotha. It couldn’t be, it just couldn’t be true what had just happened; but it was. There was the cross, with her friend hanging on it. His weary head now bent and bowed over on his chest as he breathed his last. The expression left on his face was one of mixed sadness and love as he had spoken the unforgettable words.

She wanted to run away, to get away from the bloody and passionate scene around her. Somehow she couldn’t leave — something kept her there at that moment. The Roman soldiers finished moving from cross to cross to make sure the condemned men were dead. They broke the legs of the two men on either side of Jesus, but when they came to him they didn’t break his as they saw he was already dead. Instead, they thrust a spear into his side, and out came blood and water. The stony faced soldiers grumbled away to themselves and moved on. Mary looked up and gazed at the three crosses with the men on them, still now with no life in them. Her attention went back to the middle cross, and silently made her way to the feet of Jesus and looked up at him.

The tears fell unashamedly as she saw him. The wicked thorns on his brow left open bleeding gashes around his head. The grotesque nails stuck out through raw flesh and blood from his hands and feet. The whiplash wounds on his back lay open and the stab wound in his side still oozed with water and blood.

Mary was overwhelmed at the picture she saw above her and fell to her knees. The rocks were sharp beneath her. Without thinking she sat down, and found herself sitting up against the cross, beneath Jesus feet. She sat there with closed eyes. Mary felt something wet against her cheek. She brushed it off and opened her eyes to see the blood on her hand that she had wiped off her cheek.

Suddenly, it hit her. She remembered what she had heard that had been written in Moses’ law that God requires blood so that there could be reconciliation for sins, and that blood represents life. She knew that this was Jesus’ blood, shed for her. Mary sat there. She was sitting in a familiar spot to her, at Jesus’ feet; but now with a whole new personal meaning to her. Lying beside her was a discarded piece of cloth. She reached over to pick it up — recognizing it as she did. It was Jesus’ robe that she had woven for Him, forgotten after the soldiers threw dice for it.

Instinctively Mary threw it around herself, covering her head. It was comforting, and it was having Jesus’ presence all around her. Trembling, she got up and looked at Jesus once more. It was still a dreadful sight as before, but now his death and bleeding held special significance just for her.

Grasping Jesus’ robe around her and seeing his blood on her hand as she did, she remembered other things that Jesus had said, of how he must suffer and die. Certain words he spoke also gave her hope — that in three days he would come back to life again. Could it be this meant she would shortly see him alive again? Somehow she knew in her heart that she would.

At the edge of that terrible hill Mary glanced back at the death scene, then turned and viewed the road that she would travel on to meet up with the others. Although her heart was heavy with the events just taken place – there was a new hope springing up in her being that life was not over; but that a new kind of beginning and understanding were hers to have as she walked through life. Jesus had taught, served and loved people, showing the way to live life by the way h e had lived. With her new understanding, she knew that she could live her life by the example Jesus had shown them.

Adjusting the robe around her shoulders, Mary walked down the road with a sure step as she started on her way to meet the others.

Note: The historical fact that Jesus Christ died and then rose from the dead is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. It is the only religion or faith that makes such a claim about its leader. Since God has fulfilled this action of love through his Son, it compels us to respond. You can read the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection in Matthew 26:47 through to the end of chapter 28.

Feel free to email me with any questions or feedback to: gloriawes@hotmail.com.

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