The word ‘Finished’ is double-edged. I grew up in a house at the bottom of a long cul-de-sac – but I hardly ever went to the top of it, because there was no reason to do so; the end of the cul-de-sac was a ‘nothing’ place to me. A finish can be like that, a dead end with no place else to go. Perhaps Jesus death is no more than that, like the full stop at the end of this sentence. But we can also understand a finish in a different way – as an accomplishment or as a fulfilment, with all its sense of being made whole. So, what is it that, in Jesus’ words, is finished? Is it an end to the suffering on the cross and the extinguishing of life in the body of Jesus? Or is it a reference not just to the passion but to the whole ministry and mission of Christ, now made complete? It is both of these things – but also something more. For surely, in John’s gospel, that cry of ‘It is finished,’ tells of the glorification of Jesus, the lifting up of the Christ, the full revelation of God’s love – a moment which speaks as much of resurrection as of dying, and of hope as much as suffering.
Prayer: Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it to be the way of life and peace; through Christ our Lord. Amen