Good Friday Sermon

Bishop Peter Carrell

It Is Finished

It is finished. It is accomplished. It is done.

Greetings, welcome and thank you for attending to this message today.
May God bless us as we open our hearts and minds to God’s Word in Holy Scripture.
“Tetelestai”, Jesus cries, according to John as he wrote Jesus’ story in the Greek language:
It is finished. It is accomplished. It is done.
According to John’s Gospel these are the final words of Jesus. 
[Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)]
A moment before Jesus dies he says to God and to you and me: it’s done.
What is done? What is accomplished? What is finished?
When we put all our readings for Good Friday together - I encourage you to find time today to read them slowly – we see three purposes of God coming to conclusion when Jesus dies on the cross.
First, that he would bear our sins – our wrongdoing – and the punishment we deserve for them. Jesus dies as the Passover Lamb who takes away our sin.
Second, that he would share our pain and bear our suffering, taking upon himself the burden of being human, and through this open the possibility that “by his wounds” we might be “healed.” [Isaiah 53:5]
Third, that he would defeat the power of evil over humanity, strike a mortal blow against the devil and secure victory for God and for goodness. 
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46)
What is achieved as these three purposes are accomplished?
Doug Campbell, a Kiwi theologian teaching in the States, says this:
“that God’s intention from before the foundation of the world was to call people into existence to give them life and then to fellowship with them as a communion of persons, ultimately to delight in them and to enjoy them. This is the secret that lies at the heart of the universe.”
On the cross Jesus achieved everything required to destroy every barrier and every threat to God’s eternal enjoyment of us.
On the cross Jesus achieved everything required to destroy every barrier and every threat to our eternal enjoyment and delight in God.
On Good Friday annually, and in every Communion service, we remember, with thanksgiving that God’s delight in us and our delight in God was made possible because Jesus sacrificed his life for our sakes.
Right now, around the world, billions of healthy people are getting a glimpse of what sacrifice for the sake of others means.
For the sake of others – the vulnerable among us especially – we are in Lockdown.
While some doctors and nurses around the world have sacrificed their lives to care for those sick from the virus,
most of us are not being asked to give up our lives, 
but giving up our freedoms and in many cases our jobs and our money is a sacrifice. 
It is costly, it is painful, it is stressful and we are all feeling insecure because we have no idea when this period of sacrifice will be over.
We may hate the fact that we are being told to make this sacrifice – that we have no choice – that we must be obedient to the larger will of the nation. 
But we know we have to do this if we are to achieve victory over this threat to life, if we are to be able to delight in each other’s company again.
So this is a very unusual Good Friday. We are experiencing for ourselves a glimpse of living sacrificially for the sake of others.
Might this experience deepen our thankfulness for Jesus’ commitment to finish the task set before him?
And might this experience draw us closer to Jesus as we identify with him in his suffering?
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus, we thank you that on the cross you did a great work for our sakes, and you finished it. You accomplished everything needed for God to delight in us and we in God. May our trust in you be deepened more and more. Amen.


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