“It is finished.” Some of the most exciting words ever said. Whether it’s a child who just finished a test, an artist who just finished their best painting, an author who just finished a book, a housewife, who finished all the laundry (until tomorrow), an engineer who finished a complex and difficult project, or Jesus who accomplished all that God sent Him to do.
I love contemporary praise and worship music. There are so many songs that speak to me. Some encourage and some convict. But I also grew up with old hymns and my dad was a church music director before he was a pastor. I took piano lessons growing up and learned to play from the old Baptist Hymnal. I also grew up with the songs of Bill Gaither. His songs often found their way to the Sunday choir specials. One of those songs is “It is Finished.” Read the lyrics:
There’s a line that is drawn through the ages
On that line stands an old rugged cross
On that cross, a battle is raging
To gain a man’s soul or it’s lossOn one side, march the forces of evil
All the demons, all the devils of hell
On the other, the angels of glory
And they meet on Golgotha’s hillThe earth shakes with the force of the conflict
And the sun refuses to shine
For there hangs God’s son, in the balance
And then through the darkness he criesIt is finished, the battle is over
It is finished, there’ll be no more war
It is finished, the end of the conflict
It is finished and Jesus is LordYet in…Yet in my heart, the battle was still raging
Not all prisoners of war had come home
These were battlefields of my own making
I didn’t know that the war had been wonOh, but then I heard the king of the ages
Had fought all the battles for me
And that victory was mine for the claiming
And now praise his name, I am free
Songwriters: Gloria Gaither / William J. Gaither
It Is Finished lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group
God had sent Jesus into our world for the sole purpose of bringing redemption and eternal life to all those who believe on Him. He arrived in our world as an infant, leaving the splendor of heaven for a dirty cattle stall. He lived and grew up in our world as part of a poor family. No splendor or grandeur. As a man of 30 years old, he called the 12 disciples and began his earthly ministry, teaching them and the people about who He was. Those who didn’t believe, called Him a blasphemer and for that, they had Him put to death. He was betrayed by one of His own disciples – but because Jesus is God, he knew even when He called Judas as a disciple that Judas would betray him – yet He called Him anyway. But as Jesus hung on the cross the battle for our redemption was raging. With his final words, “It is finished,” the battle was won.
For each one of us, created in His image, he knew that before we were created that we would cause Him to go to the cross – but he created us anyway. He fulfilled every Messianic prophecy and with all of His work done, as He hung on the cross, he cried out, “It is finished.” He had accomplished everything God sent Him here to do. So he bowed His head and willingly released His spirit. Then…three days later….He rose from the dead, conquering death. Defeating the grave. Raised to life. Because of His finished work, those who believe in Him have eternal life.
Even though the Jews had all the Messianic prophecies, they still did not recognize the Messiah when He stood right in front of them. So what is this Jesus like? In his choral musical, God For Us, Don Moen describes Him this way:
He is good and he is good all the time.
But as you focus on his goodness, don’t miss his greatness.
He is unparalleled and unprecedented.
He is the center piece of civilization.
He is the superlative of all excellence.
He is the sum of human greatness.
He is the source of divine grace.
His name is the only one able to save And his blood is the only power able to cleanse.
His ears opened to the sinners call His hand is quick to catch a fallen soul
He is the eternal lover of us all Everyone, and you can trust him.
He supplies mercy for the struggling soul
He sustains the tempted and the tried
He sympathizes with the wounded and broken
He strengthens the weak, the weary
he guards and he guides the wanderer.
He heals the sick and cleanses the leper
He delivers the captives and defends the helpless and he binds up the broken hearted
He’s for you and you can trust him
Jesus is the key to all knowledge
He is the well spring of wisdom
He is the door way of deliverance and he is the pathway of peace
He is the road way of righteousness
He is the highway of holiness
He is the gateway to glory
And yes you can trust him
Jesus is enough
He’s the all sufficient king
He’s the king of Jews
He’s the king of Israel
He’s the king of righteousness and he’s the king of the ages
He’s the king of heaven
He’s the king of glory
He’s the king of kings
And he’s the Lord of lords
And yes again you can trust him
And rejoice in this my friend
He is a sovereign king
There is no gauge to measure his limitless love
There is no barrier to block his blessings out poured
He’s enduringly strong
And he’s entirely supreme
He’s internally steadfast
He’s immortally faithful
He’s imperially powerful
And he’s impartially merciful
He is Jesus, God son, and you can trust him
I wish I could more accurately describe him to you
But he’s indescribable
You can’t out live him and you can’t live without him
The Pharisees couldn’t stand him
But they found him they couldn’t stop him
Pilate couldn’t fault him
Herod couldn’t kill him
Death couldn’t conquer him
And the grave couldn’t hold him
My friends he’s the alpha and omega
The first and the last
He’s the God of the future and the God of the past
And we raise to speak his name again and again
He is Jesus! He is for us
And we can trust him
The work of salvation is finished. It is done. You can trust Him. There is nothing you can do for yourself to earn it. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It is by faith in the finished work of Christ that we find salvation from our sins – and no other way. Because it is finished, we can rejoice. It is finished! He is crowned King of king and Lord of lords.
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.