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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

John 19:28-30

"Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty.' A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on the stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When He had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, He bowed His head and gave up the spirit."

It is finished! The work has been completed. I recall the story that is told about Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He was repeatedly being asked by his superiors: "When will it be finished? His reply was: "When it is done!"

Jesus has given us a completed work of salvation. In Hebrews 10:11, we read that the priests made daily sacrifices for sins. "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins." The writer notes that those sacrifices could never take away the sins. It was only in the work of Jesus on the cross, that the work was finished.

In just a few weeks, March 23rd, we will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Very often we point to that event, His resurrection of being the point of victory. Certainly, that was the point that we visualize Jesus in His victorious form, but the real work of atonement was done on the cross.

When Jesus was on the cross and within seconds of His death, John records that Jesus knew that everything was completed according to Scripture. The work of atonement was done and victory had been won on the cross of Calvary. The very last words that Jesus spoke were the words, "It is finished." This was not a statement of resignation, but a statement of victory. Satan had opposed Him and tempted Him and tried every means to subvert the work of God, but the cross defeated him for all eternity.

I want to be sure that we understand that the work of Christ on the cross did not give a blanket coverage for the sins of everyone. It was for those who have experienced the new birth. Through the completed work of Jesus we have complete victory over sin. In Hebrews 10:17b-18 we read: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin."

Charles Wesley penned words to a poem that became one of the old hymns of the church, which speak graphically of the finished work of Christ:

"Arise, my soul, arise; Shake off thy guilty fears; The bleeding Sacrifice in my behalf appears. Before the throne my surety stands; My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above for me to intercede, His all-redeeming love His precious blood to plead. His blood atones for all our race, And sprinkles not the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears, Received on Calvary; They pour effectual prayers; They strongly plead for me: "Forgive him, O forgive," they cry, "Nor let that ransomed sinner die."

My God is reconciled; His pard'ning voice I hear; He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear. With confidence I now draw nigh, And, "Father, Abba, Father," cry."

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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