And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 NIV)
Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matt. 27:46 (NIV)
“It is finished.” John 19:30 (NIV)
Lord Jesus, we feel conflicted about calling the day of your crucifixion, “good.” That there had to be a day when you would take the judgment for our sin is not good at all. But that you would freely, fully, and gladly give yourself for us on the cross, is never-to-be-surpassed goodness. It is quintessential, unparalleled “good.”
From your heart and cross, came these two impassioned cries. “Father forgive them” (Luke 23:34) and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). The first required the second. The second secured the first. Together, they humble our hearts, silence our words, and fuel our worship.
And then there’s the third this-changes-everything cry. “It is finished.” There’s nothing more to be done, concerning our salvation. Once and for all, perfectly and fully, we have been reconciled to God. The Just died for the unjust, the Beautiful One for the broken ones, the Lamb of God for the rebels from God. We praise, bless, and adore you, Lord Jesus.
A millions-years-plus into our life in the new heaven and new earth, we will still be filled with childlike wonder and ceaseless gratitude for the gospel. Because you were fully forsaken, we are forever forgiven. Because you exhausted God’s judgment against our great unrighteousness, we now live by the gift of your perfect righteousness. Because you love us so extravagantly, we can love each other with kindness and hope.
We bow our heads in awe, raise our hands in praise, and surrender our lives with joy. So very Amen we pray, in your all-glorious, all-grace-full name, Lord Jesus.