SERMON TITLE: The Seven Last Words of Christ: #6—“It is finished”
SERMON TEXT: John 19:25b-30
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: April 2, 2017, at First UMC
For a year and a half, my mom has been waiting for a certain apartment complex to have an opening. The plan has been that she would move out of the house and large property where she and my dad lived for over 50 years. Since Dad passed away in 2015, there’s been way too much work for Mom to do alone. So, she needs to move into something smaller and more manageable. The good news is that an opening in that apartment complex is coming soon. On May 1st, Mom will be able to start moving into that new, simpler lifestyle. Ironically, though, that good news is causing Mom some stress. Even though she’s been unwavering in her anticipation of this move for 19 months, all of a sudden, there are so many decisions to make and so much downsizing to do. But, whether she’s ready or not, May 1st will be here in just four weeks. In order for a new chapter of life to begin, she must bring this current one to a close.
Whether moving, graduating from school, or retiring from work, at some point or another, we all come to the end of a line or phase of life. The same was true for Jesus. As he hung on the cross, his strength gone, and his breath fading away, Jesus recognized he had come to his final moments. Because the four gospels remember Jesus’ last words differently, it’s hard to know exactly in what order Jesus might have said his final statements. But, today, in John’s gospel, we read that Jesus died very soon after he said, “It is finished.”
I invite you to consider these words of finality with me this morning. What did it mean for Jesus and what does it mean for us to say, “It is finished”?