Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. "It is finished!" is the cry that came from the Lord as He hung, nailed, to the cross. In that moment to the observer, Christ did not look victorious. He looked like the ravaged victim of the Roman death system that was used to deal with all the trouble-makers of their day. Jesus looked beyond humiliated and degraded, a victim of political circumstance.
Even the kingdom of darkness was shaken by their perceived accomplishment but, in a short time, realised their tactical error. 1 Cor. 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
The facts were clear to the onlookers that the man Jesus Christ was dead, but the truth in the kingdom of God was that Jesus Christ, the Lord, had just redeemed man to God. The truth was Rom. 5:8 But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. There is much to be gleaned from the last words Jesus said; it shouts to us, reaching our ears today. "It is finished," is the truth we have to come to grips with. It is the truth of the Lord's finished work that will set us free from all the condemnation and bewilderment our hearts struggle with within our faith.
As we act on what we believe the will of God is for our lives, we must remember that it is the grace of God that remains the truth we are living in. The fine line of works and grace can cause difficulty in our hearts when we are feeling empty inside. At this point we realise that we have been performing self-righteous acts, thinking we have been obeying our call that was once grace led. We forget that works in the flesh, to attain God's favor, is finished. Gal. 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh.
The Lord believed His own statement, "It is finished" because we read in Heb. 1:3b When He had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. That's it. The Lord sat down because it had been done and it is done. It is finished! The Lord has done it all and He alone has saved us by His blood and none of our works. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
I was going through a tough time and my mind started to wander into the murky and swampy area of works thinking. I started saying things like, maybe I feel distant from God because I had those thoughts of jealousy the other day, that's why things are not going well for me. Maybe I did not give enough at church the other day, that's why I lost that deal I was counting on. After all, you reap what you sow. Maybe I had a negative confession in my prayer and I jinxed the flow of provision from heaven.
After all, it is a snakes and ladders game we are playing here, isn't it? I do something wrong and I step on a snake and slide downward to a lost place of sin, then I do something good or Godly and climb the ladder of success right into the heavens and then step on a snake to start all over again. This is how a lot of Christianity is lived on a regular basis. We have to realise that God knew this is what we would do, turn His gift of salvation into a carnal works program. Therefore Jesus had to cry out on the cross, "It is finished." Isa. 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
The daily facts that we face are real but, the truth of the word is even more real. The facts are we may be broke, but the word of God says we are blessed and will be provided for. Matt. 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are ye not much better than they?
The facts are we may be dealing with a sickness in our body and lives, the truth is that we are healed. 1 Pet. 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
The facts are we may be alone in this life and very lonely, the truth is the Lord is right there beside us. Heb.13:5b For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Matt. 28:20b Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The facts are that we may feel like we have to do something to earn God's love and favor, the truth is we are loved and favored no matter how we feel about it. Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Yes, the striving is finished. May the peace of God that passes all understanding fill our hearts with the capacity to believe God's word concerning us all.