Ephesians 2:3-5, John 19:30
Good Friday, April 18, 2014
The price is paid
Tetelestai – a merchant’s term for an account that had been settled. If the account has been paid, we can tell the ‘bailiff’ that he has no right to seize anything of ours.
…We were by nature objects of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said (tetelestai) “It is finished”. With that, He bowed his head and gave up (paradoken – handed over) His spirit.
This week we have delved into the nature of sin – the negligence, which becomes independence, then hardens into a ‘couldn’t care less” rebellion against God and His ways.
We have also asked why this happens. Why do we so easily ‘swerve to rot’ and find ourselves doing what we don’t want to be doing: offending God and damaging the relationship we have with Him.
That is prevention, but today we centre on cure: the remedy for all time. We were, not just a bit negligent and something of a free spirit and having a bit of attitude at times, but as the Bible says plainly, objects of wrath. The holiness of God is uncompromising about that.
Yet God combines a holiness which goes far beyond human standards with a grace and disposition to loving mercy which goes far beyond human understanding. Recognising the struggle of trying to satisfy a religious system based on the law, God decided to send His own Son, knowing that at a particular time, this would play out as torture and death – but also the ripping in two of the thick, heavy woven veil of the temple.
In the full and final sacrifice of His Son there was also full access to the Father. We could know God personally and he could know us and help us and guide us.
Jesus said: “It is finished!” And we, too, are enabled in Him, empowered by His Spirit, to say the same to every spiritual attack. We can say no to condemnation and embrace our forgiveness, rebuke fear, as we receive love and acceptance afresh, we can overturn curses of infirmity and even untimely death, and speak life into people and situations. This brings glory to God, not us.