When it was all said and done, as per the will of God the Father, John 19:30 records this about Jesus:
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (NASB)
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (KJV)
I want to focus on “It is finished!”.
If we were to truly dissect these words of Jesus, this post (for that matter any number of posts) wouldn’t do it justice.
For this post, we won’t need to go that deep.
What did Jesus mean when He declared “It is finished!”?
Did He mean that the purpose of His first coming was fulfilled, that sin was atoned for, now and forever more, that those who received Him and believed in His name, no longer had to offer animal sacrifices as per the law?
If the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), Jesus paid that price with His blood, the sinless perfect Christ, dying for sinful imperfect man.
This is the good news folks!
You and I deserve to die because we are sinners and have sinned against a Holy God and have no chance of saving ourselves, but Christ took our place!
John 3:16 tells us exactly why Christ is so important.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)
Believing in Jesus and remaining in Him is key to living the post salvation life!
So, if our sins have been atoned for by Christ, what does it mean for our life henceforth?
We are free! If sin was the prison we were living in, Christ has set us free! Hallelujah!
In John 8:1-11, we have the story of the woman who was caught committing adultery and is brought to Jesus. Jewish law stated that she must be stoned to death. The teachers of the law reminded Jesus about the law and asked Him what He thought about it, wanting to trap Him. Jesus being Jesus, had this to say to her accusers. John 8:7 records:
He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. (NASB)
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (KJV)
One of these days, I pray I’ll get a chance to dissect this verse. Unfortunately, today isn’t the day but I still wanted to share it here to show you how awesome Jesus is! 🙂 Jesus basically said to the crowd that whoever is perfect, should be the first to stone her. So, as the story goes, every person, from the oldest to the youngest, drop the stone they were ready to pelt her with, and walk away. Why? Because each one of them knew that they had sin in their life, that they were not perfect, that they were in no position to judge and condemn this woman!
Finally, in John 8:10-11, we read this:
Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more. (NASB)
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (KJV)
Jesus doesn’t condemn the woman but challenges her to sin no more! WOW!
This woman knew she was done for, yet, Jesus not only forgave her, but taught her a huge lesson and showed her how compassionate and loving He was!
We are told that this woman is Mary Magdalene, who after this incredible encounter with Jesus, becomes His follower.
Folks, this is how powerful Jesus is! He not only paid for our sins, but He is able to deliver us from it in this lifetime!
Mary Magdalene did not go home and focus on her sin. She did not reflect and ponder and dwell in her past.
She received forgiveness and was told by Jesus to sin no more. That was it!
She was told to let the sin go, let the past go and to begin a new journey, with the forgiveness and freedom she has in Christ!
Jesus didn’t just save us, free us and leave us alone either.
He had blessed us with the Holy Spirit, who is God Himself! Because Jesus has changed us and clothed us with His righteousness, God the Holy Spirit can dwell in us and help us to live righteously but also live abundantly!
Righteously in that the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us and counsel us in the ways of God, so that we will live lives that please God and not live in sin. It is important to note that I’m not saying we will never sin when we receive Christ, rather we will sin less because of the Holy Spirit working in us! Also, spending time in the Bible and praying is extremely important because the Holy Spirit uses that to help us be more like Jesus!
Abundantly in that we have God with us and in us! Can you fathom that the God of the universe has chosen to dwell in us? I’m not saying that I have entirely grasped it myself, but ever so slowly, I’m beginning to understand the implication it has (or should have) on my everyday life. I myself am not God, rather His wisdom, His power, His love, His grace, His strength and much more, is available to me through the Holy Spirit! I can exercise those powers (in accordance with God’s will) to bless and be blessed!
This is incredible folks! Even as I write this post, I want to always live my life with this truth, rather than focus on what I’m doing wrong or have done wrong and be miserable. I confess that I have lived a sin focused life (what I’ve done wrong, how I’ve disappointed God, beating myself up) more than a freedom focused life.
Don’t get me wrong. Sin is sin and we must confess the sin in our lives, repent and keep walking with/in Christ. Don’t believe me? Believe the Scriptures then. In 1 John 1:8-10, it is written:
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (NASB)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (KJV)
I believe that as time passes, as we remain in Christ and draw near to Him and mature in our faith, through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit (who ties in our study of the Word, prayer and Christian fellowship), we will sin less and be more and more like Jesus, not only in our words, actions and attitude, but also how much and how ready/willing we are to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring a supernatural element to our life. Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead to life – is it not hard to believe that we have been given the power and authority to do the same, if not more?
Again, don’t believe me, believe the Scriptures!
In Matthew 17:14-21, we read of the boy who couldn’t be cured by the disciples. The disciples then ask Jesus why they couldn’t do it. Here’s what Jesus tells them in Matthew 17:19-20:
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He *said to them,“Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. (NASB)
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (KJV)
There was a lack of faith in the disciples but Jesus takes it one step further and tells them, tells us, that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed (which is tiny), we can move mountains!
Again, in John 14:12, Jesus declares:
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. (NASB)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (KJV)
Jesus makes it clear that those who believe in Him, will be able to what He has done and even greater things because He has gone back to the Father.
This is the abundant life that we who are in Christ can live!
We didn’t deserve it, we didn’t earn it, but thanks to Jesus and who He is and what He has done, we possess it!
I pray that you will submit to the Holy Spirit to help you be more like Jesus everyday so that He can then help you live life the abundant life Jesus wants you/me/us to live!
I’m not talking about a life that is filled with material riches and blessings. If that’s all you have gathered, you need to get back to the basics and ask the Holy Spirit to set your thinking straight.
I am also not saying that Christians cannot be blessed in that manner. If the LORD chooses to bless you with material wealth and riches, that’s up to Him and He may very well have a plan for you with regards to that in how you can use it to bless others and further God’s Kingdom.
If you are into the prosperity gospel, you have been deceived and it’s a counterfeit gospel and a perversion of the truth according to the Scriptures.
Abundant life in Christ is a radical life.
It is not cowering in fear because of the enemy or whatever situations you may face in life.
It is claiming the promises of God in Christ.
I could go on and on, but until you experience it, you cannot fully comprehend or understand it.
I will close with a very simple example.
Today, we had to do a lot of washing so that we could have enough clothes to pack for our overseas trip tomorrow. Problem was that the sky was overcast and it seemed like it would rain. I didn’t bother looking at the weather forecast or whatever. Rather than just saying a prayer, I went ahead and declared (in humility but with authority) in Jesus Name that it wouldn’t rain. It didn’t. We got the washing done and through the course of the day, the Son used the sun to dry them as well 🙂
It may not seem much to you but it meant a whole lot to me. You can explain it however you like but I know what happened.
Until you step out in faith, you will always be held back by doubt and a lack of faith.
I pray you will learn to rely on the Holy Spirit and learn to live and enjoy the abundant life in Christ!
God bless you.
Thank Sri 🙂