by R. Herbert
Most of us know how it feels to finally accomplish something we have worked toward for a long time: a goal, a dream, a project to which we have dedicated time and energy. Even with small-scale things, it can be a triumphant feeling. The larger the accomplishment, the greater the triumph, thankfulness, and deep happiness.
This ties to the spring season of the year in which we celebrate the supreme sacrifice of the Son of God on behalf of humanity. That had surely been a project a long time in the planning, and it had been over thirty patient years of the physical life of Jesus in the actual making: growing, building, preparing, working toward the eventual goal of the sacrifice itself.
Meditating on the sacrificial death of Christ can be a somber and heart-wrenching thing, but I cannot help believing that even as He perished in excruciating pain, the Son of God felt triumph and thankfulness at the very end. He had done it — successfully accomplished the very reason for His human life, something that would touch all other human lives throughout all time. Leading up to that moment, because of the human sin He had taken upon Himself, Jesus was cut off from the One who had brought Him thus far, as is seen in His words: “Why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34, NIV throughout; see Psalm 22:1). But as the end came, Jesus had to have known He had succeeded.
It is in this way that the last words of Jesus (in English translation, “It is finished,” John 19:30) were surely the most triumphant words spoken to that point in history. Up to that time, no single event had accomplished so much good or incorporated such a victory. Spoken directly before Jesus died, these words had to have been the most victorious ever spoken — until just a few days later, when they were replaced by three yet more triumphant words: “He has risen” (Matthew 28:6).
R. Herbert (a pen name) writes for LivingWithFaith.org and TacticalChristianity.org.