It is Finished
by Joe Agne
Focus Scripture: When Jesus had received the wine, he said “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus says, “It is finished,” and then he dies. For some of us, life is finished long before we draw our last breath. The best explication of this comes from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a sermon he delivered November 5, 1967, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia:
“I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live. You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you or shoot at you or bomb your house. So you refuse to take the stand. Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right. You died when you refused to stand up for truth. You died when you refused to stand up for justice.”
Lenten Practice: Ponder what is it for which you are willing to risk your life. How do you find the courage to stand up?
Lenten Prayer: Dear God, help me to live like my brothers Jesus and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did so that the cessation of breathing in my life is not the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. Amen.