6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."
English poet and hymnist William Cowper (1731-1800) wrote one of our most beloved hymns, "There is a fountain, filled with blood." In that lovely song, the poet celebrates having been washed clean by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Finally knowing the fountain that has been opened for sin and unrighteousness (Zechariah 13:1), and overwhelmed with joy at his newfound life, Cowper writes in his last verse:
"E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die."
Like Cowper, knowing as we do the gospel of Christ, we celebrate our salvation, we allow the redeeming love of Christ to be the recurring theme of our worship and praise. Only the life blood of the Son of God could bring us peace with God, restoring to us the life we had lost through Adam. Yes, that is indeed a theme we ought to keep, a hope to which we can cling.
But on the day of Jesus' Crucifixion, as He breathed His last and said, "It is finished" (John 19:30), those who loved Him and knew Him looked "on Him whom they pierced" and they mourned Him. (Zechariah 12:10, Luke 23:48) Even though Jesus had called for their forgiveness, even though He spoke blessing upon them, even though He had told them He would return, they still lamented His passing. They didn't yet understand that it was finished.
What was finished? Certainly we can say that all the things which had been prophesied about Jesus were finished, that His mortal life had run its course. We could also say that the Crucifixion itself was finished, that they could do Him no more harm. But from our hearts, we know Jesus was talking about more than just events being finished. We understand that He had finished something far greater: our salvation. It is finished, completed, done, accomplished.
In today's verses from the Revelation of John, we see our Lord once again telling us, "It is done!" What is done? What has been completed? What exists now that did not exist before? Jesus now gives us the fountain of the water of life, which washes us clean and gives us life.
It is no wonder that when the soldier pierced Jesus' side, there came forth both blood and water: blood to wash us clean, and water to bring us life. Such a fount did not exist until the Crucifixion. It had been hinted at throughout Scripture, but mankind had to wait until the Son of Man was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, until the Lamb of God took upon Himself the chastisement for our peace with God. (Isaiah 53:5) We had to wait for that in order to be healed of our sin and unrighteousness. But while Christ took the punishment for all men's sins, the fountain of the water of life is only for those who seek it.
You see, it takes a great act of faith to allow oneself to be washed by the blood of an innocent Man. It takes belief that He has done what we ourselves could not. It takes hope that He has indeed bought us new life. It takes repentance so that His sacrifice need not have been in vain. It takes perseverance in order to gain that inheritance. It takes obedience to our Father, the One who has adopted us as His sons and daughters in Christ. But mostly it takes love--a reflection of the love that prompted God to send His only begotten Son to suffer the Crucifixion and be glorified in the Resurrection, all for our sakes. We must so love God that we have all the faith and perseverance and obedience we will ever need--more than enough to overcome and inherit what Jesus had done for us.
"It is done!" announced the Son of God. There is nothing more needed, no more works, no more waiting. If we but repent and believe, if we but hold fast to the hope of eternal life in Christ, if we allow Jesus to reign in us, then we will overcome all things, we will come to our inheritance. And He will be our God, and we shall be His sons and daughters.
It is done, and that fountain is now here for those who thirst, but not for those who think they have plenty in this life. That fountain is for those who know they need to be washed, who know they are not holy enough to enter the presence of God. That fountain is for the dying thief and the living sinner, the pilgrim wanderer and the ransomed church--for all who hunger and thirst for righteousness. That fountain is for you and me and all who would declare God's redeeming love as our theme and our hope until we die.
As I write this, it is Good Friday, the day we celebrate the Crucifixion. Whatever you may do on such a day, whatever thoughts may cross your mind as you look on the Cross, whatever meditations may fill your heart this day of the death of our Lord, please, keep them with you always. We are not meant to reflect on the redeeming love of Christ only one day a year but EVERY day of the year. We are not meant just see and then forget the gospel of our peace with God, to see the empty Cross and leave it empty of meaning. Although Jesus no longer hangs on that tree, it is yet stained with the blood that washed our stains away. Although soldiers cast lots for Jesus' garments, we are yet clothed in His righteousness. Although we are not perfect on our own, we are yet perfected and sanctified through Christ Jesus. It is finished, done, accomplished, and that fountain now flows for all who are thirsty. Drink of it every day.
Holy Father God, such amazing love and grace I can never understand--at least not until all things are finished. Until that day, I will celebrate what HAS been done, what has been finished on my behalf. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for redeeming me, for purchasing my pardon, for shedding Your blood so that I may live. May Your Spirit so invade me that I live only for You, that I let Your redeeming love be my only theme for all eternity. Amen.