Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FINISH (05/26/16)
- TITLE: The End of the Story
By Cindy Duncan
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Hebrews 12:2, KJV
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Since the beginning, there was a plan for the end. Before God breathed life into Adam, his prized creation, he knew that to maintain fellowship with him, he would have to sacrifice himself. I wonder if I would have the incentive to create something if I knew it would require redemption with my own blood. The answer is no, I would not. Yet he did exactly that.
With foreknowledge often comes anxiousness and dread. The painful recovery from surgery sometimes pales to the anxiety preceding it. The nine months of pregnancy is dimmed somewhat by the fear of knowing that the baby growing inside has to eventually come out. The joy of watching your children grow is tempered by the knowledge that one day you must release them to the world.
As God watched Adam sin, and all those who came after him, he knew what it would take to cleanse them from that sin. He knew the end of the story because he wrote the end of the story. For thousands of years, every sin had to remind him of what was to come. He knew that each one, from gluttony to murder, would be placed on him.
As Jesus struggled in the garden of Gethsemane, he prayed three times for a different ending, knowing that the only sufficient one had already been written. The coming pain had to be on his mind, for it was a brutal death he had chosen for himself. But the Bible says he “endured the cross, despising the shame,” not the pain. It was the shame of our sins that he dreaded the most. The guilt of a world full of sinners placed on the only sinless man, resulting in separation from the father, was the cause of the agony.
The pain and the shame that he endured, the agony and the anticipation, all ended when Jesus uttered the three words “It is finished.” Oh what relief he must have felt. What relief we should feel.
He has paid our debt. He has born our sorrow. If we accept his sacrifice, we have nothing to fear. Our sins are forgiven. We can live this life without dread and worry. We may suffer great physical pain as we finish our life on earth, but because of what Jesus did we will not suffer shame. We will not die alone as he did, but will have God to carry us through. We will finish with joy.
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