“When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” vs. 30
Each of the gospel writers had different sources for their accounts and, as a result, their stories emphasize different aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry. It’s particularly interesting to see how each deals with his betrayal, trial, sentencing, and death. While the basic facts are the same, the details, as should be expected, are different. John’s version is fascinating, and provides a powerful summary statement for Jesus’ life. Here, even though Jesus has been rendered completely helpless by beatings and torture, he remains completely in charge of his ending. He is the King, and everything has happened according to plan. On the cross, when he is ready, he simply says, “I’m done. The mission is complete,” bowed his head, and died. In John’s estimation, this is his moment of glory, the moment of triumph. That statement is not meant to be a glorification of suffering, but a renunciation of the power of death, and for centuries Christians have understood that, while death is an ending, in Christ it is transformed into a beginning, the entry point for new life. The very deed that the religious leaders hoped would destroy the legacy of Jesus became instead the symbol of his triumph. Had he been released by Pilate and gone back to Galilee to live out his life, he would have not been remembered. But because he died on the cross, he will never be forgotten.
Thought for the Day: Why is the mood of Good Friday often somber?