A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
(John 19:29-30 NRSV)
It is finished. It is all accomplished.
The death of Jesus on the cross is not a failure, but a resounding success. He has done all he has come to do.
He has lived, he has taught, he has healed, he has overcome temptation, he has borne the sin of humanity, he has forgiven, he has offered himself up once and for all.
That is why we may call it Good Friday; because through it the slate is wiped clean and humanity is redeemed.
Through the life and death of Jesus the eternal Kingdom of God is inaugurated for our place and time, and its servant King has been crowned.
But this is not the end of the story, merely the end of a chapter; for soon there will be a rising, a new creation, a new exodus, a new dawn; the dawn of a new adventure which thunders down the ages to our time – an adventure in which we may take part.
we have remembered the agony of your Cross.
Through it we have seen your love
and known your saving grace.
May its power guide and strengthen us throughout our lives,
and point us always to the gateway of the Kingdom;
for your Holy name’s sake.