At The Cross, It Is Finished — From The Garden To The Cross
Welcome to another special edition of the Share Life podcast. We're in an ongoing podcast series, as part of the discovery process for my next book project, From The Garden to the Cross: How Jesus' Harrowing Mission Shows Us The Way.
In this discussion, we're reflecting on Jesus' final moments on the cross, the three hours of darkness, the cry of dereliction, and the immediate consequences of Jesus' finishing work.
For those just now following along, this event takes place after Jesus' agonizing prayer in the garden, his middle of the night arrest, Judas' betrayal, a night of scheming to kill Jesus, the three denials by Peter, the death of Judas, Pilot asking Jesus about Truth, Herod directing Jesus to entertain him, Pilate washing his hands of responsibility, Simon carrying Jesus' cross, and Jesus forgiving his perpetrators.
View from the Cross by James Tissot
Some topics of the discussion included:
- How Jesus' statement — "It Is Finished" — inspired me and this book project.
- The importance of tracking the entire Biblical narrative that flows from Genesis to this moment on the cross.
- The contrast between the maximum mercy and maximum justice happening on the cross.
- The difficulty in recognizing the magnitude of what's happening spiritually on the cross beyond simply what we see happening at the physical level.
- Jesus' humble and complete confidence as he commits his spirit to God and the events that "suddenly" unfolded.
- The connection between the Passover darkness of ancient Israel and the three hours of darkness faced by Christ on the cross. And how everyone in the area would have experienced the darkness.
- How Christ's enduring of the crucifixion, and what came before, demonstrates his worthiness of our worship.
- The reality and weight of sin are demonstrated on the cross, as Christ bears it on our behalf. And how little we truly realize the power, depth, pervasiveness of Sin. Despite the cost paid by Jesus, we often trivialize our sins.
- Christians need to have a focus on believers and the church, not on the world. When the church gets its act together and understands its God, the game is over.
- How Jesus died so we would be resurrected as He was for application in the work we are doing in this world.
- My personal connection to Christ on the cross, as the sponge was lifted up to Jesus.
- The cruelty of the people watching as they mocked Jesus and offered him unsatisfying sour wine (vinegar). This is contrasted with the rivers of living water that flows from Jesus.
- How Christ models for us, what he wants to do in us, how we ought to endure and respond to the suffering we face.
- What does Jesus show us on the cross that helps us navigate the wild west world of Twitter? "I'm often asked, how how do you decide what to respond to [on Twitter]. Who should I continue interacting with, what questions to ask, etc...? I rely very heavily on the holy spirit and I'm convinced we don't do that enough." - Traci Rhoades
- The limits of what we can know and the contrast of embracing mystery for what's beyond our ability to grasp.
- Apart from the Holy Spirit, humanity looks a great deal like those mocking, torturing, and crucifying Jesus. How are we opposing Jesus in our words and actions? What if our life is just a bunch of sour wine to God?
- How in the moments of greatest crisis, Jesus shows us what it means to be fully human and to trust God fully when he appears to be absent. We can't do this on our own and we need to embrace our weaknesses and need. "Jesus trusts God because he knows God." - Greg Goodrich
- Praying for God to show us the sin in our life.
- How nature and people are responding to what's happening on the cross. The old world is dying and the new has begun. We all now have direct access to God because of this moment.
- How when philosophy is done well, according to God's general revelation, it clearly displays God's glory.
- There is no other way for God to have redeemed mankind other than through the cross. And Jesus did it willingly.
- "Too often the church is joining in outrage instead of presenting an alternative to it." - James Rowell
Fellow Conversation Participants
In this episode, I'm joined by Greg, Traci, & James.
Traci Rhoades is an author, Bible teacher, writer, listener, and follower of Jesus who cares deeply about church unity, church history, everyone reading God's word, and engaging with others on Twitter - which is where we originally connected. Visit her website here, Join her email newsletter here, check out her book (Not All Who Wander Are Lost) here, or follow her on Twitter here.
James Rowell is the lead pastor and co-founder of Generations, an Acts 29 network church in the metro Atlanta area, a husband and father of six kiddos with a master's degree in conflict management, and a friend and former pastor to me and my family.
Greg Goodrich is residential faculty in the Maricopa Community College District in Phoenix, Arizona (south of Flagstaff where we originally did church community together years ago) with a focus on showing the clarity of God’s existence, the need for redemption by Christ, and application of these truths in cultures.
I'm grateful for their participation in this episode and for helping to make the book better.
Listen to the Discussion
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My Harmonized Account of Jesus' Final Moments on the Cross For Reference & Study — An Excerpt From The Book
Mark 15:33-41 | Matthew 27:45-56 | Luke 23:44-45 | John 19:28-30
At noon, a total blackout of darkness blocked the sun and fell over the area for three hours.
Jesus did not speak during the darkness, but at three in the afternoon, He cried out with a loud voice.
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Those still standing nearby responded.
“See, he’s calling for Elijah.”
Knowing his work was now finished, and scripture fulfilled. Jesus spoke once more.
An observer ran to a nearby Jar of sour wine. They soaked a sponge with the wine, attached it to a hyssop branch, and lifted the sponge up to Jesus’ mouth to drink.
Other observers spoke as this occurred.
“Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
After receiving the sour wine, Jesus spoke.
“It Is finished.”
With a loud cry, Jesus exerted his final words with his last breath.
“Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.”
Jesus bowed his head, giving up his spirit.
The temple curtain of the sanctuary was ripped in half down the middle from the top to the bottom as an earthquake shook the land and the rocks were split.
The tombs of the people and saints who fell asleep were raised when their tombs were opened.
The overseeing Centurion, standing across, witnessed Jesus’’ final breath and felt the earthquake. He proceeded to glorify God by speaking the following to those remaining.
“Truly this man was righteous and the Son of God!”
The gathering crowds watching the spectacle beat their chests, before going home, when they witnessed what unfolded. But all who knew Jesus remained.
Following from Galilee to Jerusalem, the serving women had watched everything unfold from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary Clopas (mother of James and Joseph), and Mary Salome.
Hero Image: The Crucifixion by Leon Bonnat
From The Garden To The Cross, Podcast - From The Garden To The Cross
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