For the seven days of Holy Week, our devotions will focus on the seven last words of Christ. At our Good Friday Worship at 7:00 p.m. on April 14, we will hear these words read aloud again and meditate upon them through prayer and song.

When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30).

Reflections from Thomas B. Slater. Professor of New Testament Language & Literature
McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University Atlanta, Ga.

“Jesus announces that his mission has been completed and he breathes his last and dies. His hour has come. He accepts it. He moves on to the next stage.

Jesus provides a good example for all sorts of transitions. We need to accept when it is time to move on and do so. All around us we see examples of people who need to retire or who need to step aside at church so that someone else might have the joy of serving. Or we see parents who still want to govern the affairs of their adult children or, worse, their adult grandchildren! Clearly, they need to recognize what time it is and govern themselves accordingly.

When Michael Jordan was voted into the NBA Hall of Fame, his comments were that now he knew that there could not be a comeback to play in the NBA. How sad that when one lives so completely in the past that one cannot enjoy the present. In turn, one cancels out the future. Without the death, there is no Easter and its glory. As with Jesus, unless our pasts die in some way, our futures cannot be born.”

Is there something that needs to be finished in your life, but you just can’t seem to recognize it is time? Are other voices trying help us to see? What new life might God give in the face of that ending? In all our beginnings and ending, we give our spirit to God to tend and keep.

Prayer: Gracious God, give me eyes to see what things are drawing to a close in my life. Help me to release these things to you. Tend to my spirit so that new life and new opportunities will come. Amen.