Humanity was defeated and sin had won.
Imagine a game gone so horribly bad that there was no chance of winning. Imagine a contest with a clock that was almost run out. Imagine owing a debt so expensive that it literally could never be repaid by all of the money and resources in the world.
But then Jesus hit the reset button! Almost 2,000 years ago, He finished His work of restoring humanity to God through His resurrection and took our place by absorbing the penalty that we owed to sin.
Hope For Tomorrow
His last words before death tell the story that changed the game forever.
John 19.30: When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and [voluntarily] gave up His spirit.
This declaration, “it is finished” is translated from the Greek word teleō, meaning to pay a debt. Through sin (our wrongs, past, present, and future), all of humanity incurred a debt that we could have NEVER repaid by our own means. After all, how can the sinful remove their own sin? What human being was without sin that would qualify them (Romans 3.23) to remove humanity’s sin and guilt? And not just remove humanity’s sin and guilt of the present, but throughout all of time — past and future?
Because God is infinitely just (Deuteronomy 32.4), sin must be eradicated — it cannot coexist [in fellowship] with Him (Matthew 27.46).
And thus, through Jesus’s pure and sinless life, He atoned for [made amends], undid our wrongs, and removed the sin/guilt stain on humanity from the beginning. The sinless Jesus absorbed our sins, through His death on the cross, so that we could now be sin-less!
Knowing that His purpose on Earth had been fulfilled, Jesus was ready to finish the job (paying His life for our sins) and return to the Father.
Luke 23.46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” Having said this, He breathed His last.
His last breath in this moment would be the beginning of our new first.
Notice how Jesus willingly places His life [and spirit] into the Father’s hands (or His care). Jesus’ life was never taken away, but He willingly committed it — paying the ultimate price for you and me.
Jesus Resets The Scene
The sinless Jesus absorbed the sins of humanity, like a soldier absorbing the impact of a bomb for the sake of his comrades, that we might be pure once again through a life reconnected [from the disruption of sin] to the Father. The Devil thought he had succeeded by killing God’s chosen one, not knowing that he was bringing Jesus into the fulfillment of His purpose and mission on Earth — to reset.
God allowed Jesus, His only Son, to endure unbearable pain, but never left Him. Jesus not only knew the assignment He had, but He knew the power He had to achieve it. He knew the power that lived within Him. And He never lost sight of where He was going — He stayed on target and on mission.
Like Jesus, when we commit our lives to God’s hands, He will do what we cannot, and He will enable us to reach what is unreachable within our own power. He never left us and never will (Hebrews 13.5-6)! And the story goes on: Three days later, Jesus rose from bodily death, and with all power, to once again restore us in right standing with the Father. This is the Good News.
That chapter in humanity concluded almost 2,000 years ago but the book is not yet done.
How Do We Reset?
I believe that this is another moment in time to reset. To restore God to His proper place in our lives and specifically in our hearts. It’s a moment to be still and ask what is God saying and doing right now? What is He after in us in this season? And how can we partner with Him?
The Book of Revelation tells us that He’s coming back and He will then make all things new (Revelation 21.5). And “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever (Revelation 21.4).”
What an ending to look forward to. Let’s keep on keepin’ on.