How often have you been in a scenario where you thought of the perfect come-back or retort…after the conversation was done?
Last week I had an encounter with a guy who was hogging up a spot at a gas pump while eating a burger. He had me blocked in and there were two other cars behind me waiting for their turn at the pump. When I tapped my horn to get him to scoot out of the way, he shook his head at me…and then he flipped me off.
I was shocked. And in disbelief, I managed to get around him and leave the gas station.
Over the next few hours, I revisited the interaction often. I wish I had gotten out of my car to chat with the man.
I know, I know. That’s not necessarily safe in our society. But I do wish I had gotten more involved. Why? Because of some contextual clues. He had out-of-State plates, a military haircut, and an Air Force sticker on his bumper. As a retired military member, I wish I had engaged to let him know that his behavior was reflecting on the entire military service.
I wanted to have the last word.
In John 19:13, Christ said, “It is finished.”
He had the last word.
In this instance the Greek translation is that of an accounting term and means that it’s been paid in full.
What is paid in full?
Our debt due to our own sins, which trace all the way back to Adam and Eve’s original sins in the Garden of Eden is what was paid in full. Jesus was saying that “it is finished” in regards to removing the consequences of our sin nature.
Earlier in the book of John, we see Jesus praying to the Father prior to his arrest by the Romans. In John 17:4 He prayed to ‘finish the work you have given me to do.”
Not only did Jesus state “it is finished” in regards to covering our sins with his blood, but also that His work on Earth was finished. While they seem to be the same implication, there is a slight difference in knowing that Jesus was the fulfillment of prophecy. As part God and part man, He was able to fulfill that prophecy despite His own human experiences. “It is finished” is the completion of the Old Testament prophecies.
The will of God…The faithful service of Christ….The option for forgiveness of our sins…All of these are covered under the simple statement of “it is finished.”
Those famous last words of Christ, which are so much more profound than any last words we may have in an argument or altercation.
In the next week, I pray your last words are ones of grace and love…and not just because you wanted to have the last word.