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Love to the Finish
JOY OF THE CROSS
Terry R. Baughman
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:2 NLT).
The display of God’s great love was showcased at Calvary. All of His intended purpose culminated on the cross. Jesus explicitly revealed His purpose when He stated, “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Because of God’s great love He came to this earth to rescue us from the penalty of sin and ultimately save us from the judgment of death. John said, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
No doubt it was difficult for the disciples to see that through His sacrifice He would provide salvation for all of humanity. The disciples sought to excuse Him from sacrifice and relieve Him from the requirements of judgment, but His purpose was clear and His vision drove Him to accomplish everything that was necessary to provide redemption. “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matthew 16:21).
The atonement was a bitter cup from which to drink and its nectar an incredible agony of suffering. Jesus agonized in prayer, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Luke revealed that “an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him” (Luke 22:43). Jesus resignation to the will of the Father in the garden of Gethsemane brought about peace and the strength to complete His task. Even when facing death Jesus told Pilate, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
Love compelled Him to complete the required commitment. Love drove Him to pay the ultimate price, death on the cross. He was determined to see it through to completion.
When Jesus said, “It is finished,” it was more than the resignation of life, but a confident declaration of accomplishment. He had prevailed. The price had been paid. The sacrifice was offered. His mission was complete. It was finished!
Jesus is both author and finisher of our faith. He is the Champion who initiated the conflict and the Victor who defeated death itself. He reigns victorious over death, hell, and the grave!
Because He is the finisher we can have great confidence that He will complete what He has started in us. Regardless of our failures and shortcomings we find Him to be enduringly faithful. His love endures forever and His mercy is never ending. Paul said, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). He is faithful to complete what He has begun in your life. Love leads to the finish!
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).