Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. -John 19:28-30
Jesus finishes. Good Friday shows us many things. One thing it shows us about the character of Jesus is that he is willing to finish what he starts. This season of my life is a season of finishing some things I've started. There is always some death associated in finishing.
I love starting things more than anything in the world. I love new ideas, new challenges, blank pages and visionary dreams. I like thinking that being created in God's images means we are all destined to become little creators. We can make amazing things out of nothing. Simply by willing it, we can create new stories or books or movies or artwork or buildings or businesses or nations. I love new beginnings.
I also love having finished things. I love reading the last page of a massive book and knowing it has been slain. As a producer, I love it when the film is on a DVD sitting on a shelf or when the play ends with a final bow. There's something incredibly satisfying about being finished.
Here's what I don't love: finishing. Every project I have ever started has had a moment when I want to give up. Even the smallest of projects. I mowed my lawn yesterday and 3/4 of the way through I really wanted to quit. If I go for a three mile run, I will want to quit after two. Whenever I speak on the weekends at VCC, I hit a moment in the preparation where I wish that I could just fast forward and not have to actually finish. I can't imagine it coming together, but I have to push on and finish. I'm editing my first book right now and everything in me wants to just snap my fingers and jump to the day when it is already complete and printed. I don't want to do the hard work of fixing it. Finishing is always hard for me. I've been "finishing" one particular film project for over two years now. I wrote the script in two weeks. That was the easy part. Finishing is hard.
All of my little projects are nothing compared to what Jesus had to finish on the cross. Part of me hates to even draw the comparison, but seeing him as a finisher is what helps me finish my little things. Especially when I remember that Jesus did not always want to finish. He asked the Father for permission to bypass the cross:
Going a little farther, Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
The Father willed the plan finished and Jesus obeyed even when he didn't fell like it. That's what Good Friday is about. Jesus finishing God's agenda. I want to someday be known as a finisher as much as I am known as a starter. I want to be more like Jesus. Yesterday was my thirty-sixth birthday. Sunday is the twenty-eighth anniversary of the day my family entered the Kingdom. I'm praying that this next year of my life is the year I learn to what it means to obediently finish assignments the way Jesus did.