Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

A Congregation of Lutheran Church-Canada

Scripture & Sermons

GOOD FRIDAY AD 2024 2024-03-29

One weary breath after another, slower and shallower they come, the breath of life slowly
slipping away into death. I have watched and waited with many over the past 25 years. Some of
us have watched and waited together through long hours, hard hours, night and day, day and
night. Sometimes the time was short. Sometimes it was long. As hard as it was to say goodbye,
finally the time came for it to be over, and as hard as it was to say goodbye there was relief that it
finally was over.
Death can and does come suddenly, sadly even violently, but for many in our day it comes slowly
after some struggle, some trial and some watching and waiting. No matter how it comes it never
comes the right way for us, whether it is suddenly in the night out on the road, in some random
violent act, or whether it is after a long illness, after too many years of life, or after the mind has
long slipped into forgetfulness. Death always comes too soon or too late for us. Why life
unfolds as it does God only knows, and there is a plan, a purpose in it all, even if we find it hard
to understand.
One weary breath after another, slower and shallower they come, the breath of life slowly
slipping away into death. And so it goes with Jesus today. Although His death is a violent one,
one brought on by sinful men, who took Him and scourged Him and then nailed Him to a cross,
it is also a slow one, meant to be difficult, painful, agonizing. As hard as it is to watch and wait
with someone by a hospital bed, how much harder it was to watch someone hanging on a cross
gasping away until death came. As hard as it would be to say goodbye how much more so in this
terrible place would it be a relief to have it all over.
Finally it is over. Over for Mary. Over for John. Over for Jesus. And Jesus says so, or does
He? Without question it is over. Jesus has breathed His last. The pain, the suffering, the agony
are over. But Jesus doesn’t say, “It is over.” He says, “It is finished.” These final words on the
Son of God’s lips as He yields up His spirit say so much more than that the ordeal is done.
Unlike us the Lord always chooses His words very carefully. He means every word that He says
and every word has meaning. It is finished means so much more than it is over. It is finished
says that something is accomplished, completed, achieved. A great project, a work of art, a new
creation is finally completed. It is finished.
Our Lord’s final words from the cross today say something about His life’s work. They say
something about the purpose for which He was born, the purpose for which He lived, and yes,
the purpose for which He dies. Some 33 years earlier the angel Gabriel announced that He was
to be born and that His name would be Jesus, because He would save His people from their sins.
Our Lord’s last words gasped out on the heights of the cross are His proclamation that this work
is finished. It is accomplished, completed, achieved. He has saved His people from their sins.
He has saved you and He has saved me from our sins. He has lived our lives. He has suffered
our death. He has paid the price for us. He has won the victory for us. He has conquered the foe
for us.

All the horror that Adam sent flowing through His sin out of that tree in Eden, the Lord Jesus has
swallowed up with His sacrifice on this tree on Golgatha. All that Adam stretched out and stole
the Lord has stretched out His hands and returned. All that Adam gave away in his flesh the
Lord Jesus has given back to us through His flesh. Jesus has finished it all for you. What you
couldn’t do. What you couldn’t accomplish. What you couldn’t complete. What you couldn’t
achieve. He has done it all for you. He has done it all for me. He has done it all for the whole

Grace’s great salvation project is accomplished. Love’s greatest masterpiece is completed.
Mercy’s great renovation is achieved. Not one more ounce of labour is needed. Not one further
stroke of the brush is required. Not one part of the job has been left undone. Nothing needs to
be added. Nothing needs to be improved. Nothing needs to be done over. Jesus has done it all.
He has done it well. And He has done it all for you. For you it is accomplished. For you it is
completed. For you it is achieved. For you it is finished. Yes, finished, beloved, in every way
possible. Forgiveness for all your sins is earned for you. Eternal life is achieved for you. Victory
over hell is won for you.
You may wonder. You may question. You may doubt. Can all I have thought, said and done
wrong really be forgiven me? Can death really be overcome for me? Can hell really be
overthrown for me? Yes, beloved. Hear the words of the Son of God as He suffers for you, as
He breathes His last for you, as He dies for you. He is the truth. He will not lie. He is the way.
He will not lead you astray. He is the life. He will not bring you to death. It is finished.
Accomplished in every possible way. Completed in every possible way. Achieved in every
possible way. Finished in every possible way. For you.
And so when the day comes for you to take your final breath in this vale of tears in Christ it will
not be over, no beloved, it will never be over. In Jesus it only is and always will be
accomplished, completed, achieved - finished. In Jesus it will only and always finish in the new
eternal beginning of paradise. Amen.