Even while hanging on the cross in agony, Jesus was still concerned about others. He instructed John to take care of His mother. A sip of sour wine from a hyssop branch and then came the last words from the cross, “It is finished!”. Three words that are so full of meaning that men have spent the years since trying to understand the extent of what was said. What was finished? His life? No, this was just an interlude between humanity and heavenly. His work on earth? Yes, but exactly what was His work? If it was just to redeem us by dying on a cross, then what was the rest of it about? Jesus was sent to fulfill prophecy, there is no doubt about that. But a majority of His work was to be an example to us and show us how to live for Him. Our persecuted brothers and sisters will tell you that dying for Jesus is the easy part, it is living for Him that is hard. But with his death on the cross, Jesus paid the price for everything that we need to live and die for Him. There are over 200 names for Jesus in the Bible. Each one either gives us an attribute of Jesus, the work He (as the Holy Spirit) does on earth for us or a need that He fulfills for us. There is nothing He left undone. His part as God the man was truly complete. “It is finished”!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
1 After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He did not want to travel in Judea, because some evil people there wanted to kill him. 2 It was time for the Feast of Shelters. 3 So Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You should leave here and go to Judea so your followers there can see the miracles you do.4 Anyone who wants to be well known does not hide what he does. If you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (Even Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him.) 6 Jesus said to his brothers, “The right time for me has not yet come, but any time is right for you. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I tell it the evil things it does. 8 So you go to the feast. I will not go yet to this feast, because the right time for me has not yet come.”9 After saying this, Jesus stayed in Galilee.John 7:1-9 (NCV)
Jesus knew that He would be going down to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles. It was one of the three festivals that required all Jews to go to Jerusalem to celebrate. He also knew that He could not take a large entourage with Him to attract attention to Himself. If Jesus was discovered in Judea (the region between Galilee and Jerusalem), He knew He would be detained and possibly killed. If He were murdered by those hired by the religious leaders before His time and in the wrong manner, then He would not be able to fulfill all prophecy concerning His death. How many times have we missed God’s best plan for us because we ran ahead and did a “good” thing? God has a specific plan and a specific timing for all of us to accomplish His plan. If we miss it, someone else can do our job, but no one else was, is, or ever will be qualified to take the place of Jesus. Between “good” and “God” , there is only one little “o” of difference. But, OH! what a difference it makes. Not in God’s eternal plan which will be accomplished whether we cooperate or not. The difference is in how God can use us here and, more importantly, in the rewards we lay up in heaven.