After this, knowing that all things had been completed, so that scripture might be completed Jesus says, “I thirst.”
What is truth? Pilate’s question, a great question,and one we ask all the more today, what with media spin and propaganda, especially as we come toward another national election. What is truth? A question I get every year as I teach the Faith in the school, what is the truth about Good Friday? Or, more truly, “why is it called ‘good’?”. Today you have already heard why it is good, what the truth of the cross is. Yet, perhaps it might be helpful to reflect on those words again, to remember.
Jesus, King of kings, whose Kingdom is over and above all kingdoms and governments of this world; has been crowned, has been raised, has entrusted His mother to His disciple and newly adopted brother. Now knowing that everything is complete, Jesus says, “I thirst” so that scripture would be complete. But hang on, I thought that everything was complete? Now in the Greek, finished, fulfilled, complete, perfected, are all the same word. If everything is complete, if all things are fulfilled, if everything has reached its goal, then what more can be done? Yet even after Jesus knows everything is complete, He goes on to complete scripture. What is going on here? What is the truth?
The truth is, today He drinks anew with you in His kingdom. We know that after the Last Supper Jesus tells His disciples, “I will not drink from the fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 26:29; Mark 1). Then on Good Friday early afternoon, He drinks of the fruit of the vine, wine vinegar held with the hyssop plant (Psalm 69:21). And this is to fulfill what was written, as we remembered last night at Passover, the hyssop was used to paint the blood of the lamb onto the door posts for the salvation and sanctification of the ancient Israelites and the repentant Egyptians among them (Exodus 12:22; Psalm 51:7). And Today we hear, The fruit of the vine and salvation from sin, death and the devil. On the cross, at the fulfilment of all things, Jesus remembers the Exodus, the tabernacle, the purification of God’s ancient people, and also His words last night after His supper. On the cross He remembers all this and fulfills it, completes it, perfects it. On the cross is the fulfilment of all things, the goal of Creation. On that cross, as God Himself reigns, Jesus remembers His disciples and drinks with them anew, just as He remembers you. The truth of Good Friday is, Christ’s kingdom has come, Today He reigns, and Today He wins the victory for you. Today your sin, which you have loved; your death, which you have feared; your demons, which you have obeyed; all these are defeated at the cross and you have the goal of your Faith in union with Christ, the author and perfecter of your salvation.
The wonderful and dreadful truth is that you have been saved at the cross, you are being saved as you remember and live Christ’s life, and you will be saved when He is revealed at the end of this false world.
And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, now until the Truth alone stands.
Pastor Joseph Graham.