This ties to the spring season of the year in which we celebrate the supreme sacrifice of the Son of God on behalf of humanity. That had surely been a project a long time in the planning, and it had been the thirty-five or more patient years of the physical life of Jesus (see our last blog post) in the actual making: growing, building, preparing, working toward the eventual goal of the sacrifice itself.
Meditating on the sacrificial death of Christ is a somber and heart-wrenching thing – as it doubtless should be – but I cannot help but believe that even as he perished in excruciating pain, there was for the Son of God a feeling of triumph and thankfulness at the very end. He had done it – successfully accomplished the very reason for his human life – something that would touch all other human lives throughout all time. We know that, leading up to that moment, because of the human sin he had taken upon himself, he was cut off from the very One who had brought him thus far, as is seen in his almost final words “Why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34 – and see Psalm 22:1). But he had to have known that he and the Father had succeeded.
It is in that way I believe the very last words of Jesus – three small words, in English translation, spoken directly before he died – were the most triumphant words spoken to that point in history: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). To that point in time no single event had accomplished so much good or incorporated such a victory. Those had to have been the three most triumphant words ever spoken – until just a few days later, when they were replaced by three yet more triumphant words: “He has risen” (Matthew 28:6).