When he had sipped the sour wine, he said, “It is finished, my bride!” Then he bowed his head and surrendered his spirit to God.
Jesus was strapped to a post, His arms outstretched to tighten the skin on his back. He was flogged with a whip with multiple leather strands that had lead balls on the ends, often infused with pieces of bone to maximize the damage. After His back was shredded, He was mocked and beaten and forced to carry His own cross up to the place where He would be nailed to it. On the cross, Jesus still had compassion for the one thief who recognized that He was truly God’s Son.
When Jesus released His Spirit, His last utterance was, “It is finished.” He bore the humiliation and pain for us. He, in that moment, felt the weight of the sins of the world.
As gruesome as this scene is, it is at this time we celebrate it. For He would rise just three days later, crushing the chains death once held, reconciling mankind’s relationship to God for every generation to come.
If you believe and have accepted Christ, you’ve been given a gift, eternity with Christ in heaven. Your debt has been fully paid!
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Trials can sap you of all your strength. Whether it’s just the weight of it all or self-imposed pressure, trials can wear you down. I’m tired. I’m worn out. Calling out to God, I know He will lift me up, infuse my legs with the strength to stand, and give me the ability to endure.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
When you’re going through trials, your self-worth can hit bottom. When you think of all those who are living what you consider to be fulfilling lives, your life in comparison my feel far from that.
God considers you equal in these circumstances. He draws near and is a breath away. Allow him to comfort you. Draw your self-worth from Him, ignore the trapping of this world and the whispers of the enemy.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
It is in those moments of waiting that God is preparing us for the next step. Destruction comes when we move too soon. After crushing us, God exercises His grace by allowing us to ferment in the darkness of transition so that we might be ready for the next stage.
Like being in a wine press, trials cause a certain amount of pain. Just like grapes sitting in the press or new wine fermenting in the cask, we must go through a time of waiting before we’re ready to receive what God has pre-ordained for us. God’s blessings will come!