Category Archives: Forgiveness

Good Friday – “It is Finished” Not “I am Finished”

“It is finished.”
– Jesus Christ on the Cross at about 3 PM Friday afternoon 34 AD.

In John 19:20 Jesus said “It is finished” while on the cross, a phrase that means “paid in full (tetelestai).” The Greek word translated “It is finished” was commonly written across certificates of debt when they were canceled. What does this mean?

Your sin debt has been paid in full. Christ’s righteousness replaces our guilt and is credited to our account. A death sentence will never come to rest on those who are “in Christ.” All sacrifices were fulfilled. The Scriptures about Him were accomplished. The veil in the temple was split down the middle, indicating that man had free access to God. Satan’s reign was over and evils’ power conquered. Life had won. Man has been liberated and set free.

Christ didn’t say, “I am finished” because He wasn’t. He’s still alive today. God raised Him on Easter. He said, “It is finished.” What’s the “it”? Your salvation. The plan to provide grace for every person. It’s finished. The gospel is an announcement of an objective state of affairs informing the world of what God has done for them in Christ. “You are forgiven. You’ve been set free. Grace has happened for you. The party has begun. Personally believe and receive it, and sit down and enjoy it!” You don’t need to win His love; you already have it!

On that first Good Friday, it was dark. It was lonely. He was thirsty. He was naked. He was in terrible pain and distress. His friends scattered. His lifeblood ebbed away. He called out in the darkness and there was no rescue for Him. Everyone had forsaken Him. Even His Father. Men jeered. His enemies laughed. Demons danced and rejoiced. Death came slowly. He did it for you to pay a debt He didn’t owe.

“It is finished.” You and I and even the atheist is declared “Debt-free.” Now, the only thing left to do is to live in light of what happened on Good Friday and life will be truly good.

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Filed under Christian Worldview, Christianity, Crucifixion, Forgiveness, Good Friday, Gospel, Jesus Christ, Justice, Theism

God and the “gods” Aren’t Angry Anymore!

God is righteous and holy, pure and undefiled. To stay consistent with Who He is, He must stand against, and even punish sin and rebellion. He is a righteous Judge. He will not compromise with evil.

To be honest with you, I wouldn’t want the universe run by someone who wasn’t perfectly holy and perfectly just. Would you want a universe where crime went unpunished? Would you want a world where if someone abused a family member they would never be brought to justice? Would you want a world where evil reigned unopposed and unchecked? No way! God has to punish sin, because if He doesn’t, He lets all creation be sabotaged.

God is also deeply in love with us, His creation. Of course, we are not pure and undefiled. We are broken, impure, and rebellious. However, if he simply just writes our offence off with no basis for doing so, there is no justice. He is unfair. On the other hand, if He passed judgment on to us, as our Creator and heavenly Father, he would compromise His love. This is God’s dilemma. What is He to do?

Well, He could let us try to work our own way back to Him, but we’d never be able to do it. We’re not good enough. Or, option two: He could pay the penalty Himself.

The Gospel teaches us that God himself in the person of Jesus, took off His robes, draped himself in human flesh, and became the payment for our sin, and died in our behalf. God’s justice was satisfied and his love fulfilled, but it came at an incredible price. This is the Gospel, “the Good News.” It explains how a holy God could declare a believing, but rebellious sinner righteous and fit for heaven while still in his/her sinning, broken, and unholy state. The only requirement is that you believe and receive this incredible gift, and when you do, all of Christ’s righteousness is credited to your account.

The Gospel allows us to say with full confidence that God is not angry with you. That’s why it’s Good News! His anger was poured out over 2,000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross.

Get over the notion of an angry God. Too many of us have a misguided view of God. God is seen as some ticked-off deity that longs to cut off the damned and hopeless. The Gospel explains how God can go on loving you and still be consistent with Who He is.

You ask: “What must I do to keep God from being angry with me?” I would answer: “Nothing, because it’s already been done.” You ask: “How do I find God?” I question: “How do you miss Him?”

You must let God love you now, and live in light of His sacrificial love. God (and the gods) aren’t angry anymore! True love… true love…

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Filed under Atheism, Christianity, Forgiveness, God, Gospel, Jesus Christ, Rebellion, Sacred Romance

My Apology

A – pol – o – gize
1.To make excuse for or regretful acknowledgment of a fault or offense (Yahoo Dictionary)

Christians have not been very loving and kind. I apologize for the Crusades. I apologize for the Inquisition. I apologize for neglecting the poor and lonely. I apologize for “Christian” parents who have abandoned their children. I apologize for television evangelist. I apologize for gospel tracts left on tables in place of a tip. I apologize for self-righteous churches. I apologize for nasty letters written in “God’s behalf.” I apologize for all those who have felt like somone’s “project”. I apologize for homophobia. I apologize for posing and faking and pretending and speaking “Christianeze” in order to hide behind my falsehood. I apologize for politicians who can never present the simple truth. I apologize for the media for distorting information to represent a bias. I apologize for lofty and distant bully pulpits. I apologize for “doing church” rather than “being the church.” I apologize for selfishness and greed and debt. I apologize for self-centeredness and me-firstism – for not speaking in your behalf. I apologize for consuming rather than serving. I apologize for apathy about things that should matter: like life, and clean water, and feeding the hungry, and enfolding the lonely in community. I apologize for excluding voices that should have been heard. I apologize for not appreciating your art, enjoying your movies, reading your poetry, engaging in your politics, listening to your music, visiting your sick, interacting with your books, touching your sculptures – in a way that opens up the door for relationship. This is my apology.

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Filed under Authenticity, Christianity, Confession, Forgiveness, Politics, Uncategorized