When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (NIV)
There we have it! All that was foretold about Him is coming to completion. Even as He takes a sip of the bitter drink that was prepared for Him, Jesus knows the time has come. He has done it. He has finished the task that His Father sent Him to do. He pays the price. He hands over His life as the ransom payment. It is finished! With that He gives up! But this broken Lamb of God does not give up as any one of us might throw up our hands and quit. The Son of the Almighty gives up His Spirit. Even in His dying breath His gesture is one of offering. His whole life has been a gift unto the world and unto His Father. When He gives up it is an act of triumph. With His humble giving, He seals forever His right to rule! The giving up of His life means hope for a world lost unto God. His gift means victory for God. The giving He does in one excruciating moment of separation means wayward man now has a Way to come back to God! It means that we now have a rescuer! We have a King! The giving up of Jesus´ Spirit means that Spirit is now available to each of us! Is that just the sort of giving up we needed?
We who live today have it all laid out before us. We do not need to say that we have not been informed. Jesus taught pointedly on the subject. Prophet and apostle have joined their voices to teach. The Way is set before us. Jesus went first. Those who care to follow know what steps lie ahead. Those who truly want to come to God have their Guide. It may not be the popular message in today´s religion. It may not be the best salesman´s speech to give. But our drink is also being prepared. Whether we want to drink that cup or not is up to each one to decide. We too are asked to give up. We are asked by the Son of God, the Holy Scriptures and a whole host of workers of the Lord, to give up our own spirits. We are asked to give up on the world. We are asked to give up on our earthly pursuits. We are asked to give up our very lives and all they consist of.
Many people will say that they are going to Heaven. Many people say that they love the Lord. Many people would claim all the wonderful promises the Bible has to offer. Many people say that they are interested in standing before God one day. But are these boastful souls prepared to give anything up to have all that? Are we really ready to give up even some of our smaller treasures that we have pursued here in this life? Who is honestly falling into step to follow Jesus Christ? Who is taking the steps He does? It is easy to talk. But are we only fooling ourselves? Are we ready to give up anything to have God in our lives? What are we giving up now? Anything? Or everything? Shall we pray for help in giving up our spirits today?
You gave and keep giving up so much for us! We on the other hand struggle to let go of anything we have fought so hard to get and keep in this life. Teach us anew. Help us where we struggle. Let us learn the secret for gaining in Heaven. Let us learn to give up whatever it takes here so that we can have You! Let us give up even our own spirit as You did before us! Then we will be true followers. Then we will be Yours! Help us give up today we pray!