"It is finished." - John 19:30
I like movies with heroes. Superheroes, or even regular person heroes. I like movies where the heroes set out on a mission to save the galaxy or the world - or at least New York City - and as the end nears, and it really looks like they aren't going to make it, they get the upper hand and save the day.
There are cheers then of "Mission Accomplished!" and everyone hugs and wipes their brow with a collective "whew!"
Batman saving Gotham City from the Joker. Luke Skywalker letting go of that photon torpedo to destroy the Death Star. Iron Man rescuing the little Afghani village. Superman turning the earth backwards to save Lois Lane. Aragorn routing the forces of Sauron with the Army of the Dead.
Big. Heroic. Moments.
Sometimes, however, the biggest of missions come to an end in what seem like small, intimate moments.
Sometimes the hero accomplishes the mission with a simple: "It is finished."
It's done. Mission accomplished.
As Jesus closes his eyes for the last time in the Gospel of John, it is again with the assurance that he is in command of the situation. Perhaps he is relieved also that the pain is over, but the Greek verb here "teleo" indicates completion. Jesus has finished what he set out to do. From the moment right before Jesus' arrest, we know Jesus is in control as John tells us that Jesus was "knowing all that was going to happen to him" and went willingly to his fate.
Scripture had been fulfilled and salvation had burst forth. The cross revealed God's full love to a broken world.
Of course, we know that God was not quite done yet.
God of power and mystery, you saved us through an act of self-sacrificial love. It is hard to understand why sometimes and hard to fathom it all, and yet we know one thing: your love for us is boundless and far reaching enough that there is nothing you would not do to show us. Amen