“On Your Mark”
It Is Finished (Chapter 15 Verses 33-41)
These faithful women beneath the Cross (vv40-41), who had ministered to him in so many ways (Luke 8.3). In this seeming tragedy their love had overcome their fear. Three are named but there are many more there. They had followed and cared for him, but watching from a distance signifies their helplessness now, they can do nothing. The friends, the family, blood relationships can do nothing against the fury of Satan and the world, all the love and best intentions are helpless against the surging tide of evil. But does not that alone preach Jesus Christ? These have nothing to do! None has! Who can help Christ with his saving work? He alone can and will do it. That is the free grace and sovereign plan of God, and that same free grace is echoed in his words “it is finished” (John 19.30), removing any activity on the part of any. These poor down-trodden women, defeated, like strayed sheep (Isaiah 53.6), their despair will soon be expressed in the words of two of their number travelling to Emmaus (Luke 24.13- 24). But where do they go, whom do they turn to, what do they do now?
Yes with hindsight you know the work of redemption was being carried on, there was nothing to fret about, but they did not know that. Yes, God was making great progress, everything was going to plan, but these women and all the other faithful followers of Jesus, who believed and still believed, despite the doubts, for them this was the ultimate dead-end. Lord, where now? There is no confidence, no joy, no hope, no glory to be seen in this. He just hangs there, dead. But there is hope, this is his glory, he is busy, he is active already with the angels in heaven presenting his credentials before the Father. There is no end to the Kingdom of God (Psalm 145.13), there are no blind alleys for us, no not even in death, it has just been swallowed up, and its sting removed (1Corinthians 15.55-56), forever, because death could not hold on to Jesus (Act 2.24). Already, behind the scenes, heaven is mobilizing itself ready for the next stage, to stir up the whole of creation to witness the casting down, the defeat of all Satanic power (Revelation 12.10-12).These ladies are not finished yet, they must now publicly confess Jesus in his burial, they are his, and they are being irresistibly drawn ever closer to him. Are you staring at what you think is a blind alley? Wait on the Lord, I say wait on him (Psalm 27.14), he will lead you through it (Psalm 23).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)