Christ Does An Old Thing - Not A New Thing

Text: John 19:1-42

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

We are told that we are not supposed to live in our past. We are told that we can’t have a better tomorrow if we only think about yesterday all the time.  

For example, I think we all know what happens to High School Athletes that can’t get over their 1998 State Championship Game. They get so stuck in the past that they fail to see all the opportunities in the present and future. In fact, most high school students that can’t move past their glory days of High School typically fail at college, or worse yet, they fail at life in general.   

But it isn’t just High School. In the business realm, this happens all the time. A person gets named the employee of the month, or they come in with the most sales for their business in an entire year, only to go downhill the next month or the next year. And the reason why? Yesterday’s successes don’t carry forward in the realm of business.  

In the realm of politics, we do the same. We don’t elect a President based on what was done in the past. Instead, we elect a president based on what is promised for the future. 

Farmers know this more than anyone else. A successful crop last year has absolutely nothing to do with a successful crop this year, and last year’s crop means nothing this year. Farmers that live in 2021 will not make it in 2022.  

Let’s not forget the simple objects in our lives. Whether it is an old gun, car, purse, outfit, or cell phone, we are told that they are not good enough – they are not complete as is. We are told that we need to accessorize and update our things. And then, when we are done accessorizing our things, they come out with a new thing that is bigger and better.  

To the point; in America, we can’t live on yesterday’s accomplishments. In America, we are driven by new beginnings. We draw our strength from what we will earn, what we will accomplish, what we will update, and what we will complete in the future. For us Americans, the present moment is never complete, and nothing is finished. For us Americans, the past can prop a person up for a while, but in the end, it doesn’t last.

Even the church gets drug into this mindset. While we do not have a lot of time to go down this rabbit trail, consider all the foolish hours churches spend drumming up busy-sounding mission and vision statements with church growth gurus. In other words, many American Pastors feel as if their churches are stagnant. So they create a bunch of busy unfinished work to give their churches purpose, identity, worth, and significance.   Their church is important and valuable if they can achieve the goals of the mission and vision statement. And so, even in the church, parishioners are driven by new beginnings of what they will complete and accomplish.  

Now, why mention all of this for a Good Friday? Well, it is quite simple, when Jesus hung on that bloody cross and gave up His spirit, He did not say, 

“And so, it begins.”

Instead, Christ said that famous word, 


He said, 

“It. Is. Finished.” 

You see, your Christian faith does not operate in the realm of possibilities. Sure we have Christian hope of eternal life in the future, but mark this – eternal life is not something that is a possibility for you. It is not on a bucket list of things you need to get done. Eternal life is not something you need to complete or accomplish. If it were, well…. it would not be an inheritance.   You see, you do not accomplish or earn an inheritance. If you did, it would not be an inheritance. Instead, inheritances are given to you – an inheritance is essentially yours in the present, even though it is not fully received.  

But back to our point. Jesus did not say, “And so, it begins.”  And the reason why? At the cross, Christ finished it all.  

Again, when Jesus said the words, “It is finished,” these words were not said in a mood of possibility - “You can finish it.”  Furthermore, He did not say these words to get you and me to look away from the past to the future - “It will be finished.”  And finally, He did not say these words as a mission and vision statement - “Finish it!” No, Jesus said, “It is finished.”  He said these words clearly and confidently so that His church would live on His accomplishments and not be driven by foolish goose chases of new beginnings.  

You see, Jesus never does a ‘new thing.’  He did an old thing – He bled and died on a Roman cross. He bled and died, not to start something new that we would have to finish and complete. But rather, He bled and died to finish everything for you and me.  

Baptized Saints, hear this loud and clear! Christ bled and died to finish God’s wrath against you. He bled and died to finish sin's condemnation towards you. He bled and died to defeat the Devil for you. He did what He did on the cross because it is what you and I need. 

And so, unlike all the ways we steered away from yesterday’s accomplishments to new beginnings, Christianity is the exact opposite. Sure, we look forward to the resurrection and eternal life, but we only do so because of what Christ did in the past. And what He did in the past is not some incomplete or half-baked atonement. What He did on the cross was not a 10% down payment, meaning that the remaining balance is due later. There is nothing that you – as Christ’s Church – needs to do about forgiveness, life, and salvation. You can’t add to something that is finished. You can’t improve something that is complete. You can’t expand something that is done.  

As a Christian, this means that you live on yesterday’s accomplishments – what Christ actually did at Mt. Calvary. As a Christian, your faith does not draw strength from what you will accomplish, what you will earn, or what you may complete in the future. But instead, the past actually props you up for eternity. What Jesus finished actually lasts because Jesus lasts. 

And so, this Good Friday evening, hear the words of Jesus yet again.  



“It. Is. Finished.” 

Hear this! Jesus finished it all for you. Nothing left out. Nothing left undone. Nothing incomplete. No additional signs. No commas. No sequels. No ‘to be continued-s.’  Everything is done – for you, for His shed blood was entirely sufficient.       

It. Is. Finished – for you.  

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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