31
Jan
2013

The God Who Loves Finished Work

Every now and then you come across something in your reading that seems to nearly stop you in your tracks and forces you to meditate, almost unconsciously, on the greatness of the truths with which you are presented. When this happens, you know that moving past them too hastily would be an enormous mistake. Such was the case for me when I first read the following words about the finished work of Jesus by William Blaikie in his book Glimpses of the Inner Life of Our Lord:

“Still another feature of Christ’s character, exemplified by His behavior in the crisis of His suffering, is His satisfaction in the completion of His work. That cry with a loud voice, ” It is finished,” immediately before He resigned His spirit into His Father’s hands, was in many ways most significant. It indicated the feeling of the Redeemer surveying His work from the close, corresponding to the feeling of the Creator when He saw everything He had made, and, behold, it was very good. It showed our Lord’s delight in finished work. Things half done, or done hastily and superficially, were things that He could not bear. There is a finish about every discourse, every parable, every proverb, every illustration He ever uttered, that indicates His love for finished work. His miracles were complete miracles, His cures were entire cures, His conversions were whole conversions. Doubtless, if we had seen His work in the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth, we should have found that no slim, half finished work ever left His hands. And now this feature of His character, exemplified through life in smaller things, appears in connection with the great work of redemption. He surveys that work and sees it complete, and a gleam of satisfaction lights up His dying face. No painter has ever caught it; no picture of the crucifixion represents the joy of His heart on the survey of the completed work, triumphing over all His agonies. But the kindling eye showed that it was there, and the tones of that ringing voice, that sounded so unexpectedly above all the din of Calvary, “It is finished!”

“Death upon His face
Is rather shine than shade,
A tender shine by looks beloved made;

He seemeth dying in a quiet place,
And less by iron wounds in hands and feet,
Than heart-broke by new joy too sudden and too
sweet.”

There were few that understood the word as it was spoken. But emphatically it has proved to be a word that liveth and abideth for ever. To many a burdened soul, wearied with the effort to work out a righteousness of its own, the discovery of the finished work of Jesus has been a glorious revelation from heaven. It has set their feet upon a rock, and put a new song in their mouths. It has been a strong tower to them through life, where peace and safety have been found. And in death, even when in deep abasement on account of their sin, it has given them a hope full of immortality, and a joy unspeakable and full of glory.”1

1. William Blaikie Glimpses of the Inner Life of our Lord (London: Hodder and Stoughten, 1876) pp. 273-275.