For the Joy: The One who finishes what He starts    

Jesus finishes what He starts. 

When we witnessed Jesus’ birth in One on One with Jesus in Advent, we met the people in Jesus’ backstory. He stepped into time, put on skin, and showed us God’s love, the ultimate Christmas gift. (Read John 3:16.) 

Through His ministry years, we watched Jesus heal and teach and connect with people. We learned how to “love each other the way I have loved you.” (Read John 13:1, 34.)

But never before or since can we see love better personified than in Jesus’ last days on earth. Especially the week He died. The days leading to the Cross are hard to watch. We want to look away. We cringe at injustice and let anger or grief consume us. 

But Jesus wants us to see something different. He wants us to know . . . 

* That every second of His suffering was by design. 

* That nobody took His life, but He laid it down willingly. (John 10:19.)

* That the cross was the plan all along. 

Actually, you were on His mind. Hebrews 12:1 says Jesus endured the cross because it gave Him joy to think of paying off the debt allowing you to live with Him forever. If we stand alone before God, our sin condemns us to hell. But Jesus’ broken body and innocent blood shed paid what God’s holiness requires. Jesus’ sacrifice covers our sins, every single one. 

In the coming days you will witness Jesus: 

     Misunderstood       Betrayed       Deserted

     Arrested                    Denied           Beaten

     Tried                           Mocked          Crucified

It will feel like a train off its track, but don’t believe it; Jesus was right on mission. In any given moment, God the Father, seeing His sinless Son take on the weight and waste of the world could have rescued Him from the cross. But something bigger was going on.

As we go One on One with Jesus in His Passion, don’t get caught up in the horror of Jesus’ murder, instead, embrace the extravagance of His love for you. 

“Grasp how wide and long and high and deep is Jesus’ love, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may live full lives, full in the fullness of God.” (Read Ephesians 3:18-19.) 

This is Jesus finishing what He started. Celebrate the end goal: us with Him forever. 

Until that final day, He’s still working on us, and in us. Until then, be confident of this: that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Let’s see how in the days ahead.

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