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The Last Word on Endurance (Seven Last Words #6)

. 4 min read

17-18
Mar 2018, Christ Mountain Top
Call
to Worship, Psalm 96
Children,
Joshua 3-4
Message,
John 19.28-42
Discussion
guide
·      
The Last Word on Reconciliation, Feb 10/11
·      
The Last Word on Hope, Feb 17/18
·      
The Last Word on Family, Feb 24/25
·      
The Last Word on Pain, Mar 3/4
·      
The Last Word on Need, Mar 10/11
·      
The Last Word on Endurance, Mar 17/18
·      
The Last Word on Trust, Mar 24/25
      It is finished (John
19:30).
Why
do you call it GOOD Friday? (in TEFL
class, from Muslim student)
“Yet
this is the narrative that has made Good Friday good.” (Raymond Brown, cited in
Bruner, 1114)
As through a conquered man our race
went down to death, so through a conqueror we ascend to life.” Irenaeus, 72
More
victorious in tone (than “forsaken”), but no loss of the pain in John’s gospel:
“I thirst”
Granddad singing,
“Jesus Loves Me”
The Single Moment that
Determines All History
It
is finished. Perfect tense, “past
act with continuingly present-tense
force” (Bruner, 1114)
      Jesse,
“baby all done
now” – but that baby was definitely NOT finished!
      Genesis 2.1, heavens and earth completed
      Joshua 4.1, whole nation completed crossing
the Jordan
“’It
is finished.’ But it is not over.” (Richard Neuhaus, cited in Hauerwas, 88).

Pascal:
The Mystery of Jesus (Pensees)
Jesus
suffers in His passions the torments which men inflict upon Him; but in His
agony He suffers the torments which He inflicts on himself…. This is a
suffering from no human, but an almighty hand, for He must be almighty to bear
it.
      Jesus is in a garden, not of delight as
the first Adam, where he lost himself and the whole human race, but in one of
agony, where He saved himself and the whole human race.
      Jesus will be in agony even to the end of
the world.
“Even
the future leads in no way beyond the Cross” (Otto Michel, cited by Bruner,
1115)
The Single Man Who Sums Up
the Human Race
The
only-begotten Word, who is always present with the human race, united and
mingled with his handiwork, according to the Father’s pleasure, and incarnate,
is himself Jesus Christ our Lord, who suffered for us, and rose again for us,
and is to come again in the glory of the Father to raise up all flesh to
manifest salvation, and to apply the rule of just judgment to all who were made
by him. Thus there is one God the Father … and one Christ Jesus our Lord who
came in fulfilment of God’s comprehensive design and consummates all things in
himself. Man is in all respects the handiwork of God; thus he consummates man
in himself: he was invisible and became visible; incomprehensible and made
comprehensible; impassible and made passible; the Word, and made man;
consummating all things in himself.

He ‘consummated all things in himself’ by joining man to Spirit and placing
Spirit in man.
      Irenaeus, 81
“He
bowed his head and handed over the Spirit.” (as translated by Bruner)
Letter
to the Hebrews offers commentary on this aspect of the theme (Bruner on Hebrews
10.14):
Hebrews
10:14
 For by a single
offering he has perfected
for all time those who are sanctified.
Hebrews
12:1-3
 Therefore, since we
are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every
weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the
race that is set before us,  2
looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set
before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at
the right hand of the throne of God.  3
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that
you may not grow weary or lose heart.
These
are lofty theological concepts, the focus of extensive writing, reflection, and
research for centuries. How do we apply
this? Specifically, how do we apply this and receive it as the “last word on
endurance”?
When
the going gets tough … look to Jesus. It is not about us being tougher than our
troubles. It is about our focus, our hope, in one who has already finished. It
is about a joy that is deeper and stronger than the hostility we face.
When
the going gets tough … look to Jesus. It is not about our faith. That is far
from perfect. It is his faithfulness, his faithfulness that perfects our faith.
When
the going gets tough … look to Jesus. His finish is the defining moment of
history and the consummation of the human story. That is, when Jesus finished,
WE finished. Nothing can stop us because nothing stopped him. He “consummates
man in himself,” finishes “for us.”
When
the going gets tough … look to Jesus. He bows his head and hands over the
Spirit … to whom? To the Church – to the Beloved Disciple, to Mother Mary, to
three other women gathered with them at the cross. Through the Spirit, “the
only-begotten Word, [remains] always present with the human race, united and
mingled with his handiwork.”
Resources:
Stanley
Hauerwas, Cross-Shattered Christ
Jürgen
Moltmann, The Crucified God
Frederick
Dale Bruner, The Gospel of John
Raymond
Brown, The Gospel According to John
XIII-XXI
Joseph
A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke
X-XXIV
W.
Graham Scroggie, Guide to the Gospels
Henry
Bettenson, The Early Church Fathers
(Irenaeus)