“It is finished!” But it’s not over!

A friend of mine said he had a football coach in high school, and this was his refrain: “Finish the game! Whether we are ahead or behind, finish the game!” He said that one of the players asked him, “Coach, why do you say that?” He replied, “I’ll tell you guys, there’s no greater agony than to lose a game you are supposed to win. And yet there’s not greater thrill than to win a game you’re supposed to lose.”

Remember when Jesus comes triumphantly into Jerusalem? There are shouts: “The king is coming to establish a kingdom like that of David!” There is going to be a revolution. The people say, “We’re gonna win the game.”

Yet from then on Jesus is handed over. He is betrayed by Judas, and is later arrested, tried, and judged. He speaks from the cross: “I thirst!” “Father, forgive them.” “It is finished!” But…it wasn’t over! In three days Mary would go to the tomb early Easter morning and find that the stone has been rolled away. Jesus triumphantly fulfills his mission.

Paul Azinger is a popular professional golfer who, a few years back, had just won the PGA championship and had ten tournament victories to his credit. Then, at the age of 33 he was diagnosed with cancer.

He reflects, “A genuine feeling of fear came over me — I could die from cancer. But then another reality hit me even harder: I’m going to die eventually anyway, whether from cancer or something else. I am definitely going to die; it is just a question of when. But everything I had accomplished in golf became meaningless to me. All I wanted to do was live.”

Then he remembered something that a Christian mentor had said to him: “Zinger, we are not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying; we are in the land of the dying trying to get to the land of the living.” In Jesus, regardless of the circumstances, we win!

Today, I will… sing:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know, He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.