Spoken
< Table of Contents

Lesson Seven: Finished
Caleb Combs | Gathering Pastor

“It is finished!” John 19:30

Have you ever started something and struggled to finish it? Finishing something you start is a skill. I am not talking about finishing your entire plate or that nap you planned; I am not talking about finishing something that takes time, effort, struggle and pain (Side note: As a child, I sat a lot of nights at the table by myself after the entire family had finished their dinner and I refused to finish my vegetables, and I can still hear my mom’s voice, “You cannot get up from that table until you finish your dinner!” Man, did I hate having to finish those peas, carrots, and green beans. Wow, not sure how I got sidetracked, but I feel a lot better getting that off of my chest. I hated finishing my meal. Nowadays, I do not seem to have any problems finishing a meal). Okay, back to finishing difficult things, like building something or painting a room, our human nature is to quit when things get tough. I found a quote by Seth Godin that summarizes this human response, “It is human nature to quit when it hurts. But it’s that reflex that creates scarcity.” Or you can go with the classic quote, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” Quitting difficult things is in our nature.

What have you quit when things got difficult? How did you feel when you quit?

 

What have you finished through adversity? How did you feel when you finished?

 

There is just something about finishing that makes you feel accomplished. From finishing the lawn and looking back at the magnificent straight lines to painting a room, finishing through difficulties does create a good feeling in us. However, all of this pales in comparison to the finished mission that Jesus finished on the cross.
           
We can go all the way back to the beginning and talk about how sin entered into the world by Adam’s sin and how the punishment for that sin is death. Every person is born dead in their sins. That is how the Bible describes us. That is when the mission began. God knew He would have to send His only Son to be our replacement and take the sin of the entire Earth on His shoulders.
           
We can go to a little town just south of Jerusalem, called Bethlehem, where a couple was expecting the birth of their firstborn child. This child was not like any other child. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. His earthly father was a carpenter. That is where the mission went into effect. Jesus stepped out of the halls of Heaven and into a cave where animals live simply to begin His mission.
           
We can even go one a step closer to the finish of His mission and head to the city of Jerusalem. It is just a few days before He would finish His mission and we find Jesus riding on a donkey watching people lay their coats on the ground and wave palm branches declaring their Messiah had arrived. Jesus continued to fulfill prophecy and stayed on track to complete His mission.
           
We could even peak in the garden and see Jesus agonizing over His mission, yet finding Himself at a place of declaring, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” The mission was hard and weighty, yet Jesus knew why He was here. He came to save the lost. He knew His mission and did not quit or get sidetracked.

What are some other times in Jesus’ life that you recall Him staying focused on His mission when others may have gotten distracted or quit?

 

We can look at the entirety of the story of Jesus and see the mission, but it is all summarized with these last words on the cross. “It is finished!”

John 19:30 says, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

What do these words mean to you?

 

Jesus finished His mission. Mark 10:45 tells us, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” His mission was simply to take our place, and He finished it. Through the agony, pain, and embarrassment, He declared with His last dying breath, “It is finished.”

Have you ever felt like quitting on God? Why and how did you feel?

 

Why do you think Jesus came to Earth?

 

Summarize His mission in as few words as possible.

 

We can talk all we want about finishing and how great of a feeling it is, yet we as believers feel the urge to quit all of the time. We celebrate how Jesus finished on the cross, yet when things get hard, its easy for us to bail. The Apostle Paul talks directly about this in 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Paul is talking to his prized pupil, Timothy, and as his race (life) is coming to a close, he talks about finishing and why he wants to finish, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”

What does keeping the faith mean?

 

What does Paul say he will receive for finishing the race?

 

Paul celebrates because he is going to receive a prize. Did you know there are other crowns for when you finish the race? This really sunk in a little deeper for me as I saw this list in Pastor David Jeremiah’s blog.

1. The first crown can be found in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 and will be awarded for self-discipline.

 

Crown Name ___________________

2. The second crown can be found in 1 Thessalonians 2:19, and it will be given to those who have led others to Christ.

           
Crown Name ___________________

3. The third crown can be found in 2 Timothy 4:8 (Hint: the one Paul talks about) and it will be given to those who have a longing for the return of Jesus Christ.

           
Crown Name ___________________

4. The fourth crown can be found in James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10 and it will be awarded to those who triumph over the trial, temptation, persecution, or are martyred for the cause of Christ.

           
Crown Name ___________________

5. The last crown can be found in 1 Peter 5:4 and will be given to Christian leaders who faithfully lead God’s people.

           
Crown Name ___________________

These are incredible prizes for finishing and God has specifically made them for us. He will be standing at the finish line ready to greet us with open arms and celebrate our finish. What will we do with these prizes?

 

Revelation 4:10-11 draws a beautiful picture of what we will do with our crowns, “The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.’” We will lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus because He is worthy. What a great picture, because He finished we can finish! When you feel like quitting because it is too hard or things just continually do not go your way, remember to keep pressing on for the prize. Paul even had to remind himself in Philippians 3:14 to continue to press to the finish for the prize. Our prize as Christians is to spend eternity in a real place called Heaven simply because Jesus finished His mission.

 



< Table of Contents
Office: 8393 E. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442 | 248.328.0490 | info@theriverchurch.cc

Copyright © 2020 The River Church. All Rights Reserved.