By Jeff Borders
IT IS FINISHED.
Possibly three of the most powerful words ever said. These three words represent one of the most important events in human history, namely the culmination of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice upon the cross at Calvary.
With this simple, yet profound announcement, Christ indicated to his disciples and the world, that he had completed the grueling task of taking upon himself the sin, grief, burden, toil and struggle of the entire human family.
Robert D. Hales, late member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reminds us, “Jesus chose not to be released from this world until He had endured to the end and completed the mission He had been sent to accomplish for mankind. Upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus commended His spirit to His Father with a simple statement, ‘It is finished’.”
Though those in attendance at his crucifixion, and maybe what some of the apostles at the time didn’t or couldn’t begin to fathom, was that Christ was not saying that it was the end for them, but rather it was his stirring declaration that this was just the beginning of their new lives. Their new lives were now marked by the purification of the precious blood of the Savior and sanctified by the cleansing fire of the Spirit. Then, and only then, would they be justified to return to his presence when their own mortal work was completed.
With his declaration Christ was putting closure to the first part of that infinite atonement, and thus setting the stage for what could be the next three most significant words in the scriptures, HE IS RISEN.
HE IS RISEN!
What a glorious statement. Upon returning to his tomb, Mary Magdalene found an angel who proclaimed those powerful words. For Christ had risen, defeating death, and thus setting the pattern for all mankind to gain a resurrected and perfected body.
He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days’ prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free.
Christ has won the victory!
Jeffrey R. Holland, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reminds us of the miracle that is the Savior’s Atonement. “However many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”
Because of him we have hope. Because of his love, we will be strengthened amidst our trials and tribulations. Because of Jesus Christ we can return to the presence of a loving Heavenly Father when our journey through mortality is complete.
As we get ready to celebrate this Easter holiday, I ask you to consider these six words, IT IS FINISHED and HE IS RISEN. Let us reflect upon the impact that they have had not only upon the world, but the role they play in your own lives on a day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute basis.
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