HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER
“A FINISHED MASTERPIECE”
Some of the greatest artists the world has ever known, left behind unfinished works when
they died. Partial faces, arms, legs and torsos, leave us longing for the joy we might have
experienced had we the privilege of viewing the final expression of a particular artist’s talent
and imagination. Many of the “great ones” died at a very young age with the promise of a
complete body of work left unfulfilled. Most died penniless and critics reviled more than a
few because they dared to step out of the mainstream and develop and art form or style never
before conceived of. Despair and self-doubt were constant companions of those creative
geniuses who were driven to express, on canvas, in marble or bronze, an idea or image indelibly
etched in their minds. Unfinished works must have been the ultimate frustration! This brings
us to three little, but oh so important words: “It is finished!”
As is the yearly tradition throughout the “Christian” world, believers gather to celebrate the
resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. All the crass commercialism (the Easter bunny,
colored eggs, and jellybeans) aside, this is a glorious time for those who truly understand the
Easter message. There are, however, many well-intentioned people who have no idea what Easter
truly means or how vital it is to their eternal survival.
The cross of Calvary is where the process starts, but praise God, it does not end there.
When Adam and Eve sinned, a plan was already in place to deal with mankind’s desperate need
for salvation from everlasting separation from God. Without Calvary and Christ’s crucifixion
there, we would have absolutely no hope for eternal life. Fellowship with God would be a hope-
less dream and confessing our sins would be like talking to a “brick wall”. Why then the words,
“it is finished”, so important?
Jesus knew the terrible price He would pay to redeem us and yet, He went willingly to the
Cross. The intensity of His commitment and desire to do the Father’s will inspires awe in every
Christian’s heart today. Any one of us would have wilted under the extreme pressure of that
moment. None of us can imagine the awful nature of the sacrifice His love for you and me
demanded. For it was truly not the torture or even the excruciating death He would experience
that drove Him to His knees. It was the realization, in the garden of Gethsemane, that even for a
short time, He would be totally separated from His Father that caused His agony and distress.
The loss of that sweet fellowship was almost too unbearable to imagine.
Christ’s relationship with God the Father had never been broken in all of eternity past
and never again would be so. How sad the prospect must have been for Him. That is why, “It
is finished” is so powerful. Jesus knew that, when the atonement was completed, He would,
once more, be with His Father as One. Not only was the “veil torn in two” (Matt. 27:51), death
conquered (Heb. 2:14-15), and complete access to God given (Eph. 3:8-12), but Christ is , once
more, seated at the right hand of God the Father…(Heb. 10:12). No one sits down in the
presence of God, except God. Jesus Christ is back in His rightful position and we will, one
day, reign with Him.
Jesus paid it all, on Calvary. His enemies thought they had defeated Him and that they
would, now that He was out of the way, be able to control or destroy his followers. Little did
they know what had really happened that night. A little known carpenter from Nazareth had
been substituted, by God, for every man, woman and child on Earth. His work on the cruel
cross of Calvary was absolutely sufficient, in the sight of God, to cancel the debt of sin that each
one of us owes. The price was paid once, for all. Then God offered you the free gift of eternal
life, based on Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. All you have to do is say, “Yes, Lord, I accept.”
The Easter “masterpiece” is most glorious when we realize that, “It is finished!”
“For All Have Sinned”
Her face still bore the marks of sin,
So long she’d been its slave.
She heard of Christ and turned to Him,
Who all her sins forgave.
In ignorance I turned away
From her who’d been so vile;
So shamefully the enemy
My poor, proud heart beguiled.
Until I thought of her who came
As Jesus sat at meat,
In Simon’s house and with her tears
There washed His blessed feet.
And while in scorn His host looked on,
She dried them with her hair;
Could this Man know what sort she was-
This sinner kneeling there?
Twas then I heard the keen rebuke
And humbly bowed my head;
“Forgiven much, she loves so much,
The Lord to Simon said.
I saw myself as vile as she
From whom I’d turned aside,
And prayed that He would take from me
The subtle sin of pride.