I don't know how to say it. Words choke in my throat. My stomach heaves. Grief grips my chest. We thought he would deliver us. That God would restore our kingdom, keep His promise to our Fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.
But that won’t happen now.
He died today. Mocked. Spat on. Bloodied. Cold.
I watched him die.
His last words confused me. I am still confused. Without warning, he stiffened his legs and pushed his feet against the nails. At the same time he thrust out his chest, pulling mercilessly against his hands also nailed to the cross. He lifted his face toward heaven, as if seeing something unseen. But his expression. It seemed out of place. No hint of anger. No pain. Almost . . . almost . . . I think ‘satisfied’ best describes how he looked.
Then he cried out – so sudden, so loud even the soldiers stopped and looked at him.
“It is finished!”
His voice rang clear. Strong. Confident. Almost like a shout of triumph.
That’s what confuses me.
And he went limp. Like an old cloth. His arms, still held by the nails in his hands, pulled against his shoulders. From where I stood, it looked as if his arms had been pulled out of joint.
One of the soldiers picked up a spear and thrust it deep into Jesus’ chest. Blood and water gushed from the wound, but Jesus didn’t so much as flinch.
When the soldiers let us, we took Jesus from the cross and gathered around him. We cradled him in our arms. His skin felt cold. His eyes were gray. Dull. Still.
Joseph wrapped him in a burial cloth and we carried him to the tomb Joseph had given for Jesus’ burial. We rolled the stone over the entrance. And we walked away.
But what did he mean, “It is finished”?