I listened to my husband Mitch tape his meditation for Good Friday. I co-opted his insights because I need them right now. I write because I’m the one who needs to hear.
Mitch considered what the Romans, the Jewish leaders, the disciples, and Jesus’ family may have heard when Jesus said, “It is finished.” But Jesus said those words to mean something for us. The Greek word used in “it is finished” evidently means accomplished. Jesus was saying it is finished for us; the struggle of worrying about all those things that we worry about—and for me today, suddenly that became a lot of things.
When I was tidying up the kitchen this evening, I got an overwhelming feeling of worry, of being afraid about things I can do nothing about, really. At that moment, the urgency and impossibility of a myriad of what if’s and actual circumstances converged. And that is what I heard Mitch say, that is what Jesus accomplished.
It is finished is what Jesus meant when he said: “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Therefore, I tell you do not worry about your life…can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.”
I need to hear that again and again because I forget or maybe I don’t believe my life today.
Listen and hear, Jesus say, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. Listen.
Mitch ended saying that Jesus’ last words and the spirit of those words declares that life’s greatest obstacles, even death itself, no longer need to have power over us.
As Buechner writes to me, “unclench the fists of your spirit and take it easy.”