"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19.30
And so Jesus completes his mission to earth. It is worth dwelling on the verse above. The drink was vinegar wine absorbed in a filthy sponge and offered to Jesus on the end of a stick. Hardly refreshing, so more likely to have been Jesus penultimate symbolic act - drinking the cup of human sin down to the dregs - before laying down his life, his perfect life, as a sacrifice for those very sins. "It is finished" is Jesus' exhausted yet triumphant declaration: he did what he came to do: mission accomplished!
For us, the implications are huge and continue to reverberate. Instead of being condemned to a lost eternity on account of our sinfulness, we have before us an open door: to receive the pardon that Jesus won for us on the cross. That means in the eyes of our eternal Judge we are clean and therefore free to follow Jesus through that open door, which leads through the consequence of sin and out the other side - to eternal life.
Because we do not know what will happen in the next few seconds, let alone in the more distant future, we cannot afford to delay our decision to trust Jesus and receive his gift of righteousness. If you have not already done so, do it now! The upside is that eternal life begins the moment one makes that choice. It doesn't mean that we fly straight to Heaven but it does mean that our destiny is assured. It means that we become citizens of Heaven; our inheritance is not longer what we possess here on earth, which will fade and decay. We can now afford to let go of all that because because everything that matters is reserved for us in our eternal home.
One thing we shall take with us: love. It is the eternal virtue and its secret lies in its being a product of dying to the old life and rising to the new. Every day left to us on earth is an opportunity to prepare for Heaven by learning more about love; not the theory but the practice. "Anyone who wants to be my disciple must take up his cross daily," said Jesus. Here is love!
Latha na Ceusta sona dhuibh...