How could Jesus make such a statement? How could He say that He had finished the Father’s work? Wasn’t that more than a bit premature? Wasn’t that in fact a statement of something that was indeed unfinished? Wasn’t the triumph still ahead? Wasn’t the victory yet to be won? Had he not yet a great burden to bear up Golgotha? Didn’t He still have a date with death on Calvary’s hill?
How then, under the trees of Gethsemane, could He say – could He even think – that His life’s work had been “finished”? It is because Jesus knew something that many have yet to learn. He knew that it is when the will is fully surrendered that the battle is suddenly ended.
What an odd place to teach such a tremendous truth. In the shadows of Gethsemane Jesus taught us how in conquering these shadows we in fact conquer all shadows. You see, Jesus had already willed to die so He had already conquered death. The only thing that remained was the shell.
The cup that the Father gives us to drink is a cup for the will. It is easy enough to take it to our lips and drink it if our heart has already surrendered to it’s taste. Thus, the one who has surrendered his will can truly and honestly say, “It is finished!”
Do you ever worry over the inability to complete some sort of outward work for God? Is there some terrible calamity that has come into your life? Has a soul sickness stiffened or shortened your arm for the work of the Lord? Has your spirit grown old and decrepit – tossed to the side in a busy world? Do you ever get the feeling that the only way for you to finish your work is through death? Then, understand the triumphant truth of this text. In the eyes of the Father, your work is finished when you fully surrender your will to do it. If the end is indeed within your heart, then you have in fact fulfilled the work that He has given you to do.
It is not on the heights of Golgotha, but rather down in the dark shadows of Gethsemane that the cup is given. Once the choice is made then the act is easy. The real place of battle is in the quiet stillness of the soul. If you are victorious there then the battle is already won. Your sacrifice is complete when you have given Him your heart. It is then that you have finished the work that your Father has given you to do.