I just have to say I love a T-shirt that I saw on Facebook declaring, “I am silently correcting your grammar.” Of course, my sons would beg to differ. They would think the shirt should read, “I am very loudly and repeatedly correcting your grammar.”
Yes, I confess. I do have the “red ink pen” problem. I simply like to hear the English language spoken relatively correctly, but I do not openly correct other people’s grammar, except for that of my own children. And yes, I confess. I do make many grammar errors of my own, probably more than a few within this blog post.
This confession brings me to my topic—pronoun and antecedent agreement. Check out this verse: “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30, KJV).
At that point in time, Jesus was in the final moments of life in an earthly body. He was literally dying from the weight of sin—yours and mine. And in those final moments of life, Jesus took care of a lot of business. He pardoned one of the thieving sinners hanging beside Him. He appointed someone to care for His mother. He even begged God to forgive those who were crucifying Him—which, by the way, included you and me.
Then, Jesus uttered His last words, “It is finished.” And get this: He ended that final statement with a period, not a question mark or an exclamation mark, just a simple period. “It is finished.”
As I read this verse, the retired English teacher within me screams, “What? What is finished? Come on, Jesus. Your pronoun needs an antecedent. What exactly is the “it” you speak of in this final sentence?”
If you don’t believe me, go back and read the entire passage. Jesus has no definitive antecedent for His pronoun. “It” is exactly that—it is it—everything that ever came before and everything that will ever come afterward. Everything. Period.
It is indeed it, because of the fact that Jesus is the “I Am That I Am” (Exodus 3:14). No ifs, ands, or buts. It is finished, all of it. Jesus accomplished everything we will ever need in life yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Forever! It was eternally finished, from beginning to end. And He announced that fact with an absolute, rock-solid certainty. With all the energy and life remaining in His broken, beaten body, Jesus simply let us know, “It is finished.”
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! And again I shout … hallelujah!
Stop and think about that. As joint heirs with Jesus, as partakers of His body and blood, we literally start our journey at the finish line in absolute, total victory. No matter what we face in life, no matter where we have to travel, no matter what assignment we undertake—we start out as winners. It is finished. Period.
Picture that. Rest in that knowledge. We are already victorious. Jesus crossed the finish line for us, in our stead. And He finished in total victory. It is finished.
So, what are you waiting for? (And yes, I dangled that preposition. Let me dangle it again.) What are you waiting for?
Run this rugged race called life in the knowledge that it is finished. Jesus already wrote the ending on that old rugged cross. All we have to do is run the race. So, run with confidence and peace and thanksgiving—and in pure unadulterated joy. Just enjoy the journey. He gave us a head start. In fact, He started us out on the finish line. We have already won because Jesus has already won.
It is finished!