Charles Swindoll’s sister once asked him, “What’s your favorite feeling?”
After some thought, Swindoll replied, “I think it would be accomplishment.” He observed how good it feels to complete a job, whether it’s a project at work, an assignment at school, or a remodeling project at home. I think I’d agree with him. How I enjoy crossing off finished tasks I’ve listed on my desk calendar!
When the task represents years of effort—like the high school and college ceremonies celebrated everywhere this spring—the sense of accomplishment is even greater. Graduates and their families deserve to celebrate.
Jesus, in his prayer recorded in John 17, began with the words, “Father, the hour has come.” That may seem a strange way to start a prayer—but not if you’re about to accomplish the most important mission in history. Earlier, according to John’s Gospel, Jesus had told his mother at the wedding feast in Cana, “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4, author emphasis). But by the time of his prayer, that hour (according to Heaven’s timeline) had arrived. Jesus acknowledged that truth by continuing to pray in John 17:4, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
This brings us to those simple yet profound words Jesus spoke just before he died: “It is finished.” The cross marked the accomplishment of a crucial, intense mission, one with so much at stake we can’t begin to fathom what it was like for Jesus finally to say, “It is finished.” Then the Scripture tells us, “With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30).
Whenever we take Communion and remember Calvary, let us bow our heads in prayer and give thanks that Jesus completed his to-do list that included a to-die list, on which the name of every human being was written. Each time we remember Jesus through Communion, we affirm, “Mission accomplished.”
Doug Redford serves as minister with Highview Christian Church, Cincinnati, Ohio.