19:17-20:10 – ‘It is finished’ (30). These are not words of despair. They are words of triumph. At an early stage in His public ministry, Jesus said, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me to finish His work’ (4:34). Even then, He was looking ahead to the Cross, to the completion of the work of redemption. In one sense, ‘it is finished’ – on the Cross. In another sense, there is more to be done – by the Father. The Cross is followed by the resurrection – ‘God raised Him from the dead’ (Acts 2:24; Romans 10:9). To come to the words, ‘It is finished’ is not to reach the end of the story. Jesus was laid in the tomb (42). Still, this was not the end of the story. Something else had to happen – ‘Jesus had to rise from the dead’ (9). For our salvation, Jesus died ‘and was raised to life’ (Romans 4:25).
20:11-31 – Christ is ‘the Lord’ (2,18,20,25). Christ is ‘my Lord’ (13,28). Faith becomes real when Jesus comes to us. Here, we see Jesus coming to Mary, the disciples and Thomas. Here, we see Mary, the disciples and Thomas – changed by the power of the risen Christ. In love, He comes to them, and they are changed. (a) Mary was ‘weeping’ (13,15). Jesus came to her, and she became a confident believer – ‘I have seen the Lord!’ (18). (b) The disciples were filled with ‘fear’. Jesus came to them. He gave them His ‘peace’ and ‘joy’ (19-20). (c) Thomas found faith hard to come by (25). Jesus came to him, and he believed – ‘My Lord and my God!’ (28). Through the Gospel, we find faith: ‘These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name’ (31).
21:1-25 – ‘Fishers of men’ (Matthew 4:19) – Set your goals lower than this, and you will take others with you. Together, you will discover the emptiness of life without Christ at its centre – ‘they caught nothing’ (3). Note the contrast between the self-centered life (5) and the Christ-centered life (6,8,11). Loving, serving and following Jesus – These are the most important things in life (15-17,22). Don’t look over your shoulder at someone else – ‘Lord, what about this man?’ (21). Let it be personal – Jesus says, ‘Do you love Me?’ (15-17). He asked Peter, ‘Do you love me more than these?’ (15) – more than you love these other disciples, more than these other disciples love Me, more than your boats, nets and fishes? Look back and ask yourself, ‘Do I love Jesus more than I did a year ago?’