The end of the story

Most of my best thoughts come when I’m running. Today was no exception.

Trying to balance the effects of holiday baking, I pulled on my running shoes this morning and headed out. I was thinking about Christmas — part anticipation, part trepidation.

There’s joy that comes from sharing this time of year with family and friends – the lights, the decorations, the parties, the chance to celebrate our Savior’s birth.

But there are also to-do lists, cleaning, cooking, and even possibly family drama.

As these thoughts rolled around in my head, somehow I made the leap from Christmas to Easter. (I know…crazy time warp!)

Jesus’ final words on the cross lingered in my mind.

It is finished.

All in a rush, those three words took on new meaning. But before I can explain, I need to head down this rabbit hole…Stick with me. I promise I’m going somewhere.

I love to read. I’m sure many of you do, too.

But I should also confess that I sometimes skip ahead to the last chapter because I simply have to know how this thing is going to end.

That’s right, I flip right past the middle chapters to read the author’s final words.

My husband gives me a hard time. He (usually) catches me in the act. But I do it anyway. Why? Because I want to know how the story line is going to play out.

I did it yesterday with Dee Henderson’s The Witness. I just HAD to know if Henry Benton had a third heir. I won’t spoil it for you, but I didn’t mind spoiling it for myself.

Maybe that’s why those words – it is finished – took on new meaning for me today.

In this, the tale of humanity, Jesus gave us the ending while the story is still in motion.

His words aren’t bound by time and place. His utterances on the cross weren’t a momentary ‘it is finished.’

No, they were the last words of the story that began with creation.

It is finished.

Jesus stepped into the middle of your story, of my story, and gave us the ending.

In the midst of all the joy and craziness this life has to offer, He promises that in the end – He wins.

For those who trust in Him, sin will lose its grip one day. We will enter His presence, His rest, His peace. We’re given the final scene…saints gathered around the throne, worshiping the Most High.

If anything, understanding Christ’s work on the cross gives me a fresh appreciation for this Christmas season.

May you, too, celebrate the end of the story that was redeemed by the birth of a babe – Immanuel, God with us.

Merry Christmas!

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