"He said, 'It is finished.' And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit." - John 19:30
These words uttered by Christ during his final seconds have much value. Even from the cross on his last breath, Jesus, the Son of God, teaches.
The Latin for 'It is finished' is Consummatum est. To "consumate" is to finish or to complete. I learned that, in Roman times, if one had paid off a huge debt, he would receive a paper with the words Consummatum est written on the paper, showing that his debt was paid in full. What debt did Christ owe? He was no criminal. The Suffering Servant paid the debt of our sins so that we may be free from bondage.
Anyone in any sort of personal debt (student loan, credit card, mortgage, etc.) knows that debt is a huge restriction in your life. A large sense of freedom is lost. "I'm going to be paying this back for how long?" But down the road, x amount of years later,when that final bill has been paid, the shackles have been removed. Now let us imagine someone paying off that same monetary debt in full and removing you from the bondage. With one swipe of the pen, that person took on all your debt and paid it in full. Needless to say, you would be ecstatic and would never forget that person forever. Perhaps we would ask, "How can I repay you?" And what if the response was, "Do good and love one another"? Easy orders to follow if someone paid off your house, right?
Now let us take a different approach - from an actual, historical event - and see how they compare. Jesus of Nazareth, a man from Galilee, the Son of God, died for us because of our sins - the ultimate bondage - so that we might be free. Where is our love for him? Christ commanded us (his mandatum) to love one another as he loved us at his Last Supper before he paid our debts. Do we follow this command, a command followed by a sacrifice of death? Christ's death on the cross is the gift that keeps on giving, for from his pierced side on the cross is borne the Church, and through the Church we have the forgiveness of sins. Yet where is our ecstasy? Where is our constant urge of some sort of repayment to Christ? When have we asked Christ, "How can I repay you?" after he hung on the cross, gasping for air, for the forgiveness of sins? Sins are the bondage in which we willfully enslave ourselves. They are the opposite of life; they are opposite of good; they are the opposite of what it means to be a human being, an image of God. Yet we all sin - everyday of our lives, we commit some sort of sin. We reject God. Why, then, do we not run back to the Cross to seek grace and forgiveness?
God the Father of mercies through the death and Resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to Himself.