I’m going to combine the last parts of the Seven Last Words because I feel like they go together.
“It is finished. Father, into Thy hands, I commend my hands I commend my spirit.”
Many people mistakenly think that when Jesus said “It is finished,” He was referring to his road to salvation. However, our redemption wasn’t finished at the Cross, but through the Resurrection. So what was finished? The act of the sacrifice. Scott Hahn goes more into this in “The Fourth Cup,” which I highly recommend you listen to.
Venerable Fulton Sheen said that there were only two other times that God said “It is finished”: First in Genesis. after He finished Creation, and then at the end in Revelation, during the creation of the new Heaven and the new Earth. Christ’s declaration of “It is finished” marked the halfway point of this salvation narrative.
Being the Shakespearean fanatic I am, I can’t help but compare the salvation narrative to a Shakespearean play. Act 1 was creation. Act 2 was everything that happened in the Old Testament. Act 3 was the New Testament, Jesus’s birth and death. I like to think that Jesus saying these last words was the cue for the curtain to fall. In Shakespeare’s plays, Act 3 was the climax of the narrative. It’s no coincidence that the Latin translation for “It is finished” is “Consummatum est.”
Jesus was the only one in history who had entire control over His narrative. He knew who would live, who would die, and who would tell his story. He knew exactly when he would die and He had complete control over it. When he said “Father, into Thy hands, I commend my spirit,” he cued for the curtain to be lowered in this third act of the salvation narrative. His resurrection and everything that happened afterwards would be the beginning of what is now Act 4. We are living in Act 4 and we don’t know when Act 5 (the end times) will come. But we all need to be part of the salvation narrative.
As we begin the Triduum, I hope that you reflect on all the 7 Last Words of Christ and count the cost of His sacrifice on Good Friday. Let us put ourselves into His narrative and devote our lives to telling His story.