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Good Friday Reflections from Reverend Hanna

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date April 10, 2020

Most of us know of what have been called the “Seven Last Words of Christ From the Cross.”  No one Gospel writer records all of these sayings.  Matthew and Mark describe one.  Luke and John give us three each.  But together these last words communicate great and profound truths that help us to understand a little more about the character and nature of Jesus – and help us to grow as we seek to follow him.  Below are those “Seven Last Words” but I want to focus only on the sixth one because to me that is at the heart of what Jesus came to do when he declared, “It is finished!”  

1.  The First Word: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34)

2.  The Second Word: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  (Luke 23:43) 

3.  The Third Word:  “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”  Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.”               (John 19:26-27)

4.  The Fourth Word:  And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”   (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)

5.  The Fifth Word:  “I am thirsty.”      (John 19:28, 29)   

6.  The Sixth Word:  “When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.”           (John 19:30)

7.  The Seventh Word:     “It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.    (Luke 23:44-46)  

But as I said, I want today to only focus on the sixth of the Words from the Cross:  It is finished.  IT IS FINISHED!

Many have puzzled over these words.  What was Jesus saying?  What did he mean?

– Was Jesus saying, “My pain is over?”

– Was he saying to all who conspired to kill him, “You’ve won.  I’m 

  done?”

No, friends, those words, “I’m finished,” are not a cry of defeat but of victory, not a cry of agony but of accomplishment, not a cry of failure but of fulfillment.

You see, what Jesus was saying is that “the work that I have come to do has now been completed.  My purpose here on earth has now been fulfilled.”  The word “finished” in Greek, in fact, can also be translated as “paid in full.”

Oh, yes, I’m sure there were times that Jesus thought about abandoning his mission.  “Father, isn’t there another way?”  In fact, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane he had asked, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from my lips.”

But then in a supreme act of devotion to God he declared, “But not my will but Thine be done.”

You see, Jesus came to pay the price for the sins of the world, to be the Lamb of God to die for the sins of the world – and when he said “it is finished,” what Jesus was saying was I’ve done what I came to earth to do!  “Debt paid in full.  Mission accomplished!” 

I’ve always loved how one person put it:  “Christ paid a debt he didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.”  

WOW!  And that’s why we call this day Good Friday.  It was a painful day for Jesus but it’s the greatest day in the world for us because on this day Jesus washed our sins away!

“It is finished!”  Thank you, Lord, for sending Jesus to be the Lamb of God who comes to die for our sins.   Amen!

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The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents