Once, I had a dream that Jesus was with me, and though it’s a bit hard to explain, He was basically doing a blood transfusion with me. Blood was being drained from Him, enough to replace all the blood in my own contaminated body. He appeared to be in agony, the process slowly wrenching from Him one painful drop at a time. I became aware, for the first time, what kind of astounding patience He had. In the midst of all that pain, He wouldn’t speed it up to get it out of the way faster, or slow it down to make the pain less intense, or say, “you’re at 90%, that’s good enough, let me stop now.” Until the very last drop had been bled, at the exact rate and amount of pain that God had determined was perfect, that’s what Jesus went with. His hand at the controls, able to tap out at any time, He didn’t stop til it was completed.
Jesus showed this dedication multiple times in His own, very real, death. When offered something to dull His pain, He refused (Matthew 27:33-34). When given an opportunity to fight and escape when the soldiers came to arrest Him, He refused (Matthew 26:50-54). When given a chance to use His proven eloquence and reasoning to talk His way out of being condemned, He refused (John 19:9-10, Mark 15:3-5). The Greek word often translated “completed” also translates as “perfected.” Stubborn as a mule and patient as a mountain, our Lord Jesus cut no corners, accepted no easier substitute, and resisted, at all costs, the temptation to speed up or dial down the suffering. Unlike the person who, at the end of a long exercise routine, promised themselves to do 10 reps but instead does only 9 because it is “close enough,” Jesus did not stop short. I would personally be contented if He had earned for me 99% of the blessings He has given me, but He would not. He would not stop until it was complete. If He was to do this thing, He would see it perfected.
“Dear Jesus, thank You for going to the Cross for me. Thank you for letting nails be driven into Your very Body for my sake, for having the patience to wait it all out over the course of many hours, for the patience to carry that awful knowledge for many years, and for Your utter commitment to bringing absolutely everything into my life that God had dreamed for me, at whatever personal cost to Yourself. Amen”