On March 4, 1841, William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, delivered the longest inaugural speech on record. It contained over 9,000 words-for your information, that’s about five or six Sunday sermons!
Now, President Harrison must have been VERY impressed with his prepared comments that day because, in spite of the fact that it was raining and unseasonably cold, he still refused to shorten his inaugural address. He would not step down from the podium and instead stood there for two solid hours delivering his lengthy speech. Well, because of his stubborn long-windedness that bitterly cold day, President Harrison got pneumonia and then died one short month later on April 4, 1841. You could accurately say “No president has ever said more and done less.
Now, if we were to contrast Harrison’s presidency and Jesus’ death on the cross and the words He spoke there; those few but critically important words and phrases we’ve been studying for the past five weeks, wouldn’t you agree that this comparison would lead us to say the opposite? In regard to Jesus, we could accurately say, “No man has ever said less and done more!”
This week we will be focusing on Jesus’ last sayings from the cross. After having been given sour vinegar to drink, Jesus clears His throat and utters these three words, “It is finished!” We will see how Jesus used this opportunity to victoriously declare that everything that was set out for Him to do as the Messiah was finished. This was not a cry as much as it was a pronouncement. This was not the wail of a helpless martyr. It was not the gasp of a worn-out life. These were not words of defeat or desperation. Jesus wasn’t saying, “I am finished” or “Oh My goodness it’s finished. It’s over. I’ve failed!” Nor was it a word of relief. Jesus wasn’t saying, “Oh, am I glad it’s finished!” No! This is a word of triumph! These were words of a conqueror claiming victory!
I invite you to join us on Sunday as we see how these victorious words help us to live hopefully and confidently during the darkest moments of our lives.