Passion Week – Friday
Jesus knew that His mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to His lips. When Jesus had tasted it, He said, “It is finished!” Then He bowed His head and released His spirit.
John 19:28-30 NLT
During the final hours of Jesus’ life, he uttered seven sayings that are his “last words” on the cross. The sixth saying is comprised of three powerful, poignant and purposeful words . . . “It is finished”.
The suffering and pain that Jesus endured can never be completely and adequately described.
The prophet, Isaiah writes, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Is 53:5 NLT) As He utters these words, He announces the end of His agony.
Jesus’ suffering ends . . . it is finished. But the end of Jesus’ pain is just the preamble of promised peace.
Redemption. Only in John’s Gospel, the word translated “it is finished” is “tetelestai”, a financial term meaning “paid in full.” As Jesus speaks these words, He declares the debt owed to God, the Father is paid . . . the statement is satisfied. Nothing more is owed. Nothing else needs to be done. Jesus, the King of all Kings pays the debt owed to God’s Kingdom. The God-Man pays the debt of all mankind. Kristian Stanfill writes the following lyrics, “Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin hath left its crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
Nothing else is owed . . . it is finished.
Reconciliation. Being right with God . . . for ages, man has suffered and struggled with being made right with God. As Jesus completes His task, He communicates a truth . . . God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. Paul writes, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:18-19 NLT). Only God in the human form of Jesus, His Son could do this.
Nothing else can bring us to God . . . it is finished.
Restoration. Hide and Seek . . . lost and then found . . . a childhood game where the “seeker” finds the “hider”. The Physician Luke reminds us, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10 NLT) Christ’s finds us and gives us the opportunity to have a restored relationship with God. What is broken is made new. What was lost is found.
Nothing else can keep us lost . . . it is finished.
Requirements. Also completed is the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies, symbols, and foreshadows of the coming Messiah. Throughout the Old Testament, there are over 300 specific prophecies detailing the coming of the Messiah. Each and every one fulfilled by Jesus.
Moses writes of the “offspring” that would crush the “oppressors” head (Gen 3:15) . . . fulfilled!
Isaiah writes of the “suffering Servant” and the “Man of Sorrows” (Is 52-53) . . . fulfilled!
The disciple whom Jesus loved tells of a beloved Holy Son who is God’s gift to all who believe (John 3:16) . . . fulfilled!
What God requires, only Jesus fulfills.
Nothing else is needed . . . it is finished.
Bill and Gloria Gaither penned the following lyrics:
“There’s a line that’s been drawn through the ages;
On that line stands the old rugged cross.
On that cross a battle is raging
For the gain of a man’s soul or its loss.”
“On one side march the forces of evil,
All the demons and devils of hell;
On the other the angels of glory,
And they meet on Golgotha’s hill.”
“The earth shakes with the force of the conflict;
The sun refuses to shine,
For there hangs God’s Son in the balance,
And then through the darkness He cries—”
“It is finished! The battle is over.
It is finished! There’ll be no more war.
It is finished! The end of the conflict.
It is finished! And Jesus is Lord!”
Our battles have been won.
Our burdens have been lifted.
Our brokenness has been healed.
IT IS FINISHED . . . and Jesus is Lord.