Last Words (5)

Last week we considered the very last words that Jesus spoke on the cross before His death. Immediately prior to those words, He uttered one word although in most translations it appears as three words, ‘It is finished’, in the original Greek text it is one word, ‘tetelestai’ = ‘FINISHED’, John chapter 19 verse 30. It was not a word from the lips of a weak and defeated man. He did not mean, ‘I am finished!’ It was a declaration of victory and assurance.

We might well ask, ‘What was finished?’. The answer from the Scriptures is clear:

  1. The work that His Father had sent Him to do was FINISHED! – ‘the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world’, 1 John chapter 4 verse 14.
  2. Everything the Old Testament had prophesied about His coming was FINISHED! There was nothing left to be fulfilled.
  3. The work of salvation was FINISHED! – there was nothing left undone – we can have the assurance of eternal salvation through His death upon the cross!
  4. Sacrifices were FINISHED! There was no longer any need for the countless animal sacrifices that were offered, which could never take away sins forever. Christ ‘offered one sacrifice for sins forever’, Hebrews chapter 10 verse 12.
  5. The Old Testament Law was FINISHED! Attempting to keep God’s Law would never have saved us and brought us back to Him. Christ’s death on the cross has brought an end to all that – all we have to do is turn in repentance to God and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

A hymn writer expressed it like this:

Lifted up was He to die,‘It is FINISHED was His cry;

Now in heaven exalted high, Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

One author wrote, ‘Jesus did not make ‘the down-payment’ on the cross and then expect us to keep up the instalments. Salvation isn’t on the instalment plan. Jesus paid it all, and that means that redemption is a FINISHED work!’ Praise God!