"IT IS FINISHED"
One of the significant achievements in the history of USA was the completion of the East West railway running from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It was completed in 1869 after considerable difficulty and personal sacrifice. A great ceremony was planned on the border of Colorado and New Mexico and a special golden spike was made for the occasion. At the appointed time the Governors of the two states involved hammered in the final spike made of gold, symbolizing the completion of the railway, uniting East with West. On the telegraph this simple message was sent: "IT IS FINISHED"
Over nineteen hundred years before that on another border (between heaven and hell), spikes were hammered into the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. They were not of gold but crude iron that tore the flesh. When these men had done their evil work there was a message that came forth....
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
Heaven and earth ...joined! Man and God ...united!
"…God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…"
(2 Corinthians 5:19)
What was the significance of these words: "IT IS FINISHED"?
- For the Soldiers: the end of a day's work. Their job was finished and could be forgotten.
- For Mary: sorrow and grief, for her son was dead.
- For Pontius Pilate: the threat to his authority was over.
- For Caiaphas (and the other religious leaders): the challenge to the "establishment" was over. The undermining influence of Jesus was finished, and they could return to the status quo.
- For the crowd: the excitement of the day was done. They could return to their homes and businesses and their normal routine.
- For His enemies: the imposter was dead and they could now rejoice.
- For His friends: the end of their hopes. They would go back to their fishing and hide their shame in Galilee.
HOWEVER, WHAT DID THESE WORDS MEAN TO JESUS AND TO GOD?
WHAT DO THEY MEAN TO US?
1. THE WORK WAS FINISHED
"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
2. THE PROPHECIES ABOUT HIM WERE FULFILLED
Woman's seed...virgin birth...seed of Abraham...descendant of David...named before he was born...born in Bethlehem...flight into Egypt...one going before him...miraculous ministry...speak in parables... triumphal entry into Jerusalem...despised... hated without a cause...numbered with transgressors...casting lots for his garments...not a bone to be broken...etc., etc.
3. HIS SUFFERINGS WERE OVER
"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."
The physical sufferings he endured would have been excruciating, but that was nothing compared to His anguish of soul.
"Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me…"
Now it was finished...the shame, the suffering, and the agony. Never again shall he endure the contradiction of sinners against himself. "The head that once was crowned with thorns, is crowned with glory now."
4. THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF MAN'S REDEMPTION
"To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
The demands of justice must be met. The requirements of God's holiness must be satisfied. The awful debt man incurred must be paid. On the cross this was done! It was done perfectly and done once for all. All the types, the ceremonies, the rituals and the sacrifices were now fulfilled and finished.
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
5. THE OLD COVENANT WAS DONE AWAY WITH
"Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:"
6. HE "MADE AN END" OF OUR SINS.
"Which [was] a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; [Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament [is], there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament [is] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first [testament] was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This [is] the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you."
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
(1 Peter 2:24)
Anther translation of this verse states: "He personally carried the load of our sins in his own body when he died on the cross, so that we can be finished with sin ...". "TELEO" is the Greek word used for "it is finished". In addition, it has been translated: "perform", "fulfil", "pay", "accomplish", "make an end".
- "performed" all the work His Father had given Him.
- "fulfilled" all the prophecies and all the requirements of the law.
- "paid" the price of our sins by His sufferings.
- "accomplished" our redemption.
- "finished" the old covenant and brought in the new.
- "made an end" of our sins.
NOTHING IS LEFT FOR THE SINNER TO ADD.
"Teleo" also has been translated "expire".
7. SATAN'S POWER HAS EXPIRED
"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out."
To the casual observer, the death of Jesus might have looked like Satan's greatest triumph, yet in reality, it was the hour of his ultimate defeat.
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;"
Satan still resists, of course. However, the battle has been won and the final outcome has been settled. D-Day in WW II meant the enemy had been defeated. The German forces continued to fight, but the ultimate outcome was not in doubt. It was only a matter of time. So it is with Satan - his power is already broken as far as believers are concerned.
"God disarmed the principalities and powers ranged against us…"
(Colossians 2:15 Amplified Bible)
Another translation reads: "God took away Satan's power…"
IT IS FINISHED! GOD IS WELL PLEASED WITH THE WORK OF HIS SON. ARE WE?
Pastor Darryl Williams