So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the express image of the invisible Creator of the universe, the Word that was with God and was God, the Light of mankind, the great Shepherd, the Truth, the Way, the Life, the savior of the world- when He was on the cross, He said 7 final things that are immensely important to the world. This post is about the 6th of the 7 Words:
“It is finished!”
The question: what is so immensely important about this Word? What does it mean to Christians? What does it mean to non-believers?
I think it means everything.
First of all, what was finished?
Jesus throughout the gospels (specifically throughout the book of John) tells the people that He came to do the will of His Father. He says that He always does the will of His Father, that there is nothing that He says or does that the Father hasn’t shown Him. He is perfectly obedient to the will of God. He demonstrates what holiness looks like. He fulfills the righteous requirement of the law completely and is the unblemished, first, male, lamb of God given for the sins of the world.
Thus, His mission was to complete the work that His Father had started. We see in the Old Testament that after God created Adam and Eve, they were disobedient and sin caused us to be separated from God. [God hates sin! So much so that we see a few chapters after the fall of mankind, God visiting the earth, seeing the wickedness therein, and saying that He was sorry that He ever created us! He then wipes out humanity (except for Noah and His family) with a flood.] God cursed us with death and He also cursed Satan, who tempted Eve, and made a promise that a child from Eve would bruise his head. We later see God choose a people who could not keep His written laws, so He makes a promise to make a new covenant where He would instead write His laws on the people’s heart and minds, and they will know God and be His people, and He would forget all of their sins and their God.
In order for this to happen, there would need to be a scapegoat. There would need to be someone who can take the blame. There would need to be someone to take the place and punishment for sin. There would need to be someone eternally perfect so that the sacrifice could apply to all mankind, and this someone was His only begotten Son.
So Jesus comes to earth in the form of a man and glorifies His Father; He preaches the Kingdom of God, heals the sick, casts out demons, sets the captives free, dies on the cross and finished the work of God.
So, What does “It is finished” mean?
It means we have access to God again. It means that the hole in our heart can finally be filled. It means the longing for purpose and peace and joy can finally and eternally be satisfied because we have access to our Creator. We can now have a relationship, a real relationship with God!
So those who are heavy laden with the issues and anxieties of the world, come to Jesus and He can give you rest! Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares about you! Those who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved! Those who believe in Him and abide in Him will the know the Truth and the Truth will set them free!
To believers, this means there is no limit, no ceiling to our relationship with God. Jesus told Peter that upon the knowledge that He is the savior of the world, He will build His church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it (meaning “shall not prevail against us” his followers). He told Him that He will give us keys to the Kingdom of God and whatever we bind, shall be bound, and whatever we loose, shall be loosed! He gives His followers KEYS to the Kingdom! We have access! We have what we need to share the love of God with the world! We have what we need to do the ministry that we have been commissioned to do! We have what we need to complete our own work! Jesus said that those who believe on Him would do greater works than He did! He said whatever they ask in His name, that they shall receive! We are fully empowered! We are fully empowered! So, we ought not to let fear, doubt, and or allow whatever the devil has up his sleeve stop us from bringing the Kingdom of God to earth and spreading joy to the world!
Where does the rubber hit the road?
The bible tells us (James) that if we draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to us. This suggests desire. In the gospels, Jesus constantly asked the people what they wanted from Him when they came to Him with all kinds of infirmities and sicknesses, and He told them according to their faith be it unto them. This suggests desire. Jesus also told the pharisees that since the gospel was first preached, the Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force- that people have been pressing in to the Kingdom. This suggests desire. He cried loudly in Jerusalem and said that those who thirst, come to Him and He would give them rivers of living water (Holy Spirit). All of this suggests desire.
What do we want and how bad do we want it? Because if we want people to be healed from sickness, if we want people to be delivered from mental illness, if we want people to be saved from sin and depravity, if we want people to have unspeakable joy and peace that surpasses understanding, then we would come to God asking, seeking, knocking with urgency and persistency. The bible tells us (Luke) that God is willing to give to those who ask, that He is willing to move for those who truly want it. And when His disciples could not cast out a demon and asked Him why, Jesus responded that some things come only by prayer and fasting. The rubber hits the road in prayer in fasting. The rubber hits the road in drawing nigh to God. The rubber hits the road in laying aside all of the weights and sin that so easily beset us and running with patience the race we have set before us, looking to Jesus the author and FINISHER of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross……..
IT IS FINISHED means that we are fully empowered to run the race and win it! Overcoming all the odds set against us and our families and friends and neighbors. IT IS FINISHED means that the ball is in our courts. What are we going to do? What is it that we truly want? Are we going to go after God and gain access to the Kingdom? Are we going to seek Him diligently and be obedient to His Word? Are we going to be overcomers? Are we going to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant?”
Or are we not?