It is finished. It is finished. It is finished. It isfinished. It isfinished. It is finished. It is
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit
The sixth saying expressed by Jesus from the cross is the third phrase recorded in the gospel of John. I note only three words (It is finished.) in the English language and these words give me the impression that something is completed and is now a “done deal.” However, in Greek only one word is needed for this phrase: “tetelestai.” The tense of this verb in the Greek language implies that an action has been completed in the past with the results continuing into the present and even into the future. This lets me know that these words of Jesus still affect me today! “It was finished in the past, it is still finished in the present and it will remain finished in the future.” I read an insightful sermon regarding this from Keep Believing Ministries. For me, this explanation exemplifies Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Previously when I read these words, I would ask myself, “What is finished for Jesus? Is it his life on earth? Is it the pain of the crucifixion? Is it the physical separation from his Father?” “It” includes all of these plus so much more. It means that Jesus did exactly what he was sent to earth to do and he has now fulfilled his obligations. It is a phrase of victory! The words shout of Jesus’ obedience to the plan of God.
This saying is known as “The Word of Triumph.” When I hear the echo of the words, “It is finished” in John 19:30, it is as if I also hear God the Father responding “Well done, good and faithful servant!” as recorded in Matthew 25:21. There is no longer a need for animal sacrifices to be made to cover sin. The price of sin has now been paid by the Son of God. Jesus walked the road to Calvary in order to pave the road of redemption for me and everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The phrase “the end is the beginning” seems to be applicable for these words of Jesus. Soon after he spoke “It is finished,” Jesus would leave this earth. However, he still is active on behalf of me and all believers today. Some scriptures come to my mind. Jesus says in John 16:7, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” He continues to say in John 12-13, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” Another scripture I think about is John 14:1-3, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Jesus said, “It is finished.” He did not say “I am finished.” Neither must I say that I am finished with whatever plans and purposes God has for me. Just as Jesus’ work on the cross continues to be active today, so must I continue to be obedient to fulfill the work God has for me according to Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” If my life is to be Christ centered, it must be cross centered.
Three simple words, yet three powerful words! Or in the Greek, one simple word, yet still so powerful! For me, it is even more compelling when I consider the magnitude of the meaning in Greek. It is a word or phrase that I want to appropriate by living a life of faith – the kind of life available to me because Christ died on the cross and proclaimed these words.
My Reader, have you accepted the fact that “it” is finished for you since Christ was crucified? What is “it” that you are called to complete today?