“It is Finished—Everything is completed” [i]
John 19:28-30 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
- It was three o’clock. Jesus called for water. He could hardly speak. A soldier fixed a sponge on a spear and held it up to his lips. It was terribly bitter, but it was enough. He strained to raise his head and look up to heaven. “It is finished,” he cried and then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
- At the time, the moment was filled with too much emotion for those words to sink in and to ponder what they meant.
- But later as the early Christians read John’s Gospel and heard again those words, it dawned on them just how powerful these dying words of Jesus were.
- John wrote his Gospel in Greek, and those last words of Jesus are just one word in Greek – “It is finished – Everything is complete!”
- The expression “It is finished” was well known to them. It was a part of everyday language.
- When a servant had completed a difficult job that his master had given him to do, he would say to the master the one word in Greek- “I have overcome all the difficulties; I have done the job to the best of my ability. It is finished”.
- When the Jewish people went to the temple with their sacrifice, the High Priest would examine what was brought. Most likely, he didn’t speak Greek, but he would use the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word — meaning, “Your offering is accepted; it is perfect”.
- When the merchant at the marketplace made a sale and the money was handed over, he would say, – the deal is finished, complete. The price has been paid in full. I am satisfied”.
- When Jesus spoke those final words he wasn’t just saying, “This is the end of me” as if there was nothing else to do but to give in to his enemies and die.
- His last words weren’t a final surrender to the power of Satan as if to say, “You have won. I’m done for”.
- These words don’t tell us that Jesus was dead now and that’s all there is to it. He is finished and so is everything that he stood for and promised during his earthly life.
- All those who heard the single word– the servants, those who offered sacrifices at the temple, the buyers and sellers at the market place, the artists and parents and children understood that Jesus is saying that his job of saving the world has been completed.
- He has finished the task, and nothing can be added to what has been done.
- Jesus has paid the price in full – he has cancelled all debt.
- His sacrifice has been a perfect one, acceptable to the heavenly Father who, looking down on his Son hanging lifelessly from the cross, said, “Well done, this is my dear Son with whom I am well pleased”.
- It is finished. Everything is complete!
- But there is a lingering thought: Why do we call today “Good Friday”.
- It certainly wasn’t a good day for Jesus.
- He endured pain, soul-wrenching agony, hanging by the nails in his hands for hours, death on a rough wooden cross, for our sakes.
- We call today “Good Friday” because the cross is proof of the powerful love that God has for each of us.
- No one, not even God, would do something like that unless he truly loved us.
- Here we see a love that was prepared to endure the ultimate in order to rescue us.
- Because of love, people do extraordinary things for others.
- They give us a glimpse, a small glimpse, at the kind of love that God has for us.
- God the Father sent his dearly loved Son into dangerous territory.
- He allowed his Son to be treated cruelly. He stood by and watched his innocent
- Son be nailed to a cross and to hang there in agony. He could have rescued him and cursed those who were treating him so brutally and maliciously.
- He allowed his Son to carry the sin of all humanity and so become repulsive even to his own Father.
- I would like you to close your eyes.
- For a short while, I would like you to think about what Jesus has done for you through his death on the cross.
- Visualize in your mind the suffering Savior.
- Think about the love that God has for you and thank him.
- Ask God to wrap you tightly in his love – forgiving you, watching over you, guiding you.
- If you feel that Jesus and his love for you are not real for a large part of your life, ask for his help.
- We pray: Loving God, what you have done for us in Jesus’ death on the cross is far more than we deserve. His death has made us friends with you again. His death has given us forgiveness and the hope of life forever. Everything is complete. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Amen.
[i] Paraphrased from Pastor Vince Gerhardy March 29, 2001
Hallelujah— Good Friday by Michelle Sherliza
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