7 Last Words of Jesus from the Cross
Father God, as this Word goes forth, please send it straight to our hearts, so we will never forget what You did by sending Your Son Jesus to die for our sin. Bless these Words to fall on good grounds, so that all would bring forth good fruit in their season. Thank You for the opportunity to share Your Word about our Savior Jesus Christ. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
Title: "... "It is finished!"
Reading: John 19:30 "When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished;" and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit." (NLT)
Cross References: (John 4:34, 17:4; Luke 19:10; Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7)
Theme: (The Passion of Christ)
Warm-up Question: What book gives the details of Jesus' ascension?
Goal: Stand firm in the Lord
Jesus knew he was suffering the crucifixion for a purpose. Earlier he had said in John 10:18 of his life, "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (NIV) These three words were packed with meaning, for what was finished here was not only Christ's earthly life, not only his suffering and dying, not only the payment for sin and the redemption of the world—but the very reason and purpose he came to earth was finished. His final act of obedience was complete. The Scriptures had been fulfilled.
He has defeated the Tempter again. Despite the agony, he has rejected temptation and cared for those around him. His temporary duty on earth is complete. He has shown the way God wants us to live. He has demonstrated the fact that faith and hope and love cannot be destroyed by anything men can say or do.
John recalls the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb in Exodus 12 in this passage. Hyssop is a small plant that was used to sprinkle the blood of the Passover Lamb on the doorposts of the Hebrews. John's Gospel related that it was the Day of Preparation, the day before the actual Passover (Pesach in Hebrew, Pascha in Greek and Latin), that Jesus was sentenced to death (19:14) and sacrificed on the Cross (19:31). He died at the ninth hour (three o'clock in the afternoon), about the same time as the Passover lambs were slaughtered in the Temple. Christ became the Paschal or Passover Lamb, as noted by St. Paul: "For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed" (I Corinthians 5:7). The innocent Lamb was slain for our sins, so that we might be forgiven. It is now a fait accomplit. The sixth word is Jesus' recognition that his suffering is over and his task is completed. Jesus is obedient to the Father and gives his love for mankind by redeeming us with His death on the Cross. What is the darkest day of mankind becomes the brightest day for mankind. And the Gospels as a group captured this paradox. The Synoptic Gospels narrated the horror of the event - the agony in the garden, the abandonment by his Apostles, the trail before the Sanhedrin, the intense mockery and torture heaped upon Jesus, his suffering all alone, the darkness over the land, and his death, starkly portrayed by both Matthew (27:47-51) and Mark (15:33-38).
In contrast, the passion of Jesus in the Gospel of John expresses his Kingship and proves to be His triumphant road to glory. John presents Jesus as directing the action the entire way. The phrase "It is finished" carries a sense of accomplishment. In John, there is no trial before the Sanhedrin, and gone are the repeated mockeries and scourging. But rather, Jesus is introduced at the Roman trial as Behold your King! (John 19:14). Jesus is not stumbling or falling as in the Synoptic Gospels, but the way of the Cross is presented with majesty and dignity, for Jesus went out bearing his own Cross� (John 19:17).
And in John, the inscription at the head of the cross is pointedly written Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews� (John 19:19). The inscription INRI at the top of the cross is the Latin Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum. The loved ones of Jesus are with Him, and He decisively gives his Mother Mary to the disciple who loved him.
When Jesus died, He "handed over" the Spirit. Jesus remained in control to the end, and it is He who handed over his Spirit. One should not miss the double entendre here, for this may also be interpreted as His death brought forth the Holy Spirit.
The Gospel of John gradually reveals the Holy Spirit. Jesus mentions living water in John 4:10-11 when he meets the Samaritan woman at the well, and during the Feast of Tabernacles refers to living water as the Holy Spirit in 7:37-39. At the Last Super, Christ announces he would ask the Father to send "another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth" (14:16-17). The word Advocate is also translated as Comforter, Helper, Paraclete, or Counselor. "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you" (14:26). The symbolism of water for the Holy Spirit becomes more evident in John 19:34: "But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water." The piercing of his side fulfills the prophecy in Zechariah 12:10:
Reading Scripture in another version: John 19:30 (KJV) King James Version:
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished": and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Of the last sayings of Christ on the cross, none is more important or more poignant than, "It is finished." Found only in the Gospel of John, the Greek word translated "it is finished" is tetelestai, an accounting term that means "paid in full" When Jesus uttered those words, He was declaring the debt owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever. Not that Jesus wiped away any debt that He owed to the Father; rather, Jesus eliminated the debt owed by mankind—the debt of sin.
Just prior to His arrest by the Romans, Jesus prayed His last public prayer, asking the Father to glorify Him, just as Jesus had glorified the Father on earth, having "finished the work you have given me to do" (John 17:4). The work Jesus was sent to do was to "seek and save that which is lost" Luke 19:10), to provide atonement for the sins of all who would ever believe in Him (Romans 3:23-25), and to reconcile sinful men to a holy God. "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). None other but God in the flesh could accomplish such a task.
Also completed was the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies, symbols, and foreshadowings of the coming Messiah. From Genesis to Malachi, there are over 300 specific prophecies detailing the coming of the Anointed One, all fulfilled by Jesus. From the "seed" who would crush the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15), to the Suffering Servant of (Isaiah 53), to the prediction of the "messenger" of the Lord (John the Baptist) who would "prepare the way" for the Messiah, all prophecies of Jesus' life, ministry, and death were fulfilled and finished at the cross.
Although the redemption of mankind is the most important finished task, many other things were finished at the cross. The sufferings Jesus endured while on the earth, and especially in His last hours, were at last over. God's will for Jesus was accomplished in His perfect obedience to the Father (John 5:30; 6:38). Most importantly, the power of sin and Satan was finished. No longer would mankind have to suffer the "flaming arrows of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16). By raising the "shield of faith" in the One who completed the work of redemption and salvation, we can, by faith, live as new creations in Christ. Jesus' finished work on the cross was the beginning of new life for all who were once "dead in trespasses and sins" but who are now made "alive with Christ" (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
Point of Interest: Completion:
Reading Scripture in another version: John 19:30 (NASB) New American Standard Bible
"Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
1). Do you live as if Jesus finished the work of salvation?
2). Do you have confidence that God will finish that which he has begun in you?
3). Do you finish the task God gives to you?
4). What was completed or finished when Jesus said this?
5). What did Jesus demonstrate at this point?
6). What do the passion of Christ in the Gospel of John express?
7). When Jesus was pierced there came out blood and water, what do the Blood and Water mean?
8). In Greek, what do these words mean "It is finished"?
9). How was God's will for Jesus accomplished?
10). When Jesus completed this task, what did He say about Himself?
How can I ever find words to express my gratitude to you, dear Lord Jesus? You did it. You finished that for which you had been sent, faithful in life, faithful in death. You accomplished that which no other person could do, taking the sin of the world upon your sinless shoulders . . . taking my sin so that I might receive your forgiveness and new life. All praise be to you, gracious Lord, for finishing the work of salvation. All praise be to you, dear Jesus, for saving me! Alleluia! Amen.
Reading: Week # 6 (John 16-18)