(John 19:30 KJV) When Jesus had therefore received the vinegar, He said, it is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.
Today we continue down The Road to the Resurrection. Before I get into it, allow me to say share my heart. This past week, as I started to share messages about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. The feedback and comments on the emails and videos have gone down. The video views have gone down as well. It saddens me that people want to hear about what they can get from God, but many don’t seem that interested in what Jesus already did for them. Make no mistake, we must preach Christ and Him crucified. We must tell everyone everywhere about the cross and the resurrection of Jesus. After Easter Sunday I will get back to the messages you are accustomed to. But the messages I will share this week are absolutely critical. We must never cease to acknowledge what Jesus did on Calvary and how the Father raised Him from the dead three days later. With that, let’s get into the message.
Jesus was born of a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem. He lived most of His life as a normal man, other than the fact that He never sinned. Think about that for a moment. Jesus never sinned. This is how He became the perfect offering for our sin. He was not tainted in any way.
At the age of 30 Jesus was baptized by His cousin, John the Baptist. Jesus then spent two years (or so) ministering in Galilee and Judea. When things got heated with the rulers of the time, He spent a few months ministering in Perea (east of the Jordan), to stay out of the clutches of the Jewish leadership. After raising two people from the dead who had just recently died, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. This was one different. No one could argue the fact that Lazarus was dead. The resurrection of Lazarus caused Jesus’ same to spread like wildfire. After this miracle it is clear that the Father had done enough to prepare people to believe in Jesus’ own resurrection. So at this point Jesus attempted to explain to His disciples what would happen to Him. He tried to tell them that He would rise again. But they did not get it.
Just days before the last Passover of His life, Jesus moved back toward Jerusalem for the end of His earthly ministry. On the way there, He stopped at Jericho to heal a blind beggar named Bartimeaus and to minister to a tax collector named Zaccheaus. Jesus then traveled to Bethany where He stayed with His friends (Lazarus, Mary, and Martha) during the final week of His human life. Jerusalem was astir because the Sanhedrin made it known that they were after Jesus. Many people thought Jesus would not even show up. But Jesus did show up. He traveled those two and a half miles from Bethany to Jerusalem every day of what we now consider “Holy Week”.
The Sunday morning before PASSOVER Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people went crazy. The threw down palm branches (which is where we get Palm Sunday from) and their coats and yelled, “Hosanna. Hosanna. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” That night Jesus went back to Bethany. Early the next morning He got up and took off back to Jerusalem. Jesus left before eating breakfast. He was hungry when He came upon a fig tree. It had lots leaves, but no figs (like the nation of Israel at the time), so He cursed it. Jesus then arrived in Jerusalem and cleared out the temple of the moneychangers and those selling unclean animals for sacrifice for a profit.
The next day would be a tough day for Jesus. He had to outsmart the Pharisees all day as He taught. He then had the Passover meal with His disciples (which we acknowledge as the Last Supper). Jesus told his disciples that one of them had betrayed Him. After dinner Jesus took His inner circle (Peter, James, and John) with Him to Gethsemane for what was possibly the greatest battle of his human life: the battle within Himself. Several hours later the battle was over and Jesus had submitted His will to the will of the Father. Jesus was ready for the cross.
Judas came with the guards and the officials. He betrayed Jesus with a kiss. The remainder of that night and early into the next morning Jesus had to endure six illegal trials – three before the Sanhedrin and three before Roman tribunals. Without any real charge, without any real witnesses, without an opportunity nor the time to prepare a defense, and without them finding any guilt at all, they condemned the only sinless human to ever live. They hung Him on a cross at 9am. From Noon to 3pm the sun refused to shine, because the Son of God was shining. At 3pm, having fulfilled all prophecy and ready to pay for the sin of humanity, Jesus said, “It is finished!”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. The three English words we find in our text, “It is finished,” are actually only one Greek word. It is the Greek word tetelestai. This word has been found on old tax receipts. It means, “Paid in Full!” Once and for all, Jesus paid the price for our sin. Take a moment to meditate on what Jesus did for you.
2. You were born with a death sentence. Your were born disconnected from God and with reservations to hell. This had nothing to do with what you did. You were not a sinner because you sinned. You sinned because you were born a sinner. You were born with an inheritance of sin and death. This was the inheritance of Adam. Your performance could never get you out of the situation. Striving to be good could never make you right, because your issue started before you were born. So the only way for you to get out of your situation was to be BORN AGAIN! Jesus came to give you that option. Jesus came to give you an OUT. That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “It is finished!”
3. When Adam sinned and the Holy Spirit was removed from man, God was not caught off guard. God knew what Adam would do and He already had an answer. That answer was Jesus. A gulf of time would have to pass by between Adam and Jesus. In the Old Testament we see lots of ritual, rite and routine. But none of that could get us out of the clutches of sin and death. Jesus was and still is our only hope. When Jesus said, It is finished!”, He was saying, “The journey is over. The mission is complete. The debt is paid in full. Humanity now has salvation from sin and deliverance from death.” Jesus’ part is complete. God’s part is done. Our part is to accept the free gift of eternal life through Christ, because for Him, “It is finished!”
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I will never cease to give You praise for what Jesus did for me. Jesus willingly took on a debt He did not owe, for a price I could never pay. Jesus offered His Blood as payment for my sin. My debt is now PAID IN FULL! Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus! Thank You Lord! The very least that I could do for You is to live out the remainder of my days in submission to Your will! You brought me to the earth for such a time as this. I humbly submit to my purpose. Jesus fulfilled His destiny and I am determined to fulfill mine. When I get to the end of my life I want to be able to say, “It is finished!” In order to do that I must live every day with purpose and on purpose and I declare that I will. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!