Today we continue our PASSION WEEK 2020 series as we follow Jesus down The Road to the Resurrection. Tomorrow is Good Friday. Today I want us to look at something Jesus said on the cross.
(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.
So what does this mean for you today? Let’s get into it.
1. Jesus said, “It is finished.” Do you know what that means? Let’s take a look at the story.
Jesus was born of a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem. He lived most of His life as a what would be considered “a normal man,” other than the fact that He never sinned. Think about that for a moment. Jesus never sinned. Not even once. 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 three 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 different. No one could argue the fact that Lazarus was dead. He had been dead for four days. Rigor Mortis had already set in. The resurrection of Lazarus caused Jesus’ fame 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 Bartimaeus 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 prior to His death. 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” or “Passion 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 of 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 one 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!”
2. The debt of your sin has been PAID IN FULL!
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. Your debt is PAID IN FULL! You are free from the power of sin and the fear of death. Sin and death can no longer rule over you because you are in Christ and Christ is in you! Now live like it!
3. Eternal life is available because of Jesus!
You were born with a death sentence. You 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. It was your nature. This was the nature and inheritance you received from 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. YOU WERE BORN THAT WAY! 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!”
4. God did His part.
When Adam sinned man died; not physically but spiritually. The moment Adam ate the fruit of the forbidden tree his eyes were opened. The Holy Spirit was removed from man. Adam and every human who was born after him were resigned to living their lives as mere men. But God already had an answer. That answer was a person. That person was Jesus! A span of time would have to pass by between Adam and Jesus. In the Old Testament, we see lots of rituals, rites, and routines. 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 the fear of 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!” But for you, it may not be. God the Father freely offers eternal life through His Son Jesus the Christ. If you accept Jesus as Lord, God the Holy Spirit will occupy your body. He will live inside of you and lead you in the way you should go. He will reveal TO YOU the things He had prepared FOR YOU but were concealed FROM YOU until you accepted Him. Once the Holy Spirit begins to reveal to you the plans God made for you before the world began, it is then up to you to either believe, receive and pursue those plans by faith, or to choose to live as a mere human, relying on your own power, ability, and strength.
When you think of everything Jesus did for you — how He left heaven just to make a way for you to go there, how He lived as a human so He can identify with your humanity, and how He paid a price you could not pay for a debt He did not owe — you should want to live your life to the fullest. Jesus fulfilled His purpose. He was able to say, at the end of His life, IT IS FINISHED! Will you be able to say the same?
I don’t know about you, but I live my life determined to arrive at God’s overall expected destination for me. I’m not worried about dying, because I have done all the dying I am going to do. I am dead in Christ. My only concern now, my singular focus, is running my race, at my pace, by God’s grace. I want to arrive at the end of my life and be able to say, like Jesus, IT IS FINISHED! I pray you live your life with the same mentality. God’s part is done. His grace has been offered. It’s now upon you to accept His Son, to embrace His grace, and to finish your course BEFORE YOU DIE!
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! The very least that I could do for You now 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 so, I must live every day with purpose and on purpose. I declare that I do! I will not die because I am sick. I will not die because I am old. I will only die when I am DONE! I will keep living and keep performing Your will until I AM FINISHED! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!