Just prior to His death on the cruel cross, Jesus said, “It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (John 19:30). What a powerful statement the Lamb of God (John 1:29) made in excruciating weariness and pain as He faced immediate death for the sins of the world! Please take a few moments to consider some observations of the three word uttered by Jesus.
First, “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16, 17). In harmony with that statement, Jesus declared, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38). What if Jesus, like many today, had taken a lack luster, haphazard, lackadaisical approach to His coming into the world and His approach to the will of God? Jesus knew that God’s will was for believers to “have everlasting life.” (John 6:38-40). The shedding of the blood of Jesus upon the cross made possible what the blood of animals sacrificed during the old testament could not do, and what corruptible things could not do. (1 Peter 1:18). “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4). The Hebrew writer added, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves.” (Hebrews 9:12). The blood of Jesus, God’s sinless, spotless Lamb (1 Peter 2: 22) was the only thing that could atone, make amends for, purge one of sins, giving one eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12). Jesus willingly shed His precious blood on the cross. (John 19:34; 1 Peter 1:19).
Second, Jesus gave us the opportunity to have everlasting life by shedding His blood on the old rugged cross. Paul wrote, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:14; Matthew 26:28). One is “justified by his blood…saved” (Romans 5: 9) when one has “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine delivered…being then made free from sin,….” (Romans 6:17, 18). Jesus, the One who shed His blood to free one from sin “became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:9). Since He gave His blood on the cross to remove sin, let us see what He says one must do to be saved. First, Jesus does not tell anyone to say the sinner’s prayer. Neither does He tell anyone to believe only. (James 2:14-26). He does demand faith (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6), that one repent of sin (Luke 13:3, 5), confess Him before men (Matthew 10:32, 33; Acts 8:37), and be buried in water baptism (John 3:3-5, 23; Romans 6:1-5; Acts 8:38, 39) “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38; 22:16), to enter Christ (Galatians 3:26, 27), His kingdom (John 3:3, 5, 23), His body or church (1 Corinthians 12:13; Matthew 16:13-19; Ephesians 1:22, 23), by addition. (Acts 2:41, 47).
Third, “It is finished” means the promise made to Abram, later called Abraham, and to his seed (Genesis 12:1-3; 26:4; 28:14; 50:24; etc.) was completed, except for the church, which would begin in fifty-three (53) days on the first Pentecost following Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Galatians 3 reminds one of the promise God made to Abraham, showing all that the promise God made to Abraham looked past the law given by Moses to Israel at Mt. Sinai, to the day when it would be abolished, blotted out, replaced by the new covenant about which Jeremiah prophesied (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and others said was fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 3:13; Colossians 2:14-16; Hebrews 8:6-13). The New Testament (2 Corinthians 3, the second covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13) would bring all together in one as the spiritual seed of Abraham. (Galatians 3; Ephesians 2:8-22).
Fourth, the three words uttered by Jesus on the cross prior to His death are a great example for us. Jesus proclaimed His faithfulness to do His Father’s will by not only coming into the world, but by finishing the work God gave Him to do. Each reader should seek to do God’s will to “have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22: 14), to have rest from labors (Revelation 14:13; Matthew 11:29), to receive “a crown of life (Revelation 2:10), and to enjoy a mansion Jesus went to prepare for His people. (John 14:1-6).
Fifth, six (6) other sayings Jesus uttered on the cross are found in the first four gospels. Matthew records one (1): “Eli, Eli, lama sa-bach-tha-ni.” (27:46). Mark gives one (1), the same one. (15:34). Those who heard Jesus erroneously thought He was calling for the prophet Elijah. Jesus taught a great lesson in that statement, showing that a Holy God turns His back on sin (Isaiah 59:1, 2), even His only begotten Son during the brief time He bore the sins of the world. Luke records three (3) statements: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (23:34); “Verily I say that To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (23:43); and, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (23:46). John records four (4) comments: “Woman, behold thy son” (19:26); “Behold, thy mother” (19:27); “I thirst” (19:28); and, “It is finished.” (19:30). All of this was done by the Lord Jesus Christ as He was dying under duress on the cruel inhumane and horrible pain of the cross, while praying for His cruel crucifiers. (Acts 2:23).
There are so many lessons to be learned by studying the death of Jesus for people without strength and ungodly. (Romans 5:6). Do not forget Paul’s inspired statement that Christ died for these very people. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man more than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). He then added, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (Verse 14). John declared, “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4: 19). How do we know we love Him? Jesus tells us, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15). By the way, “His commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:3). They are not weighty or burdensome.
Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7). The result was “a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give to me at that day.” (Verse 8a). OBSERVE: “and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (Verse 8b). You will one day finish your course! Make sure you have run it well. (Matthew 25:21, 23).