“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
“It is finished.”
I want to spend time today dwelling on this phrase. This declarative statement that holds so much for us. So much for me.
It was done.
The massive chasm separating sinful, rebellious people from the holy God who loved them and who desired their full restoration and life – a way was made across it.
Great, immense debt. Offenses that would take eternity to pay fully, as they were committed against the eternal and holy King, the Maker and rightful Ruler of all.
Jesus paid all of it, completely satisfying holy justice.
Fully settled at the cross, so that for each one who believes in Him, guilt, condemnation, and shame no longer apply. In their place, we receive grace, relationship, and peace from our God of steadfast love.
If more was required, the criminal hanging next to Him would have had no chance. But He looked to Jesus and was saved forever. Because Jesus’ work is complete (Luke 23:39-43).
“It is finished,” and we are now able to approach His throne of grace as easily as walking through the torn veil into the holy of holies (Matthew 27:51). There is no separation now. And no need for fear. Our ransom has been paid and all punishment has been taken from us.
“It is finished,” and we experience rest from our striving in that truth. No more proving ourselves. No more trying to be good enough. We experience the love of the One who sees and knows us fully, and who chooses to make us His forever as He completes His work to make us whole.
“It is finished,” so we can focus our energy on running wholeheartedly with Jesus in His light, rather than on trying to make up for the past. Our eyes can remain lifted up to take in the wonder of joining our God in the adventure of the good works He has prepared for us to do and speaking His gospel so others can know the power of His salvation.
“It is finished.” God the Son took it all. Every drop from the cup of wrath. Not because He wanted to, but because it was the only way for us. We had no hope otherwise. That’s why other religious ideas won’t work to save anyone. They leave out the cross. They ignore the great sacrifice, the unfathomably high cost paid to offer us an alternative to deserved wrath. If there was another way for us to escape it and find salvation, Jesus would have picked that one (Mark 14:32-36)
Jesus is it.
He’s the only option, the only hope we have.
Not because God is mean and wants to keep people out by providing a narrow way.
No, God’s heart is to save.
So He came to save us.
There was one way. The only way. And it cost everything. Because it cost His own life, with great agony. Great enough that before the whips and scourging and beating and thorns and hammers even started, Jesus’ capillaries burst with mental, emotional, spiritual anguish and blood poured out of Him with sweat (Luke 22:44).
This was God the Son. And He took all of this for us, leaving no drop left. So He could say with all authority, conviction, and power, “It is finished.”
He became sin and took all of the wrath for us. And when He knew it was completed, He declared it so, and gave up His spirit in death.
And in accomplishing our salvation, bridging the chasm, reconciling us with God through the blood of His cross, He is satisfied and will be praised forevermore.
“Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.”
“And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’…
And they sang a new song, saying,
‘Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.’
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’”
Revelation 5:5, 9-13