The Message of John (Lesson 24)
It is finished! | John 19:30
"It is finished!"
John 19 depicts the crucifixion of Jesus.
As was customary, Jesus was forced by the Roman guards to carry the cross on which he would be executed.
After reaching the site, Jesus was stripped of His clothing and his hands and feet were nailed to the cross. The soldiers then raised the cross, and Jesus was left to die.
Towards the end of his suffering, Jesus makes a final exclamation before his death, crying out, "It is finished!" (John 19:30).
With those three words, he was declaring at least three things.
Jesus was declaring the fulfillment of prophecy.
Throughout the Old Testament, there are numerous prophecies about the coming Messiah and His mission to save his people.
By declaring, "It is finished!" Jesus alludes to Psalm 22, which he had been quoting on the cross, beginning with "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Suffering for sinners redemption was complete. The work was finished!
However, the roots of Jesus' words "It is finished!" may be traced back to the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis 3:15, where God declares the enmity between the serpent and the woman, foretelling the coming of a Savior who would crush the serpent's head.
This passage, known as the protoevangelium (which means, “first gospel”), is the first hint of the redemptive work that would be fulfilled by Jesus' death on the cross.
Jesus was declaring victory over sin and death.
By dying on the cross, Jesus erased the penalty of sin and broke the power of death.
When the soldiers offer him sour wine to quench his thirst, Jesus refuses it, stating that he must first drink the cup that his Father had given him. This "cup" represents the justice demanded by the law, which for traitors is a well-known penalty–death.
He would drink the justice of the law to the very last drop so that we could drink from the fount of God’s mercy and kindness, never to fear the penalty of sin nor the curse of death again.
His drinking the cup secured our victory over both.
Jesus was declaring his mission complete.
The Greek word used in the original text, "tetelestai," means literally, "it has been finished." This word was commonly used in ancient Greek to signify the completion of a task or the payment of a debt.
With that word, Jesus declares the entirety of our sin debt has been canceled as paid in full. Believers have no debts remaining. Not even one.
John 19:30 provide assurance to believers that their salvation is secure through faith in Christ. Since Jesus has completed the work of redemption, believers may rest in the knowledge that their sins are forgiven and they are reconciled to God.
With his final breath, he could know the objective completion of his suffering was complete and had accomplished his mission.
He would be buried.
But soon, it would soon be time to rise from the tomb.
How does it feel to complete a hard job or major project?
How does Jesus' statement "It is finished!" declare victory over sin and death?
What does the "cup" represent in Jesus' refusal of the soldiers' offer of sour wine? What does this mean for us?
How does Jesus' declaration of "It is finished!" fulfill Old Testament prophecy?
How does Jesus' final statement pave the way for His resurrection and ascension?
As we reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus and His final words, "It is finished!" we are reminded of the completeness of his mission to save us. We are grateful that through his crucifixion, we have victory over sin and death.
Father, we ask that you help us to remember the sacrifice that was made for us on the cross. Help us to live our lives in a way that honors Jesus and His mission as we seek to follow him with all our hearts and live in the truth and power of his resurrection.
We pray for those who have not yet accepted Jesus as their Savior. May they hear the good news of the Gospel and come to know the saving power of of your grace.
Thank you, Father for sending Jesus for us.
For we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.