“It Is Finished!” - Never Ending Benefits
Reflections on the Last Seven Statements of Jesus from the Cross
Before Jesus died on the cross, John records Jesus’ last words: “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
What does “it” mean here? What exactly was finished? For Jesus, “ It ” certainly means:
- His ordeal of suffering had run its course;
- All the prophecies of Scripture had been fulfilled in and by Him;
- The debt of God’s violent judgment against sin’s guilt was laid on Him and fully paid;
- The Mosaic rule of Law as basis for meeting God’s approval had been abolished;
- Jesus’ earthly life had reached an end.
It is finished! Jesus fully accomplished His mission. Hebrews 10:5-7 says, “When Christ came into the world, He said, ‘You did not desire sacrifice and offering, but you prepared a body for me. In whole burnt offerings and sin offerings, You did not delight.’ Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” Jesus was sent by God to fully accomplish all of the above – for only the Son of God could do it! It is finished!
However, there is still something lost in the translation of this phrase, “It is finished,” and that is the word, “ is ”. Too often we look at Jesus’ work as being an event that occurred way back in the ancient past. But, the miracle and wonder of that ancient and past finished work of Jesus is that His work continues to fully satisfy present and on-going realities for all who believe.
In Jesus’ finished work, we have complete and unhindered access to God – today! Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Through Jesus you and I may approach our heavenly Father. Hebrews 10:19-22 even dares us to take advantage of this access, “ ...since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus ... let us draw near with a true heart full of assurance of faith.” Our God beckons us from the throne of glory and says, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16) and coos over us like a mother with an infant baby, “He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you in his love. He will delight in you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
In Jesus’ finished work, we have a new identity and are utterly valuable to God – today! Peter wrote to the Christians in exile and said, “You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. ... Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people” (1 Peter 2:9-10). John takes this even further and says, “To all who receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). In Christ, we are no longer outsiders and orphans, but today – right now -- we are His people, even His precious royal children. If we as sinners know how to guard and protect our own children, can we even imagine the protective grace we have in the sight of God?
In Jesus’ finished work, we are fully forgiven, always accepted and eternally loved by our God. Paul encourages us with these words, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7-8). God does not hold anything back, instead – He lavishes His love and grace upon us. The Apostle Paul culminated the first 8 chapters of Romans with this question, “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom. 8:32). Satan himself can not stand against the tide of our God’s love.
*Riverside is a new Christ-centered and Grace-motivated church in downtown Beaumont. Worship services are held every Sunday at 9:45 at the Art Museum.