“It Is Finished”

7 Last Sayings of Christ on the CROSS – Series – 6

 

  Text:   John 19:30 (28-37)

    Aim:   To expound on what Christ completed on the cross.

Introduction:

In 1921, Jennie Evelyn Hussey wrote the hymn “Lead Me To Calvary. It starts out:

“King of my life I crown Thee now— Thine shall Thy glory be;

Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow, Lead me to Calvary.

 

“Lest I forget Gethsemane; Lest I forget Thine agony;

Lest I forget thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary.”

 

Will you please walk with me a sixth time up that lonely road that leads to Calvary?

·         Calvary where redemption’s price was paid.

·         Calvary where the Just became the Justifier.

·         Calvary where the Innocent One shed His blood for the guilty.

·         Calvary is the place that covers my sin, my guilt, and my shame.

·         Calvary is where mercy is great and grace is free.

·         Calvary where the burdened soul can find liberty.

 

“Up Calvary’s mountain one dreadful morn,

Walked Christ my Saviour, weary and worn;

Facing for sinners death on the cross,

That He might save them from endless loss.”

“Blessed Redeemer! Precious Redeemer! Seems now I see Him on Calvary’s tree:

Wounded and bleeding for sinners pleading— Blind and unheeding— dying for me!”

 

We have been looking back to the events on Calvary to listen to the words, which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke from the cross.

·         We have heard Jesus’ pronouncement of forgiveness as said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”

·         We have heard the declaration of salvation as Jesus told the penitent thief, “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.”

·         We heard the appeal of provision spoken to Mary. “Women, behold thy son” John, “Behold thy mother.”

·         We heard Christ’s heart felt cry of desertion as He asked, “My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?”

·         In the agony of His suffering, we heard Jesus cry; “I thirst.”

 

And now we hear once again from that old rugged cross. What is it that we hear today?”

A painful moan, a sigh of torment, or a wheezing cough from the lips of “JESUS of NAZERATH, the KING of the JEWS?”

 

NO, not a distressed voice, BUT a clarion cry. A cry of victory! “IT IS FINISHED!”

 

Up until now, the Lord Jesus Christ has hung on the cross just over 6 hours (Mk. 15:25).

1st three hrs. — 9 am to 12 noon — Jesus hung in daylight.

·         He spoke of forgiveness to his tormentors.

·         He saved the soul of a thief at his side.

·         He made preparation for the future of his mother.

Next three hrs. — 12 noon to 3 p.m. — the sun darkened over this world, as the heavenly Father turned His back on His very own Son, who not only bore the penalty of sin, but became sin for you and me.

·         Christ then cried twice in suffering.

1st dealt with spiritual suffering, “My God, my God, why…”

2nd dealt with physical suffering, “I thirst.”

Now, at the end of His suffering, He simply says, “It is Finished.”

 

When Jesus spoke this triumphal phrase – “It is finished” – He used only one Greek word, “Telelestai” (root = teleo).

 

Jesus used that word at least five other times in His teaching.

Each time it is translated different, giving us a glimpse of the whole meaning.

Matthew 11:1 – “made an end”;

Matthew 17:24 – “pay”;

Luke 2:39 – “performed”;

Luke 18:31 – “accomplished.”

John 19:28 – “fulfilled”

 

1. What is made an end of? Our sin and guilt.

2. What is performed? The uttermost requirements of God’s law.

3. What is paid? The price of our redemption.

4. What is accomplished? The work the Father gave Christ to do.

5. What is fulfilled? The prophecies of Scripture, concerning His ministry on earth.

 

In Bible times when:

·         A servant completed their job or responsibility they would tell their master “Telelestai.”

·         “I completed the task.”

·         An OT Jewish believer brought their sacrifice to the altar the High Priest would examine it and declare, “Telelestai.” “It is perfect. It is accepted.”

·         When a debtor would offer their last payment on a debt the merchant would write on the receipt “Telelestai.” “Paid in Full.”

 

There is always a sense of satisfaction when a job is done. When we can add the word “finished” to a task at work, at home or church, it is a real relief!

·         I miss my children and wish that I could see them more often. With all the blessed joys and wonderful memories that went in rearing our children I am not afraid to say, I am glad that the pressure of nurturing my children is over.

·         I don’t like borrowing money, and am so delighted the day when we have paid off a bill.

·         When our anything productive is completed, it is nice to say “Finished!”

·         When an unpleasant chapter in life is over, it is also good when we can say, “Finished!”

 

Many leave this world with their tasks unfinished.

The pen drops from the writer’s hand, the artist’s brush falls before the painting is done.

 

But Christ is the great Finisher! He “is the author and finisher of our faith”(Heb. 12:2).

Oh, I’m so glad that Jesus wasn’t a quitter!

The words “It is finished!” uttered by our Lord Jesus on the cross meant:

·         His task was completed.

·         He had done all that His Father had sent Him to do.

·         There was nothing overlooked.

·         Every detail was attended to.

 

There were many times that He could have quit and times He wanted to quit, but He pressed on knowing the joy that was beyond the suffering and shame of the cross.

 

Because He didn’t quit, we can be saved today. We can live victoriously in this life, through Christ, because He was willing to endure the horror of Calvary that we might experience redemption from our sin.

 

The words “It is finished” can be placed over every part of Jesus’ life and ministry.

I.     It is “Finished” means that all the prophecies connected with His life and death had been fulfilled UP to that time.

A.    Hundreds of prophecies had been written and Christ met each one face to face and fulfilled them.

In Luke 18:31, Jesus predicted of Himself – “And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.”

B.   This is the most powerful proof revealing the truthfulness of the Bible!

1.    It is true because it comes from a God that is true who and who cannot lie.

2.    It is true because God promised that His truth would endure “to all generations”
(Ps. 100:5)

3.    Therefore, if God predicts a thing, you can know that it will come to pass.

C.   NOTE just SOME of the prophecies of Christ fulfilled in His lifetime.

1.    Gen. 3:15 – God predicted that the “SEED” born of a woman would be bruised in the heel, but would victoriously “crush” the head of Satan.

2.    Isa 7:14 – The Seed’s birth would be miraculous – it was to be by a woman one who knew no man – a virgin.

3.    As promised in Jer. 23:5, He would be a descendant of the seed of King David.

4.    His parents named Him Jesus in Lk. 2:21, which means “the Lord is salvation.” This was the name an angel declared to Mary in Lk. 21:31, BEFORE He was born.

5.    There were at least TWO Bethlehem’s in Israel. Micah 5:2 specifically named Bethlehem Ephratah, Jesus’ hometown, as the place where the Messiah was to be born.

6.    Hosea 11:1 prophesied that the Christ child would flee to Egypt as Joseph & Mary fled with Him to escape the murder of babies carried out by Herod.

7.    Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1 tells us a messenger would be sent as a voice from the wilderness to prepare the way for the entrance Jehovah. When as who he was, John the Baptist declared He as the Messiah’s forerunner.

8.    As Messiah, Jesus would cause the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak (Isa 35:5-6.

9.    Isa 53:3tells us that when the Messiah came, He would be despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows.

10.  Ps. 35:19; 69:4 – Christ would be hated without a cause. We read in Jn. 15:25 concerning Jesus, “But this cometh to pass, that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”

11.  Ps. 41:9; Zech 11:12 we are informed the Messiah would be betrayed by a friend and turned over to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver.

12.  In Zech 13:7we read that His disciples, as sheep, would scatter and forsake him the very night of betrayal.

13.  He would be led to the slaughter, and numbered among transgressors (Isa. 53:7,12).

14.  Soldiers would gamble for His garments (Ps. 22:17-18).

15.  He was to be “bruised for man’s iniquities” (Isa. 53:5).

16.  On the day of His crucifixion, He fulfilled over 30 prophecies.

17.  In the reading of our text in verses 36 (Ex. 12:46; Ps. 34:20) and 37 (Zech 12:10) we have two more.

D.   When Jesus said, “It is finished” we know that all these things have come to pass.

1.    Since every prophecy concerning His first coming has been fulfilled.

2.    We know that all of the prophecies that speak about His Second Coming will also come to pass.

3.    He first came to be the Saviour of the world, when He returns He will come as the Judge!

E.    Often we read as we do in vs. 28, “all things were now accomplished that the Scriptures might be fulfilled” or as in vs. 36 “for these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled.”

1.    He FINISHED all things that the Law of God required!

2.    He FULFILLED all things prophecies predicted – all things that were foreshadowed in the OT.

3.    He PERFORMED all things that the Father had given the Son to do.

4.    In the words – “It is FINISHED”– we have the entire scope of our salvation presented. He COMPLETED all things needed for our redemption.

a.    Everything that was needed to do was done to secure salvation.

b.    Christ’s finished work on Calvary is the very ground for our assurance, the very foundation of our salvation and the very hope of heaven.

c.    Jesus did all that He was asked by the Father to do.
He fulfilled every O. T. law and type.

d.    “It is finished,” meant NOTHING was left to be ACCOMPLISHED.

6.    The reason Jesus could fulfill all the predictions of God’s WORD was because He as the living WORD of God. (John 1:1)

II.    It is “Finished” meant that His sufferings were over.

Isa. 53:3 – “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

A.    He was called the “Man of Sorrows”.

1.    A fitting title for the One who suffered at the hands of men, Satan, and God.

2.    God bruised Him and forsook Him on the cross because He bore our sins.

Isa. 53:4-5 – “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

3.    To suffer at the hands of your enemies and have your foes inflicted pain upon is one thing, but to suffer at hands of your His friends, at the hands of those whom you love is most regretful.

B.   Christ lived His entire life under the shadow of the cross.

1.    With His first miracle, at the wedding in Cana, where all was gladness and laughter, the shadow was there when He said, “My time is not yet come.” (Jn. 2:4).

2.    As He privately talked to Nicodemus in the night, the shadow was there. He spoke about how as Moses lifted up the brasen image of the serpent on a pole in the wilderness, the symbol of the nation’s sin, even so must the Son of Man, would be lifted up on a cross as the symbol of the world’s sin (Jn. 3:14).

3.    When the mother of James and John talked to Him about her son’s place of honour in His kingdom the shadow was there as He spoke of the cup and baptism of suffering that He would have to drink (Matt. 20:22-23).

4.    From the time Peter declared “Thou art the Christ, the Son of God,” Jesus began to show His disciples how “He must go unto Jerusalem…suffer many things, and be killed” (Mt. 16:21).

5.    TURN >> Lk. 9:30-31 << On the Mt. of Transfiguration, Jesus met with Moses and Elijah “Who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease, which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. In Mk. 9:9-10, on the way down the mount Jesus “charged” Peter, James and John “to tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.”

a.    NOTE: On that Mount, Christ said it was He who was to ACCOMPLISHED His death. It was planned. It just did not happen!

b.    Peter tells us redemption was obtained with “the precious blood of Christ…Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” It is by Him we believe in God, who “raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Pet. 1:19-21).

c.    This plan was revealed in the 1st message Peter preached in Acts 2.
Pleas TURN >> Acts 2:22-23 <<

c.    TURN >> Lk. 9:51 << Knowing “when time was come that He should be received up” into glory with the Father, Jesus “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.”

d.    TURN >> Isa. 50:4-7 << 700 yrs before, Isaiah Prophecies that the breach in relations between God and man would be healed by the Messiah.

1)    As God being His help, He would “set” His “face like a flint” determined to face the suffering that lied before Him.
2)    Obedience to the Father’s will is paramount in His determination.
3)    Setting His face rock hard – “flint”, He will not be turned from one side or the other.
4)    Confident the Lord God will not “confound” Him, i.e. He will not be “humiliated, dishonoured and confused” because of His suffering, He is convinced He will not be “ashamed” for having trusted God. He’ll not be play the fool and “be disappointed” and “put to shame” for His suffering.
5)    The overriding promise is that shame and reproach, which was to be heaped upon Him will lead only to greater glory and greater honour for Him.

6.    Calvary was the fulfilment of God’s plan.
When Jesus cried on Calvary’s mount, “It is finished!” it meant that the threat of death and all of the suffering was now over.

III.   It is “Finished” meant not only were Prophecies fulfilled, and the suffering was over, But that Christ’s work of redemption was accomplished.

A.    The WORK of Christ is now complete.

1.    Christ fulfilled in His death the purpose for which He came, to give His life a ransom for many.

a.    Sin wages were paid: the costly ransom meet.

b.    Divine justice was satisfied: All was done!

c.    True the resurrection & ascension were yet to take place, but they are fruit of what He finished on the cross.

The cross was the consummation of His earthly work.

2.    This means there is nothing that needs to be added to His work on Calvary in order to redeem mankind.

1 John 3:8 – “He that committeth sin is of the devil, For the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

3.    Men want to add all sorts of things to His work of redemption:

a.    They want to add benevolence and good works performed in behalf to their fellow man.

b.    Religious sacraments, baptism, penance, purgatory, pilgrimages, fastings, etc.

c.    There are those who believe you must belong to the right Church or religious denomination without which you have no hope in the hereafter. BUT my Bible tells me in Eph. 2:12 that those who are “aliens” to the “covenants and promise” of God’s people, those “having no hope, and without God in the world” are those who are without Christ!

d.    Others want to confirm salvation by adding their experiences of speaking in tongues, seeing visions etc.

4.    FOLKS, am I so foolish to believe the God who can not lie, when He says, “It Is Finished!” that is exactly what He means?

5.    Jesus did NOT say “It is almost finished.” He is NOT say, “It is nearly finished, or “It will one day be finished.” BUT He said, “IT IS FINISHED!” Praise God that it is so!

B.   Because Christ’s WORK was accomplished, The WILL of God for Him was now finished and complete.

1.    John 6:38 – “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.”

2.    Jesus laid aside the robes of royalty and took upon Himself the garments of our sinful humanity for this purpose.

·         He was born for this purpose;

·         He entered His ministry for this purpose;

·         He walked among men for this purpose;

·         He sweat blood in Gethsemane for this purpose;

·         God prepared Him a body for this purpose’

·         He wore the crown of thorns for this purpose;

·         He died on Calvary for this purpose… NOW it is finished!

4.    Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost…now they can be saved!

5.    The Lord Jesus came to take away our sins…now He has done so through the shedding of His precious blood.

Conclusion

The words “It is finished” can be placed over every part of Jesus’ life.

He performed the WORK of God according to the WORD of God to provide for you and me the WAY to God.

 

No man has the right to add a single work to salvation, After Adam sinned he sought a covering for His sin.

 

According to OT Law, Israel was to bring blood sacrifices to make “atonement,” i.e. a covering for sin. These sacrifices had to be made continually, BUT could never take away the stain of sin on a man’s soul. When Christ gave up the ghost on the cross, the Temple’s veil was torn in two and way to the Holy place opened to all men. Later, Christ entered the Holy of Holies in heaven, where He poured out His blood on God’s mercy seat. The power of Christ’s blood did not just cover man’s sin; it washes all of His sin away.

 

The 3rd stanza of the old hymn “Jesus Paid It All,” says, “For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim— I’ll wash my garments white In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.”

Chorus:

Jesus paid it all

All to him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

Jesus washed it white as snow

 

Is it finished for you?

Over 40 yrs. ago it was finished for me.

·         Jesus died for our sins, but we will not find that forgiveness until we come to Christ and accept what He has done for us personally.

·         Do you know the victory of having your sins forgiven? If not, you can know that wonderful experience today!

·         Now is the accepted time, today is the day of salvation. Will you come to the Calvary today?

·         Christian, are you fulfilling the purpose that God has for your life?

·         Jesus said, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (Jn. 20:21).

·         Are you taking the message of Calvary’s cross to those as the Lord commanded?

·         Let God have His way in your life today.

 

 

14 April, 2001

 




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