As we continue to contemplate Jesus’ words from the cross, today we look at his 6th word, THE WORD OF TRIUMPH.
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
What was finished? The work his Father had given him to do. His mission. His earthly life of perfect obedience, his teaching, miracles, and ultimately his great work of redemption on the cross. His suffering the wrath of God in place of sinners, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring them to God.
The cross was the ultimate goal of Jesus’ life. The whole reason he came was to redeem sinners. Jesus came to die.
“It is finished” is not the cry of a helpless victim who has failed in his task. It is a victory cry. It is the cry of triumph. He has accomplished when he came for. All is complete!
He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. Hebrews 7:27
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:12-14
Once for all – a single sacrifice – a single offering.
Jesus paid for sins once and for all – there is no more need for further sacrifices or payments. He satisfied divine justice forever. That’s why there is NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (RO 8:1). Jesus has paid for all our sins – he will never have to pay for them again. And neither will we who come to Jesus in faith. It is finished.
That’s why Paul could say to the Philippians: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Php 1:6). Jesus will surely complete his work in us because he paid for our redemption from beginning to end. He not only purchased our justification, he purchased our sanctification. He purchased the inheritance that awaits us in heaven. It’s paid for – It is finished!
Jesus’ victory is complete. He has defeated sin. Now we must walk out that victory. We put sin to death, not because our sins aren’t paid for, but because we’ve been redeemed from them. We are no longer under obligation to sin. We’re no longer slaves of sin. We don’t have to sin. We can still be tempted, but we don’t have to give in. By the power of the Spirit, we can walk in Christ’s victory. And when we fail, if we confess our sins, he forgives them – because they’ve already been paid for!
Someday Jesus will banish sin from the earth. Then we’ll have no more temptations and won’t fall into sin any more. If Jesus hadn’t conquered sin, we’d have no chance to defeat it. But because he did, we can.
Jesus defeated Satan too. And someday Jesus will cast him and his demons into hell forever, never to tempt or afflict us again. And someday Jesus will return and create a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells. And all who have come to Jesus will live forever in heaven free from disease, suffering and sadness. And all because Jesus finished his great work for us.
“It is finished!” Lord Jesus, what glorious words. Praise you that you endured to the end. Fill us with joy and gladness today. Strengthen us to persevere and finish the work you have given us to do, for your glory.