Good Friday – “It is finished”

“It is finished.” Just three words in this sixth saying of Christ from the cross. Some have taken this phrase to mean that Jesus’ life is finished. That what Jesus is saying here is that his life has come to an end…that His time is over. But if we stop here and think that all this phrase mean is that Jesus’ life is over, we are missing so much. Notice Jesus doesn’t say “I am finished,” He says “IT is finished”. The difference may seem subtle, and in fact, if you’re not reading carefully, it’s easy to overlook, but the significance of the word “IT” cannot be overstated. When Jesus says “IT is finished,” He is saying that the work of God is finished; that the very purpose of Christ coming to the Earth has been fulfilled. The purpose for which He came is of course to save us, to bring us back to God. Jesus’ words here clue us into the spiritual significance of His death on the cross. His death has paid the penalty for our disobedience.

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But if we stop here and think that all this phrase means is that Jesus’ life is over, and that He has paid the price for our disobedience, we’re still missing some of the truth of this phrase. This phrase in English is three words, but in the original language is just one word. The tense of the word describes an action that is completed but has ongoing significance. If we were to be completely literal in translating it, we would say something like “It is finished, and continues to be finished for all time”. Christ uses this word in this specific tense to communicate the total perfection and completeness of His death to pay for our sins. Unlike the sacrifices in the Old Testament that needed to be carried out again and again, Christ’s death is sufficient once, for all time. There is nothing we can do to add to our salvation. In fact, we insult the work of Christ on the cross when we think that we need to do anything for our salvation. For those who are believers, all we have ever done and will do has been completely forgiven through what we commemorate today. There is nothing left for us to do but to believe.

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One man learned this all important truth as he talked with an old, English evangelist. The evangelist had finished his tent meeting and the crowd had pretty much all dissipated. As he was busy taking his tent down, a man approached him and asked him, “What must I do to be saved?”

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“Too late!” said the evangelist, in a very matter of fact way, “Too late, my friend, too late!”

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Of course very startled, the man replied, “Oh, please don’t say that. Surely it isn’t too late just because the meeting is over?”

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“Yes, my friend,” answered the evangelist, looking him straight in the eye, “it is too late! You want to know what you must DO to be saved, and I tell you that you’re hundreds of years too late! The work of salvation is done, completed, finished! It was finished on the cross; Jesus said so with His last breath! What more could you want?”

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Then and there the truth dawned upon the man. There was nothing for him to do to finish the work that the Lord Jesus Christ had perfected at the cross. There was nothing for him to do but to fall to his knees and accept the Savior and His finished work of grace.

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It is finished, and continues to be finished for all time!

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Grace,
?Chris

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