The power behind Jesus’ last words on the cross
As Christians, we’re all too familiar with the scene at the cross. So familiar with it in fact, that we have become somewhat desensitized to the magnitude of what took place on that historic day at Calvary. There on a tree He created, hung the perfect Lamb of God humiliated, broken and bloodied beyond recognition, not because of anything wrong He had done but because of the disapproval of the people He came to save. Just before Jesus gave up his final breath, he uttered the defining words that would forever change the course of history. What appeared to be a laboured cry of defeat was actually a victory shout over sin, hell and the grave.
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Tetelastai—“it is finished.” It is only one word in the original Greek but it contains within it the irrevocable reality of our salvation made possible through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. Tetelestai comes from the verb teleo, which means to “bring to an end, to complete or to accomplish.” It is in the perfect tense in Greek, which is significant because it speaks of something that has been completed in the past but has significance in the present. In other words, when Jesus said “it is finished,” He was speaking of the eternal impact of His divine rescue mission, completed once and for all for all humanity, present and future.
Because Jesus bore all our sins upon Him on the cross, all those who repent and believe in Him will not die but will have everlasting life in a restored relationship with God. Jesus, the Son of God who was perfect and blameless became the ultimate substitution for our sin and died our death. It was through the untainted blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross that sin, all the powers of hell and even death itself were defeated forevermore! As believers, we have been washed clean and we need not fear condemnation, for there is no condemnation in Christ. We no longer need to try to earn His approval or trying to earn His love. So the next time our defeated foe Satan tries to accuse you of your past and condemn you with guilt and shame, remember the power of the blood of Jesus and repeat His powerful words “it is finished!”
This Good Friday, let us take the time to somberly reflect and thank Jesus for the finished work of His sacrifice on the cross. May we live our daily lives rooted in the reality that "it is finished," we are forever washed clean by the blood and no sin can ever separate us from God's great love. While we still grapple with the consequences of sin, they no longer have any power over us and one day, Jesus our righteous judge will execute perfect justice. Until then, let us live a life that is completely transformed by His redemptive work on that glorious Good Friday.