The sixth saying of Jesus as He hung on the Cross, living up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins was a word of accomplishment and completion. His saying was ‘It is finished’. The scripture records ”When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (John 19:30).
What was it that Jesus said is finished? Did He say this anytime else? Once earlier, Jesus identifies that it was He who was the finisher. In John 5:17, Jesus answered those who sought to slay him saying “My Father has been working hitherto, and I work” and in John 5:36 he expresses that His witness is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father had given him to finish is the very works he did which was to bear witness of Himself and that the Father sent Him. Soon after, in John 17:4 he tells God the Father “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
What was the work that Jesus finished? Rather than speculating, we need to look at the scripture for the answer. Jesus answered those who sought him and asked as to what the works of God was, that the work of God is that we believe on Him (Jesus) whom God had sent (John 6:28-29). Jesus’ work was to give life (eternal life) to those who had been overcome by death (all of us) which resulted from sin finishing its course (James 1:15). Knowing God and believing in Jesus whom God had sent is the definition of eternal life (John 17:3). Jesus was named ‘Jesus’ because He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). When Jesus started his work on earth, his name was affirmed by John the Baptist, that Jesus is the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29) and since without the shedding of blood, there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22), when Jesus’ blood was shed on the Cross of Calvary, his purpose was accomplished and the work He came to finish was finished. Jesus in his death finished the work of living up to his name and there is no other name given under heaven or earth, whereby we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
So why does this matter? Genesis 2:2 records that God finished the work of creation after which He rested. But man sinned against God and death entered into the world through the sin of one man (Romans 5:12). God could not rest any longer, until His redemptive work was finished by the act of His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, so that all who believe in Him will also be able to rest (Hebrews 4:3), have eternal life. On the Cross, Jesus said it is finished. The act of God reconciling man to himself was finished. However, he entrusted to those who believe in Him, a ministry of reconciliation and apostleship so that no one may perish (2 Peter 3:9) without knowing the completed work of Christ Jesus. So our work is still not done. Paul writes, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). Can this be said of us as well? We need to keep the faith until the very end and He who endures till the end, not waxing our Love for God and man, and wanning sin and self, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:12-13). In Revelation we read “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Revelation 11:7) but at the great battle of God Almighty in the place called Armageddon, we hear from the throne of heaven, the same words “It is done (or finished)” (Revelation 16:17).
In Genesis, the work of God is finished (Genesis 2:2);
In the Cross, the work of God is finished (John 19:30);
In Revelation, the work of God is finished (Revelation 16:17).
From Genesis to Revelation, it is finished and we need to finish our testimony as well and that testimony is “It is finished”.
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