The Ransoming Christ :: It is Finished

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the sixth saying, Jesus shows us that he is the Ransoming Christ. The sixth saying from the cross was “It is finished” which comes from the Greek word τετέλεσται (Tetelastai) meaning “Paid in full”.

All the prophecies of the Old Testament – The Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), The Passover Lamb of God (Exodus 12:3-14), The suffering Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 53), the Shepherd who would be stricken (Zechariah 3:17), and The Pierced Firstborn Son (Zechariah 12:10), the Messenger of the Covenant (Malachi 3:1) and many more were all fulfilled and finished in the Person of Jesus Christ.

The will of God the Father is to redeem mankind which Jesus came into their world to do (John 6:38) and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). This ransoming work was finished on the Cross (John 19:30). The world owed a debt to God because God’s just law required that the soul that sins should die (Ezekiel 18:20) and all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and death is the power of the devil (Hebrews 2:14) which means the world just-fully deserved the death penalty. But Jesus, being sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:18-19), did not deserve to die, and so when he was crucified, the power of death that the devil had over sinful man was disempowered (Hebrews 2:14) and the debt of death that mankind owed was paid in full by the sinless ransoming Son of God. The power of the devil is finished because Jesus is the Ransoming Christ.

Points to ponder:
Imagine for a moment that someone whom you dearly love is kidnapped by a bad person and that evil doer sends you a ransom note, threatening to kill your loved one if you do not pay the ransom. We would do everything we can to pay the ransom in full so that we can rescue our loved one from that evil person. We would do that only for the person we love. If the person who is kidnapped is not someone we know or love, then we would not pay the ransom. In other words, we ransom only whom we love. What this means is that the ransoming act of Jesus Christ on the Cross is indicative of God’s everlasting great love toward mankind (Jeremiah 31:3). Had Jesus not cared for loved us, then the ransoming Christ would not have had to finish his work and declare his payment in full, on the Cross.

Jesus is the ransoming Christ. He ransomed our souls from death by his death, because he loved us. He died to pay our ransom so that we can be free (John 8:32, 36) and live with liberty (Galatians 5:1,13). As a free man or woman, are you willing to finish the work of reconciling others (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) to the great and loving God by telling them of the ransoming Christ?

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Matthew 20:28 (KJV)
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Hebrews 2:14-15 (NLT)
14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.
15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

The Assuring Christ :: Today shalt thou be with me in paradise

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the second saying, when Jesus, tells the malefactor (criminal) who had acknowledged and addressed Jesus as Lord and King (Luke 23:42), that he will be with Jesus in paradise that day, we see Jesus Christ – the Assurer of his presence in paradise.

The prophet Isaiah had prophesied of the assuring Christ centuries earlier, when he recorded that Jesus would be numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). On the Cross, we see condemned like the other malefactors (Luke 23:39-40), this prophetic saying comes true.

Points to ponder:
Amidst this condemnation that Christ suffered, as a criminal, though he had committed no crime, Jesus speaks words of eternal life (John 6:68), words of assurance – a blessed assurance, that the one who is condemned in the eyes of man is not condemned in the eyes of God, because he who had recognized Jesus a good man, having done nothing wrong (Luke 23:41), realized and recognized that Jesus the good man was indeed God-man and that Jesus was Lord and King, who will come again in his kingdom (Luke 23:42). The criminal’s request was to be remembered for he said “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”, but Christ Jesus responded in a manner of speaking, that there would be no need for remembrance, because that criminal was going to be with Christ that very day.

Notice how, Jesus did not condemn or remind him of the criminal’s sinful past, which by earthly standards deserved excruciating death. Instead, Jesus focused on the criminal’s saintly future – a future with Christ himself. This gives hope – hope to the vilest of sinners (of whom I am chief) and does not preclude anyone out of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The criminal died that day, yet he lived for whoever believes in Jesus, though he shall die, yet shall he live (John 11:25-26).

Also note, how the criminal’s request talks about “Jesus’ kingdom” not the kingdom of man. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth. Yet many a times, we in our human fallibilities and carnal desires seek to establish our own kingdoms. Like the criminal, we must ask for God’s kingdom to come and not our own. His will, not our will be done.

And to all, who like the criminal, recognize Jesus, not solely as a good man, but as God-man, the only man in whom the fullness of God dwells (Colossians 1:19), as the Lord and as a King whose kingdom will come, Jesus is the assuring Christ with whom we shall all be, in paradise.

Is Jesus The Assuring Christ to you? In other words, have you believed in him and accepted him as Lord and King of your life?

Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Isaiah 53:12 (KJV)
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?