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.