May. 31, 2018

"It is Finished."

John 19:23-42 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” 25 Therefore the soldiers did these things.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

31 Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath for that Sabbath was a high day, asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.


In Matthew 27:50 it says:  Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Mark records it saying:  Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed His last. (Mark 15:37) In Luke 23:46 it says:  Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, "Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit." And when He had said this, He breathed His last.    What was the loud cry of Jesus? In today’s text, John records Jesus final moment on the cross saying:   When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.   It is important that Jesus said and that we know and believe that “It is finished.”    At that moment when Jesus breathed His last, when He gave up His human spirit, His suffering was over. It is more though than just the pain and the agony of the crucifixion which was finished. All that Jesus came to do and accomplish was finished, complete at that moment. In Luke 23:34 Jesus said:  "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."   On the cross, Jesus paid the price for every sin of every person. It was more though than only the forgiveness of sin which Jesus accomplished and finished on the cross. Jesus finished everything He came to do. It was and is accomplished, finished, then and now; forever.

In Luke 4:16-21, at the beginning of Jesus ministry it says:  He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,  The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”    The prophecy Isaiah was fulfilled by Jesus and all that He was sent and anointed to do was finished.   In Isaiah 53: 4-6 it is also prophesied:  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.    All of this too, was and is finished in the cross of Jesus.   Jesus bore our grief and our sorrow. It was not only the grief and sorrow for our sin which Jesus bore, but all of our grief and sorrow. In Matthew 5:4 Jesus says:  "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”    It is normal and natural that we grieve and mourn, that we feel sorrow. But, because of the finished work of the cross, Jesus promises that we shall be comforted. Isaiah says:  The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.  When Jesus healed people, He didn’t make them better, He made them well. Our complete healing and our full well-being is also finished, accomplished in the cross.

Just as Isaiah prophesied of the future work which is accomplished by Christ on the cross, Revelation 21 also prophesies about a future to come when Christ returns. Verses 1-5 says:   Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”    At that time, when Christ returns, heaven and earth will be as one. God will dwell among us.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.    In His presence there will no longer be any of the evidence of sin or the fall. Indeed it will be finished. That time is the fulfillment of what Jesus taught us to pray: Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Every need that you may have, every sickness, every sorrow or grief has been met through the cross of Christ and it is finished. One day, at the fulfillment of Revelation 21, heaven and earth will be as one. For now, let this be our prayer:

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You that everything that I need was accomplished in the finished work of the cross. In my life may heaven and earth become one as they are meant to be. May I walk in the realities of heaven rather than the sorrows, sickness and sin of the world. May I indeed be new through the finished work of the cross. May I be the finished work of the cross.   Amen.