When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost (Jn. 19:30 KJV).
After Jesus received the sour wine the soldiers offered Him for His thirst, He uttered the majestic words, “it is finished.” However, since the scripture does not tell us the referent of “it,” there is an abundance of propositions to explain the meaning of this statement.
Despite what appears missing in this verse, scripture does tell us a lot to clarify the words “it is finished.” The verb “finished” is straightforward: “to be or become thoroughly or entirely accomplished; conceived of as becoming perfect or complete.” When Jesus uttered these words, the only thing left to be done was His death. And He died a few seconds after He said those words.
His suffering for sins had been thoroughly accomplished; He had drunk of the full cup of divine wrath against sins. The penalty for sins was wholly paid, and there was nothing else left to be done to settle the problem of human sin. Jesus had completed what He was born as a Man to do on earth.
But the totality of Christ’s work is both finished and unfinished. His Word gives us the wisdom to know the finished and unfinished aspects of His work and how they apply to our lives. Concerning the suffering and penalty for sin, Christ’s work is finished. However, His work is unfinished concerning bringing lost souls to receive salvation, building up His Church to maturity, and finally subjecting all rule and principality power. So what is finished and unfinished are distinct!
Although there is an unfished aspect of His work, what is finished is finished! We do not have to add or duplicate the finished work. His blood is already shed for our sins, and His body is broken for our healing. His life has been given to us, and we have been invited to partake of the life of the Son of God. Christ is still saying it is finished; it is up to us to avail ourselves of what is ours. Even if we, for whatever reason, do not enjoy what He already suffered for(hopefully not), we should know for sure that it is already done—it is finished!
What is the meaning of “it is finished?”
Apply the Word
Jesus will not suffer for sins anymore; neither will His body be broken for our healing anymore. He has already given us the blessing. It is done. Understanding, faith, and yielding to His Spirit stand between us and the enjoyment of the eternal life Jesus suffered for us to receive. Show Christ that it is indeed finished as we reap the fruits of His work in your life.
Bless the Lord for accepting to endure the grief of mind and body to finish the work for us to be saved.
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