By Pastor John R Tramell Jr.
Hope Baptist Church, Savanah, GA
Text: (John 19:30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Introduction: When the Lord Jesus Christ spoke his final words upon the cross, these were not words of defeat but words of victory He did not say, Im finished, but, It is finished These were words of victory, Victory for Christ and victory for all who choose to know Him as Savior I do not believe these words were whispered - they were shouted
These are very meaningful words What did Jesus mean when He said It is finished?
I. It Meant His Life On Earth Was Finished
A. Physical life as a man of flesh taking His last breath
He was a living, moving, breathing human being. He ate and drank, slept, walked, preached, prayed. But now all this was finished "It is finished." His holy hands, which had healed so many and given strength to the lame and sight to the blind, would soon be cold and motionless. His feet, that had walked on so many missions of mercy, would soon become rigid and unmoving. His voice, that had spoken countless words of grace and love to so many, would soon become silent. His body, which had carried Him through three decades of life, would soon become lifeless. "It is finished." Jesus' life was at its end.
How different Christ is from us: "he bowed his head and gave up the ghost." He died willingly, of His own accord. But, then, didn't Jesus say this is the way He would die?
(John 10:17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
(John 10:18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Do you know why Jesus died willingly? Because you and I are sinners who deserve only the everlasting fires of hell. Jesus died willingly out of love for you and me so, if we believe, we won't go to hell. You see, God's justice and truth demand that He go all the way to death for only the death of God's Son could pay for our sin
B. What a life it had been
1. Many would
have said He was a failure
2. He died at age 33 after only three or so years of ministry
3. His life was no failure - It is finished are words of victory
- not words of defeat
C. The most amazing movement in
all of history was started
by Jesus Christ
1. By any and
all standards He is considered the greatest figure
in human history
2. History is truly HIS STORY
D. More pages are printed about
Jesus every week than about
any hundred of the worlds greatest men.
All the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has this one solitary life.
F. So much was accomplished in His life-----
(John 21:25 KJV) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
G. (John 20:30-31)
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
H. When He said IT IS FINISHED,
it meant His physical life on earth
II. It Meant His Work On Earth Was Finished
A. Everything the Father had sent Him to do - He did
1. At 12 years old ---
(Luke 2:49) And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
2. (John 4:34) Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
B. These words IT IS FINISHED specify
not the end of Jesus' life,
but the completion of His task.
The verb tense is perfect. "It is finished!" The purpose of His hour has been completed, and the consequences of His work are enduring.
1. All the
types and the prophecies of the OT which pointed toward the sufferings
of the Messiah were accomplished
2. The ceremonial law had been abolished, the substance is now come and the shadows are done away.
C. What A Work It Was
"It is finished," was His cry. His work was finished, it was completed, it was ended. Actually, we should be more accurate here. "It is finished" refers only to the end of Jesus' redemptive work. It marks the end only of His work as Mediator and Savior. For, we know from Scripture that His work as Lord continues. Christ is in heaven right now. There, as Lord of the universe and as Head of the church, Christ is hard at work on our behalf and for our good: preparing a place for us, pleading for us before the Father, defending and keeping us safe from the attacks of Satan.
"It is finished." Jesus has completed the work God has sent Him to do on this earth. What was started when Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem was ended on Golgotha. Christ's salvation work was now done.
When people die at a young age they usually leave much unfinished business behind.
Jesus also died at a young age: He was only 32 or 33 years of age. Furthermore, He had ministered for only three years at the time of His death. Surely, His work was not finished; surely, His work here on earth had just begun. But no! In the night before His death our Lord said by way of prayer to God, (John 17:4 KJV) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
"It is finished," was His cry. His work was now done.
B "It is finished."
This means Christ's work of suffering is now done. How our Lord suffered! Think of Gethsemane; the Sanhedrin; Pilate, Herod, and then Pilate again; the brutal soldiers; the journey to Calvary; the nails of the crucifixion; those three awful hours of darkness when God forsook Him. Physically, spiritually, and emotionally our Lord suffered so very much.
But this was now finished. The cup of wrath has been drained. The wages of sin have been paid. The disgrace and shame, the suffering and agony, are past. Never again shall He experience pain. Never again shall He endure the taunts and slaps of those who hate Him. Never again shall He be in the hands of His enemies. Never again shall He be in darkness. Never again will God's presence be taken from Him. "It is finished," was the cry, of the Son of Man Who died.
It is finished means Nothing more COULD BE DONE or WOULD BE REQUIRED to secure the salvation of sinners. HEBREWS 10:11-12 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
For hundreds of years, rivers of blood had flowed from the altar of God, and yet the price of sin was never paid. The work of the Levitical priest was never done. Each day brought new sins and a fresh cry for blood! But what tens of thousands of animal sacrifices could not do, Jesus accomplished with ONE SACRIFICE FOREVER. Though Michelangelo is considered one of the greatest artists of all time, he was known to be very temperamental. He would begin a piece, then abandon it in a fit of temper. Consequently, he left more works unfinished than he completed. In Florence, Italy, is a vast display of his uncompleted works. Jesus left nothing undone. He offers salvation as a FINISHED work. There is nothing left for you or I to do. The Greek word for "It is finished" is Tetelestai. Archaeologists have repeatedly found its Latin equivalent (consummatum est) scrawled across tax receipts used in those days. In this context it means "paid in full."
A young fellow came forward in a Gospel meeting, earnestly asking, "What can I do to be saved?" Knowing the man thought he had to do something to be saved, the Christian worker responded, "You're too late!" "Oh, don't say that," exclaimed the distressed seeker, "I really want salvation; I'd do anything or go anywhere to obtain it." "I'm sorry," replied the other, "you're too late for that. Your salvation was completed many hundreds of years ago at Calvary. It is finished work!" "It is finished," said our Lord. He did what needed to be done to save us from our sins. There is nothing we need do, there is nothing we can do, to complete this work of redemption. Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
--Man had sold himself into sin and Christ paid the price to redeem mankind (Titus 2:14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (1 Pet 1:18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;(1 Pet 1:19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
He had come to be a propitiation for our sins - appeasing Gods wrath and judgment; fully satisfying the demands of a righteous God in respect to judgment upon the sinner --He had come to be a reconciliation - sin had erected a barrier between God and man until someone who could remove it would Reconciliation = the establishment of friendly relations between parties who are at variance with each other; readmission to the presence and favor of a person after rebellion against the person --He had come to be a substitution - taking our place --He came to show us GRACE - I dont deserve what He did for me - He came to justify me - to declare me righteous before God, because I am now in Christ - to me has been imputed the righteousness of Christ and I am accepted as perfect in the presence of God
III. It Meant Our Work on Earth Had Begun
A. His Work was finished - ours was just beginning
1. (Mat 28:19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
(Mat 28:20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
2. (Acts 1:8 ) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
QUIT GAZING & GET TO WORK
B. Do you realize that our Lords last act before death was winning a soul, His last command was to win souls?
C. If our Christianity is worth having, it is worth sharing and we can share it in confidence
Illustration: On July 15, 1986, Roger Clemens, the sizzling right-hander for the Boston Red Sox, started his first All-Star Game. In the second inning, he came to bat, something he hadn't done in years because of the American League's designated-hitter rule. He took a few uncertain practice swings and then looked out at his forbidding opponent, Dwight Gooden, who the previous year had won the Cy Young award. Gooden wound up and threw a white-hot fastball past Clemens. With an embarrassed smile on his face, Clemens stepped out of the box and asked Gary Carter, "Is that what my pitches look like?" "You bet it is!" replied Carter. Although Clemens quickly struck out, he went on to pitch three perfect innings and be named the game's most valuable player. From that day on, he later said, with a fresh reminder of how overpowering a good fastball is, he pitched with far greater boldness. Sometimes we forget the Holy Spirit within us and how powerful our witness can be. The gospel has supernatural power--when we speak it in confidence.
When Christ said, It is Finished it meant ----His life on earth had ended ----His work on earth had ended ----our work on earth had begun AND
IV. Our Future In Heaven Was Settled
(John 14:1-4) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
--The end of one event heralds the beginning of another --Something much better is coming for the believer --My future has been settled --My passport for eternity is in order --Death for the Christian is nothing to be feared - because you see death is not extinguishing the light from the Christian - it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come
CONCLUSION IT IS FINISHED - words of victory
His life on earth was finished; His work on earth was finished Our work on earth was beginning; Our future in heaven was settled
Is your future settled?
to Sermon Index