These were his dying words. To some onlookers it sounded like this was the end of Jesus from Nazareth. As He was dying on a rugged wooden cross between two criminals, Jesus cried out “It is finished!”
But a closer consideration of these words reveals their true meaning. Jesus did not cry “I am finished” but “It is finished!” This was a cry of triumph, not defeat – for Jesus had successfully completed His mission on earth.
What was this mission? Jesus came to deal with the problem caused by our sin. Sin had brought devastating consequences to humanity - death and separation from God. Every person has sinned. Pride, jealousy, hatred, lust, greed, anger and despair all tell us that sin is still present in the world. The problem of sin affects all people of all ages. Eternal death is the inevitable consequence of sin – Jesus called it ‘the second death’ or separation from God in torment forever. The Bible says:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”1
“The soul that sins shall die.”2
At the cross Jesus took our sin and its consequences in His own body. He willingly bore death and separation from God on our behalf. When he cried the words “It is finished”, Jesus meant that he had successfully provided a way for our all sins to be forgiven. Three days after his death, Jesus demonstrated his success by rising again from the dead.
Sin and death continue to affect the whole human race. But the forgiveness of sin must be received individually, one person at a time. For although Jesus Christ died for everyone, the benefits of what he has done can only be experienced by those who personally trust in him.
Jesus said, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, but whoever does not believe the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him.”3
Do you believe that Jesus died and rose again for you? Have you confessed to God that you are a sinner and asked him to forgive you? If not, do so today, and trust the Lord Jesus to cleanse and forgive you.
Bible References: 1Matthew 10:28; 2Ezekiel 18:4; 3John 3:36 (NKJV)
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