If I had to choose a single word from all the Bible that is most important, it would probably be Jesus’ word from the cross “tetelestai!” which we translate “It is finished!” Of course, every word of God is tested and profitable, but this word captures so much of the gospel. Without the finished work of Jesus, we would still be separated from God and dead in our sin.
As we studied John 19:28-30 last Sunday, we learned of two things Christ finished on the cross:
- He fulfilled every Scripture (Jn. 19:28-29). Moments before Jesus gave up His spirit, He declared “I thirst.” He expressed a genuine human need, but even more importantly, He was setting into motion the fulfillment of psalm 69:21, the very last Old Testament prophecy He needed to fulfill.
- He paid completely for our atonement (Jn. 19:30). With freshly moistened throat and lips, He exclaimed “It is finished!” In other words, Mission Accomplished. Jesus was saying not merely that His life was finished, but that the entire work of atonement was finished. He had made it possible for us to be made “at one” with God. The debt was fully paid. The crime was justly punished. The enmity was completely removed. By faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, we now can have peace with God. Hallelujah!
Questions for thought and discussion:
- Which seems more real to you - that Jesus is God, or that Jesus is Man? Do you keep a proper balance between His deity and humanity, or tend to have a lopsided view of Him?
- How can Christ’s genuine humanity encourage us in times of trial and temptation?
- “Atonement” is at the very heart of the gospel. How would you explain this concept to someone? (click here if you need help)
- Choose one biblical metaphor for sin (e.g. debt, crime, enmity) and write in a single sentence what Christ’s death on the cross accomplished.
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:15. According to this verse, why did Jesus die for us? Does this describe you?
Sunday’s sermon will be uploaded to our podcast site soon and available for free download.