There is no greater feeling than having worked long and hard at a task and then seeing the completed work before your eyes. As Jesus prepares to bow His head and close His eyes in death, He shouts this loud cry of completion. The very thing His Father had sent Him on mission to do, He completed, faithfully. His life would end in 100% obedience and submission to Hs Father. This cry of completion emblematically signified the redemption of man.
Jesus was done with the work before He was done.
This cry from the cross was not the final thing that Jesus said, which is important to note. Jesus remained alive a short while longer to utter one more phrase from the cross. This second to last sentence though only 3 words were as powerful as any stick of dynamite could be on the spiritual chains that bound mankind. Jesus said “IT” is done, not “I” am done. The “it” must refer to the work of salvation for the abolition of the contract and power of sin over humanity. He was not saying the work cost Him His life…He was saying His life overcame the work of sin!
Jesus fulfilled the Law and abolished it at the same time.
17 “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18
Jesus’ death on the cross removed the need for there to be any other provision for relationship with God outside of Him. No longer did people have to make sacrifices for their sin. No longer did people have to methodically seek to live according to the Law, which no one was ever able to do. (The Pharisees made their attempts at keeping the Law and Jesus rebuked them more sternly than any others He encountered.) Jesus saying “it is finished” meant that the Law was retired and a new way of life with God could be enjoyed.
Jesus finished the reconciliation process for all to come to God.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:14-18
Now that Christ had come to earth, anyone who believed in Him could go to Heaven. That’s what was finished: the narrow road that leads to Heaven! Peace with God was purchased with His blood and that payment was now complete. God was not just the God of the Jews but of the whole world.He is the God Who created all and loves and accepts all who believe. When Jesus shouted this loud triumphant cry: It Is Finished…He meant everything that concerns God and Man was done! The penalty, the price, the peace was complete.
When He cried these three powerful words He said to all of the powers of darkness, Hell, and Satan himself, that everything in the past had been wiped clean! No longer could Satan bring any charge against Man because on that day every debt was paid in full! Christ would forever be triumphant as He willingly laid down His life (John 10:17-18), absorbing the wrath of God, maintaining His complete integrity and deity, He finished the work before He died, making all of us who were dead able to come alive!
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as student pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA