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It Is Finished!

John 19:28-30 MKJV  After this, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, I thirst.  (29)  Then a vessel full of vinegar was set. And they filled a sponge with sour wine and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth.  (30)  Then when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished! And He bowed His head and gave up the spirit.

Jesus drank the cup of suffering and when the last drop was done He cries out “It is finished!” This verb is in the perfect tense – meaning that it was completely finished for all time, an absolute terminus of the work of the cross.

Matthew Henry puts it well: Especially observe the dying word wherewith Jesus breathed out his soul. It is finished; that is, the counsels of the Father concerning his sufferings were now fulfilled. It is finished; all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished. It is finished; the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away. It is finished; an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness. His sufferings were now finished, both those of his soul, and those of his body. It is finished; the work of man's redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken from him by force, but freely given up.

The writer to the Hebrews reinforces that the work of the cross was ‘once for all time” and is not a repeated work like the work of earthly priests.

Hebrews 7:26-27 MKJV  For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens,  (27)  who does not need, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice daily, first for his own sins and then for the people's sins. For He did this once for all, when He offered up Himself.

Hebrews 9:11-14 MKJV  But when Christ had become a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building  (12)  nor by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  (13)  For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh,  (14)  how much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 10:10-12 MKJV  By this will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  (11)  And indeed every priest stands daily ministering and offering often the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  (12)  But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right of God,

The cross is a finished work that was done once for all people and all time. It does not need to be repeated in the Mass. Christ is not crucified again (in Heaven) whenever the Mass is held as some believe. Ceremonies, which need to be repeated, do not deal with sin. The cross has dealt with sin, once, for all time, two thousand years ago.

This moment on the cross is the moment of the closing of the Old Testament and the bringing in of the New. When Jesus said “It is finished” He was also speaking of the Old Covenant and the Jewish Law. Its provisions and its prophets were “until John” who was the last and greatest of the Old Testament saints (Matthew 11:11-13). Between John the Baptist and the cross was a strange period in which people “forced their way into” the Kingdom of God as the Old Covenant passed away. (see Matthew reference above) Then on the cross  the “New Covenant in My blood” was sealed by His death and brought into being. (Matthew 26;28, 1 Corinthians 11:25, Hebrews 9:15)

The cross is the place where everything finishes – sin, sickness, law, condemnation, and all our pains, our iniquities and our grief. We die there with Christ. It is our cross also and our old nature is crucified with Christ. Through baptism we die and are buried with Christ that we might be raised to newness of life.

Romans 6:3-11 MKJV  Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?  (4)  Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life.  (5)  For if we have been joined together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection;  (6)  knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.  (7)  For he who died has been justified from sin.  (8)  But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,  (9)  knowing that when Christ was raised from the dead, He dies no more; death no longer has dominion over Him.  (10)  For in that He died, He died to sin once; but in that He lives, He lives to God.  (11)  Likewise count yourselves also to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Because of the cross we can count ourselves dead to sin and to the old life. It is finished. It is no longer “us”. We have a new self, created in holiness and in the image of God, born from above by the living word of God. (Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10, 1 Peter 1:23, John 3:3,7)

Glory not in the old, but in the new. The flesh profits nothing. (John 6:63) All the pomp of this world is dung. It is the Spirit that gives life. It is finished, old things have passed away, behold all things are new!

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 MKJV  (16)  So as we now know no one according to flesh, but even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we no longer know Him so.  (17)  So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Blessings in Jesus,

John Edmiston