Good Friday – 4/10/2020

Reading: John 19:30

"It Is Finished!" - The Triumph of Jesus Christ on Good Friday

Reflecting on the Words of Victory

On Good Friday, as Jesus received the sour wine while hanging on the Roman cross, he spoke the profound words, "It is finished." In this article, we delve into the significance of these words and the triumph they represent. The resounding declaration of Jesus holds a comforting message that resonates with us today.

Rediscovering the Meaning of "It is finished"

The Greek Perspective: "Tetelestai" - A Word of Completion

In the original Greek text, the phrase "It is finished" is encapsulated in the word "tetelestai." This single word carries profound meaning, emphasizing completeness and accomplishment. Being a passive verb without a subject, it leaves the hearer to supply the missing subject, which in this case is "it." Furthermore, the perfect tense of the word implies that the action completed in the past continues to have lasting effects in the present. Hence, a more accurate translation of Jesus' words would be "It has been completed!" or "It stands finished!"

The Impact on Jesus' Followers: A Message of Hope

When Jesus uttered these words, His followers, witnessing His battered and bloodied form on the cross, must have been filled with despair and fear. They had seen their Messiah rejected and humiliated, and now crucified. The phrase "It is finished" likely signaled the end of their hopes and the tragic loss of their Savior. However, unbeknownst to them, Jesus' declaration held incredible news—a proclamation of victory.

Unveiling Jesus' True Purpose: Triumph and Redemption

Jesus was not merely a victim of circumstance; He had willingly laid down His life according to a divine plan. His miraculous deeds throughout His ministry had demonstrated His authority and power. The Roman cross, though brutal and agonizing, was central to His mission—the mission that His death ultimately fulfilled. Even before His crucifixion, Jesus had declared that He came to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.

The Ultimate Sacrifice: Atonement for Sin

The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem marked the beginning of His destined path to the cross. The wooden cradle of His infancy would be exchanged for the wooden cross of His crucifixion. Jesus came as the sacrificial Lamb of God, bearing the weight of the world's sin. When Jesus proclaimed, "It is finished," He declared the completion of His mission to atone for sinners. Through His death, the guilt of humanity, from Adam to the end of time, was forever removed.

The Banner of Good News: Reconciliation and Freedom

"It is finished!" resonates as the banner of good news that triumphantly waves over our lives. God's justice had found all humanity lacking and deserving of eternal wrath. However, now it all stands finished! Jesus has borne the judgment for our sins, uttering the agonizing words, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" He made complete atonement, leading to reconciliation between God and humanity. Through Jesus' sacrifice, the favor of God is eternally sealed. The tearing of the temple curtain from top to bottom symbolizes the open access to God for all who believe and are baptized in Jesus Christ.

The Overcoming of Accusation and Suffering

With Jesus' victory cry of "It is finished!" comes freedom from the accusing power of the enemy. The devil's ability to condemn and accuse believers has been conquered by the Lamb of God. Furthermore, when affliction befalls us, we can rest assured that it does not arise from God's wrath but is allowed by His grace. By sharing in Christ's sufferings, we partake in His glory.

Forgiveness and Transcending the World

"It is finished!" signifies that forgiveness is already secured for those who wrong us. No longer do others need to atone for their sins before we can extend love and forgiveness. The ultimate atonement has been accomplished, empowering us to forgive as we have been forgiven. As believers, we are called to live above the world's standards, setting our sights on heavenly things. Through Jesus' "tetelestai," sinners are assured of their eternal place with Him in paradise.

The Blessing of Good Friday

Today, as we commemorate Good Friday, let us remember the resounding proclamation of Jesus Christ: "It is finished!" His victory has infused this day with goodness and opened the door to God's unending grace in our lives. No virus or suffering can separate us from the love of God. No enemy can overcome our souls. With triumphant voices, we echo Jesus' words: "O Lord, into your hands, I commend my body and spirit!" Amen.

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