Date: April 2011
Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures… They are they which testify of Me. “ John 5:39”
Author: Bob Moses
The Seven Utterances of Jesus From the Cross
Sixth, The Word of Victory! “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is Finished” (John: 19:30).
We come upon an interesting reversal of the pilgrimage of our Lord with this statement; “It is Finished”. We see Him transformed before our very eyes, from the victim to the victor. Upon the fulfillment of all Scripture regarding Him, and at the last receiving vinegar to drink; He states; “It is Finished”. He had fulfilled all that the Father had requested of Him. He had suffered as the innocent One for our transgressions, and finally the hour of His bereavement was over. He proclaimed; “It is Finished”. This proclaimed the consummation of His Mission and formed the basis of our Salvation. As my wife, Barb says; “Good will always overcome evil, it is God’s way”.
The Greek word used here “teleo”; has several renderings as variously translated in the New Testament. Rather than attempt to explain each, allow me to summarize and put the onus upon you to do the necessary follow-up research, should you choose to do so. The essence being; the scope of the Saviour’s sixth Cross-utterance; “It is finished, means, “it is made and end of;” it is “paid;” it is “performed;” it is “accomplished.” What was made an end of? Our sins, and their guilt. What was “paid?”; the price of our redemption. What was “performed?”; the utmost requirements of the Law. What was “accomplished?”; the work which the Father had given Him to do. What was “finished?”; the making of Atonement for the sins of all mankind.
God has furnished at least four proofs that Christ did finish the Work which was given Him to do. First, in the rending of the Veil, which showed that the way to God was now open. Second, in the Raising of Christ from the dead, which evidenced that God had accepted His sacrifice. Third, the Exaltation of Christ to His own right hand, which demonstrated the value of Christ’s work and the Father’s delight in His person. Fourth, the Sending to earth of the Holy Spirit to apply the virtues and benefits of Christ’s atoning death. Therefore one might ask what was finished?; The Work of Atonement!! “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquities of us all” (Isa. 53:6)
Brother Pink explains this better than any I have observed: “This distinction between sin IN and sin ON is a vital one, and there should be little difficulty in apprehending it. Were I to say the judge passed sentence on a criminal, and that he is now under sentence of death, everyone would understand what I meant. In like manner, everyone out of Christ has the sentence of God’s condemnation resting upon him. But when a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus, receives Him as his Lord and Master, he is no longer “Under condemnation”; sin is no longer On him, that is, the guilt, the condemnation, the penalty of sin, is no longer upon him. And why? Because Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree (I Peter 2:24); the guilt, condemnation, and penalty of our sins, was transferred to our Substitute. Hence, because my sins were transferred to Christ, they are no more upon me.” A.W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, Page; 115.
I would ask our readers to indulge me upon one last point of this Victory proclamation of our Lord as it encompasses the Goal of the Incarnation. The Holy Scriptures indicates there is a special Work peculiar to each of the Divine Persons, though, like the Persons themselves, it is not always easy to distinguish between their respective works. God the Father is especially concerned in the Government of the world. He rules over all the works of his hands. God the Son is especially concerned in the work of Redemption; He was the One who came here to die for sinners. God the Spirit is especially concerned with the Scriptures: He was the One who moved holy men of old to speak the messages of God, as He is the One who now gives spiritual illumination and understanding, and guides into the Truth. But it is with the Work of God the Son we are here particularly concerned.
Before the Lord Jesus came to this earth a definite work was committed to Him. In the volume of the book it was written of Him, and He came to do the recorded will of God. Even as a boy of twelve the “Father’s business” was before His heart and occupied His attention. Again, in John 5:36 we find Him saying “But I have greater witness than that of John; for thy works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do.” The Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do.” And on the last night before His death, in that wonderful high priestly prayer we find Him saying, “I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4)
Thus we see upon these words of Our Lord “It is Finished” His words of Victory. He had overcome Satan, He had overcome the world, He had overcome the sin of mankind, by taking the sin of mankind upon Himself. He had redeemed His people. He was the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. He was the God-Man and the Man-God. This was our Redeemer! Next we shall examine His Place of Rest, for a job well done, and the reward of His experience.