SEVEN SAYINGS FROM THE CROSS
A THEOLOGY OF FAITHFULNESS
"IT IS FINISHED"
1. This morning, we will continue in our series on the seven sayings from the cross.
VI. THE SIXTH SAYING FROM THE CROSS IS FOUND IN (JOHN 19:30).
§ "When He had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit” (John 19:30).
THIS MORNING, I WILL SHARE WITH YOU SOME IMPORTANT THEOLOGICAL INSIGHTS INTO JESUS' WORDS "IT IS FINISHED."
(1) FIRST, THE STATEMENT "IT IS FINISHED" REVEALS THAT JESUS FAITHFULLY FULFILLED HIS MISSION TO SAVE MANKIND FROM SIN.
1. From the very beginning, God had a plan to save us from our sins.
§ "And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will" (Eph. 1:9-11).
2. God had a plan for our redemption. God's plan is outlined for us in the beginning of the book of Genesis.
§ "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel" (Gen. 3:15).
a. This passage is talking about Jesus…who was the seed or offspring of the woman - born of Mary…would have "His heel" struck by Satan - that was Jesus' death…But God also promised that Jesus would crush Satan's head - that was Jesus' resurrection.
3. God's plan was simple. Send His son, Jesus, to die (as a sin offering…our sacrificial lamb) on the cross to cleanse us from our sins.
4. Jesus executed God's game plan perfectly and fulfilled His mission.
5. Interestingly, Jesus used the Greek word "tetelestai" for "it is finished." This word means "paid in full." When a debt was fully paid, this word would be written on a loan document, will, or letter. In the first century, when people had paid their debt in full, they would shout out the word "tetelestai." It was a shout of triumph…a shout of victory. When Jesus said, "it is finished," He was declaring victory.
6. And through His victory…we become victorious.
Actor Kevin Bacon recounted when his 6-year-old son saw Footloose for the first time:
He said, "Hey, Dad, you know that thing in the movie where you swing from the rafters of that building? That's really cool, how did you do that?"
I said, "Well, I didn't do that part--it was a stunt man."
"What's a stunt man?" he asked.
"That's someone who dresses like me and does things I can't do."
"Oh," he replied and walked out of the room looking a little confused.
A little later he said, "Hey, Dad, you know that thing in the movie where you spin around on that gym bar and land on your feet?
How did you do that?"
I said, "Well, I didn't do that. It was a gymnastics double."
"What's a gymnastics double?" he asked.
"That's a guy who dresses in my clothes and does things I can't do." There was silence from my son, then he asked in a concerned voice, "Dad, what did you do?"
"I got all the glory," I replied.
7. That's the grace of God in our lives. Jesus took our sin upon Himself and did what we couldn't do. We have victory over sin and death because Jesus paid our debt in full!
8. The statement "it is finished" first reveals that Jesus faithfully fulfilled His mission to save us from sin.
(2) SECOND, THE STATEMENT "IT IS FINISHED" REVEALS THE PERSEVERANCE OF JESUS.
1. In His life, Jesus faced many obstacles.
a. As a young child, King Herod tried to kill Him.
b. His family and friends rejected Him.
c. The religious leaders…the Pharisees and Sadducees branded Him as a false teacher.
d. His own disciples abandoned Him and denied even knowing Him.
e. He was arrested, falsely accused of being a criminal, crucified, and died a horrible death on a cross.
2. Although Jesus suffered greatly and faced many obstacles, He never gave up. He never quit. He never dropped out of the race.
3. In this life, you and I are going to face many obstacles.
a. Because of our faith, our family and friends may reject us.
b. Our co-workers may make fun of us.
c. We may experience physical hardships.
4. But in the end, we must be able to say, "it is finished." We must be able to say what Paul said in (2 Timothy 4:7)…"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
5. No matter how many obstacles we face…we must finish the race.
Hours behind the runner in front of him, the last marathoner finally entered the Olympic stadium. By that time, the drama of the day's events was almost over and most of the spectators had gone home. This athlete's story, however, was still being played out.
Limping into the arena, the Tanzanian runner grimaced with every step, his knee bleeding and bandaged from an earlier fall. His ragged appearance immediately caught the attention of the remaining crowd, who cheered him on to the finish line.
Why did he stay in the race? What made him endure his injuries to the end? When asked these questions later, he replied, "My country did not send me 7,000 miles away to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it."
6. Likewise, we as Christians are to finish the race of life. Although we will stumble and endure many hardships, we must get back on our feet and continue running the race. We must make it to the finish line so that we may receive the crown of life.
1. This morning, we have looked at a few theological principles from Jesus' sixth saying from the cross.
a. First, we have learned from the words "it is finished" that Jesus faithfully fulfilled His mission to save mankind from sin.
b. Second, we have learned from the words "it is finished" about the perseverance of Jesus.
2. I hope and pray that this lesson has been beneficial to you. If you would like to respond to the Lord's invitation, please come as we stand and sing.
Primary Resources Used To Develop This Lesson:
Sayings One Friday- Kenn Filkins
Sermon By Dr. James McCullen