Today’s Blog Post has been written by Tim Huyer!
As we prepare for Good Friday, we consider the sacrifice of Christ and what his death means for us.
For me, the image of Jesus, hanging on the cross, uttering the words “It is finished” is one of the most powerful images I can imagine. While suffering indescribable torture – not just the physical torture of a horrific execution but also the much worse spiritual torture of bearing the wrath of God against all of our sins – he gasps out these three words.
These words, like all the words in Scripture, are a message to us. In this case, it was a message so important that, while literally suffocating to death (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2004/apr/08/thisweekssciencequestions), He found the strength and breath to say it to us.
So what do these three words mean? Just exactly was this “it” that is finished? Jesus did not follow grammar rules on avoiding ambiguous pronouns (https://www.cedarville.edu/~/media/Files/PDF/Writing-Center/Student/avoiding-vague-and-ambiguous-pronoun-references.pdf), so there is no clear antecedent to the word “it” in the Gospel. We must instead use other methods to find out what He meant.
We can rule out a few of the things that cannot be the “it” that He said. God’s work on earth is not finished. It continues.
The Word of God is not finished. There is plenty more scripture in the Bible.
Jesus’ time on earth is not finished. We know He rose again three days later. We also know He is coming again.
It isn’t even the last words He said on the cross. Those words, as we know, are found in Luke’s Gospel. (http://biblehub.com/luke/23-46.htm)
“It” must mean something else.
I think the “it” is the purpose for Jesus being nailed to that cross in the first place. The reason why Jesus became man and came to earth.
Jesus came to earth to die for us. He came to fulfill the Law, to atone for our sins, to reconcile us to God. He completed this task, this gift of unthinkable grace, on the cross.
The Bible speaks about our fall from grace. How we sinned and stopped walking with God, turning away from Him time and time again.
Everything changed the moment he spoke these three words.
Because of Jesus’ gift of his death, because of the blood of our Lord and Saviour, our fall is finished. Our being cast out is finished. Our being condemned to death and damnation is finished.
In a way, we can think of a new testament, a new story, beginning at this point. The “it” that is finished is the story of our fall. The story of our redemption is begun. That story will continue until He comes again in Glory and, speaking from the throne, says “It is done.” (http://biblehub.com/revelation/21-6.htm)