IT IS FINISHED
John 19:16b-42, Key Verse: 19:30 “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Do you know the Hymn “Were you there”? “O- some-times it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble! Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” Jesus’ crucifixion really makes us tremble.
Do you have Jesus’ cross in your heart that causes you tremble? By God’s grace, I saw the movie “Passion of Christ” through Wednesday JBF meeting around one month ago. While watching it, I was shocked not because of the movie, but because of myself who had totally forgotten Jesus’ cross. Since then, I have prayed to go back to the cross of Jesus. By God’s grace, God helped me to see Jesus’ cross closely and love the cross again eagerly. I have seen the hope of God in the cross of Jesus. I pray that we may see the hope of God through Jesus' cross.
In today’s passage, Jesus says, “It is finished!” What does it mean to you? Actually, I already knew what it meant. Furthermore, I came to know many meanings preparing this message. I studied several commentary books. I read at least ten other messages. However, I was still thirsty of the true meaning that the Holy Spirit gives me personally. God had mercy on me and helped me to understand and deeply accept this word “It is finished!” It means to me, “Jesus is my Savior!” and “Jesus is my King!” beyond all other meanings.
Through this message, I pray that God may help us to see Jesus on the cross and love Jesus’ cross. I pray that we may accept Jesus as our Savior and King personally.
Let’s read verses 16-18. “Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others--one on each side and Jesus in the middle.”
These verses summarize Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion very simply. Verse 16 says, “Finally!” it sounds like many things happened already before Jesus was handed over to be crucified. Pilate tried to release Jesus because he knew Jesus was innocent. He could find no basis for the charge against Jesus.(Jn18:38) He used Barabbas to release Jesus according to Jewish custom. However, he failed. He used another way to release Jesus. He had Jesus flogged. After that, he said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.” Later, he heard that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. He was afraid and tried to set Him free. But he was pushed by Jewish religious leaders to crucify Him and finally handed him over to them to be crucified.
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. What did they do? John didn’t write about it, but other gospels describe what happened at that time.
According to the Mark gospel and Matthew gospel, The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
On the way to Golgotha, Simon from Cyrene was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).(Mark 15:21-22)
Let’s look at verse 18. Here they crucified Jesus, and with Him two others – one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
We all know that the cross was the worst way of punishing the criminals. Back then, Romans used the cross as a warning to all people so they made the crucifixion as cruel as possible. Jesus was crucified so cruelly. His hands and feet nailed on the cross. He was lifted on the cross and the cross was dropped down in the hole. His body weighed down. His blood flowing down slowly and his breath gasping.
There are many places in the Bible where Jesus’ suffering was described. One of the passages is Psalm 22. It says, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.” (Psalm 22:14-18) Jesus even could count all His bones because the crucifixion caused unimaginable pain not only physically but also mentally and spiritually.
Jesus was crucified in the middle with two criminals. What does it mean to be crucified in the middle of two criminals? Evil men not only made Jesus a political criminal, they also wanted to put him to shame. So they crucified two robbers beside him, placing one on each side with Jesus in the middle. By crucifying him with two other criminals on each side of Jesus, they treated Jesus as one of criminals.
Like this, on the cross, Jesus took up all our shame. We are all men of shame and guilt. But Jesus, who deserves all honor and glory, was shamed so terribly in our places.
Let’s look at verse 19-22. “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.”
Whatever reason Pilate might have for the sign, God used him to declare that Jesus of Nazareth is the King of the Jews. Pilate wrote the title for Jesus, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” instead of writing “Rebellion to Rome,” or “Murderer.” Even Pilate, the Roman governor, knew that Jesus was the King of the Jews even though he didn’t know Jesus is his King.
Then, what does it mean that he is “JESUS OF NAZARETH! KING OF THE JEWS!”
“The king of the Jews” did not mean just the king of the Jews only. Pilate wrote it in then three major languages, Aramaic, Latin and Greek. These were the representative world languages of the time. God was proclaiming that Jesus was the king of all people and all nations through using Pilate. "The King of the Jews" means that he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and the Son of God and the Christ.
Jesus is the King of the Jews. Jesus is the King of Latin(EU). Jesus is the King of Greek. Jesus is the King of all nations. Jesus is our King. Jesus is my King.
Jesus revealed Himself as King at the previous passage Jn 18. Jn 18 (37)"You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
Our King Jesus was crucified on the cross.
Let’s look at verse 21-22. “The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews." Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
The chief priests rejected Jesus, the King of the Jews. They crucified their King. According to Mk 15:10, it was because of their envy. When they rejected their King Jesus, Satan became their king.
Let’s look at verses 23-24. “When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. "Let's not tear it," they said to one another. “Let's decide by lot who will get it.””
These are human beings. While people were dying on the crosses with extreme pain, they were playing underneath. Their consciences were desensitized. They represented the people who have their consciences seared. They were like beasts. They were selfish, greedy and childish.
On the other hand, Jesus let go of absolutely everything - even His clothes - becoming completely poor for us, so we could become completely rich in Him. Jesus even died for such cruel souls.(2Co 8:9)
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." (Ps 22:18)
It may seem that Jesus has no control over these events. Yet God guides all things, so that specific prophecy is specifically fulfilled.
Let’s look at verses 25-27. “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
While disciples ran for life, women did not leave Jesus alone in time of agony. Who were they? It’s like all Mary’s standing by under the cross. According to Luke, these women served Jesus and his disciples at their own expense.(Luke 8:2,3) They shared joy and sorrow, glory and pain together with Jesus. They are in contrast with the disciples who ran for life.
At the moment, the mother of Jesus felt that a sword was piercing her heart, as was predicted by Simeon (Lk 2:35b).
Jesus suffered his unbearable pain, but when he saw his mother, he knew and understood her own pain. Though he himself experienced sharp pain and agony, Jesus cared deeply for his mother’s grief. “Dear woman, here is your son.”
Jesus entrusted John to care for his mother. From that time on, John took her into his home.
This shows that even to the end, Jesus thought and cared for others. Sometimes we wonder who would understand our pain and sorrow. But remember Jesus cares deeply for our sorrow.
Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” Jesus took all our sorrows.
Let’s read verse 28. “Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.””
According to other gospel accounts, it was almost three hours Jesus was hung on the cross before he breathed his last. His strength was dried up like a potsherd and Jesus’ tongue sticks to the roof of His mouth.
Jesus was thirsty physically. However, Jesus was also thirsty to fulfill the Scripture. So Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” This fulfilled Ps 69:21. “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”
Jesus lived by God’s words and determined to fulfill God’s will to the end of his life, though he was breathing his last.
Some people heard Jesus’ word. “A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.”
Jesus didn’t accept wine with mixed with myrrh(a pain-numbing drink) at the beginning of His suffering(Mark 15:23), but now He accepts wine vinegar.
We know that vinegar will cause fire rather than quenching his thirst. Jesus didn’t avoid all pains, but wanted to be awake and carry out His mission to the end.
Let’s read verse 30. “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
What does Jesus mean by “It is finished”?
When we think Jesus’ life and death, it is hard to say, “It is finished!” Now many disciples ran away. Even Peter denied three times. The crowds who received much grace from Jesus hurled insults on Him. In human point of view, it was not finished. However, in God’s point of view, it is finished. It is the great victory!
In Greek “It is finished” is originated from the word “tetelestai.” At that time, this word was used in four situations.
Firstly, it meant that a servant accomplished the given task. Servants reported to their master after they finished their work saying, “Tetelestai!”
Secondly, priests used this word when they tested offerings. They checked whether it was defected or not. Once it had no defect, they proclaimed about that offering. “It is finished!”
Thirdly, artists used this word when they finished their works.
Fourthly, merchants used this word when they paid off all debts.
Then, what does it mean “It is finished?”
Firstly, Jesus finished all the works for salvation. Jesus finished all the works that were needed for the salvation. Therefore we don’t need to add and do something else for our salvation. All we have to do is to repent and believe what Jesus has done for us on the cross.
Jesus paid off all the debts to God we owe. Jesus redeemed us. Jesus bought us with His life. Jesus suffered and died on the cross for our sins instead of us. Jesus paid in full all the price of our sins.
The other criminals were crucified because of their sins, but Jesus as the lamb of God(the passover lamb). "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!(John 1:29)
God accepted his death as a ransom offering for our sins. We must be sentenced and condemned to death because of our own sins. But Jesus took all the punishment of our sins on himself, and he was crucified for our sins so that we may be forgiven, saved and have eternal life.
Isaiah 53:4-6 says, “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Peter who betrayed Jesus shared the cross of Jesus in the book of 1Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
To Peter, Jesus' cross meant that Jesus bore all his sins in the body and Peter himself died to sins and live for righteousness. I wondered about what it meant for Jesus to bear our sins in his body! I realized that Jesus bore in his body all my sins that I committed with my head, my both hands, my both feet, all my bodies. Just like a sponge absorbs water, Jesus' body bore all our sins. How heavy do you think all our sins are?
Jesus bore all our sins on the cross. Because of Jesus, we do not need to go through terrible sufferings and pains. Jesus took up all our sins and carried our sorrows. Jesus was pierced and crushed for all our sins. By his wounds, we are healed.
Peter testified before religious leaders who gave strict orders not to teach in Jesus' name.
“Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead--whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.”(Acts 5:29-31)
Peter accepted Jesus as his Prince and Savior through Jesus' cross.
Then, what does it mean to us, “It is finished.”? Who is Jesus to you?
My life was full of sins. I felt empty. I began to enjoy sexual sins secretly from the middle school. I enjoy evil things such as stealing. I suffered from inferiority, fatalism.
I’m a so proud sinner. I judged servants of God. I slandered other coworkers. I hurt my coworker with severe words. I forgot Jesus cross and despised. I felt reluctant to take this message and tried to avoid Jesus’ cross. Lord! Forgive this sinner! I am a dirty sinner. I'm the worst of sinners. I'm a terrible sinners. Please help me to love Jesus’ cross and die to sins and live for righteousness!
Jesus is my King. Jesus is my Savior. There is one song that expressed my heart for Jesus.
I'm forgiven because you were forsaken
I'm accepted, You were condemned
I'm alive and well
Your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again
Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king. would die for me
Amazing love, I know it's true
It's my joy to honor you
In all I do
I honor you
You are my king
You are my king
Jesus, You are my king
Jesus, You are my king
Secondly, “It is finished” means that Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures that was prophesied for Himself. Jesus fulfilled Genesis 3:15. “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." Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 9:7 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 53. Jesus fulfilled Ps 22 and Ps 61. There are so many Scriptures that were prophesied about Jesus and fulfilled through Him. It shows that Jesus is the promised Christ and the Son of God.
In John 20:31, John explained why he wrote this gospel. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Thirdly, “It is finished!” teaches us Jesus' finishing spirit. Jesus finished His mission with life giving spirit. We can see that Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures on the cross where He must have been in the most painful time. Jesus took care of sheep.(one robber, Centurion and so on.) Jesus loved and cared Mary and John to the end. Jesus gave everything even His undergarment. Jesus forgave our sins on the cross. “Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”” (Lk 23:34)
All these things happened while Jesus was hung on the cross. Jesus carried His mission even on the cross. He finished His mission even drinking the wine vinegar.
Personally I realized that I have never had Jesus’ mission spirit. When I was tired, when I faced limitation, when I felt sick, I forgot Jesus’ cross. I despised the cross. In all places of my daily life, I didn’t love Jesus’ cross. In my prayer life, I lost Jesus’ cross. In fishing ministry, I lost Jesus’ cross. When I prepare a message, I didn’t prepare with all my heart. When I serve RURP(Rutgers University Royal Priesthood), JBF(Junior Bible Fellowship) and God’s flock, I lost Jesus’ cross. I also didn’t have finishing spirit against my sins. I didn’t struggle against my sins to the point of shedding my blood.
I pray to have Jesus’ finishing spirit. I pray to remember Jesus who finished His mission even on the cross. I pray to finish my mission God gave me. I pray to complete the race of faith and finish the task even drinking wine vinegar.
Most of all, I pray to live a life of fulfilling God’s words. What would be the words that I should fulfill? God gave me many words personally to fulfill through my life. I pray to fulfill these words in my life with finishing spirit.
Let’s look at verses 31. “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.”
After Jesus finished His mission, what did religious leaders do? Then wanted to keep the special Sabbath and enjoy the weekend.(Jn18:28)
After they asked Pilate to have the legs of the criminals broken and their bodies taken down, the soldiers broke the legs of the two criminals. But they did not break Jesus’ legs because Jesus was already dead.
Why did all things happen? In doing this, the soldiers unknowingly fulfilled prophecy. Even after Jesus died, the prophecies continued to be fulfilled. It is because God was behind all events. God used all these things to show us that Jesus is the promised messiah so we can believe in him and have eternal life.
Look at verse 34. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. These two great cleansing elements pour forth from the crucified Jesus. Jesus shed his blood for our forgiveness and water for our cleansing.
Firstly, Jesus' blood has power to make us realize sins. If we do not look at Jesus' cross and depend on the blood of Jesus, our conscience become desensitized like Roman soldiers. Even Paul confessed at the last moment of his life. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.”(1Tim 1:15) Because Paul always looked at Jesus' cross and depend on the blood of Jesus, he realized that he was the worst sinner.
Hebrews 9:14 says, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Here says the blood of Jesus cleanses our consciences from acts that lead to death. Jesus' blood has power to make us realize our sins cleansing our evil and dead consciences.
Secondly, the blood of Jesus has power to forgive our sins. At the Lord's Supper, Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”(Mt 26:28) When we drink the blood of Jesus, we receive the forgiveness of sins.
Thirdly, the blood of Jesus enables us to serve the living God. Hebrew 9:14 says “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
The blood of Jesus not only cleanse our dirty conscience, but also enable us to serve the living God. Hebrew 10:19-20 says “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,”
Those who have faith in the blood of Jesus have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place where God stays. We can serve God only by the blood of Jesus.
We serve God in many things: message, preaching the gospel, sing-spiration, presider, offering money, cleaning the center, serving meals, making title, dance, testimony and so on. Whatever we do, we should serve the living God with confidence by the blood of Jesus, not with guilty conscience. Before serving God, we should wash our hearts with the blood of Jesus and have sincere and brokenhearted hearts. Then, God will accept whatever we do as living sacrifices.
Fourthly, Jesus' blood has power to overcome Satan.
Rev 12:11 says, “They overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
These days, I was afraid of martyrdom when I thought about many news regarding the end of age. So, I read the book of Revelation and tried to know how to overcome such persecution.
I realized that only those who have the blood of Jesus and the word of testimony can overcome fear. The blood of Jesus gives us life and boldness to overcome persecution. I pray that we may overcome Satan with the blood of Jesus and the word of testimony.
John 6:53-56 “Jesus said to people, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 6:56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.”
This means everyday we should eat Jesus' body and drink Jesus' blood just like we eat food and drink water. Drinking Jesus' blood should be our life and our strength.
I pray that we may deeply experience the power of Jesus' blood in our daily life. I pray that we may win the victory by the blood of Jesus. I pray that we may have deep fellowship with the living God by the blood of Jesus.
In Conclusion, Jesus finished His mission. Jesus forgave all our sins. Jesus is my Savior and my King. Jesus finished salvation works and his mission!
So what should we do? Let’s do two things clearly! Let’s bring all our sins to Jesus and be forgiven. Let’s fasten Jesus’ cross on our hearts. Let’s love Jesus’ cross more than anything else like Paul did. “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1Co 2:2) So let’s carry out our mission with the same spirit as Jesus’. Let’s love Jesus’ cross till we finish the race and receive the crown of righteousness.
|25||2010 SBC Closing Message (Philippians 3:1-11) by M. Joseph Sohn ||Joseph||2010.08.25||23251|
|24||THE OUTLINE OF THE WHOLE SCRIPTURES by Nehemiah Kim (Gwangju I,IV) - 05/10/10 ||admin||2010.05.17||23521|
|23||2010 New Year Conference 2nd Day Message (Acts 2:42-47) by M. Joseph Sohn ||Joseph||2010.01.02||23260|
|22||2009 ESBC Closing Message by M. Dr. John Jun: Make Disciples of All Nations ||admin||2009.08.31||24733|
|21||2009 ESBC Main Message VI by Shep. Bruno Aussant: The Word of the Lord Grew in Power ||admin||2009.08.31||24859|
|20||2009 ESBC Main Message V by Shep. Georgi Kumanichliev: The Risen Christ Gives Great Commission ||admin||2009.08.31||19593|
|19||2009 ESBC Main Message IV by Shep. Joachim Dietzel: Jesus Said, It is Finished||admin||2009.08.31||12913|
|18||2009 ESBC Main Message III by Shep. Titus Keller: But Seek His Kingdom ||admin||2009.08.31||12975|
|17||2009 ESBC Main Message II by Shep. Abraham Kaier: Your Sins are Forgiven ||admin||2009.08.31||15082|
|16||2009 ESBC Main Message I by Shep. Eberhard Groß: Jesus, the Spring of Living Water||admin||2009.08.31||13258|
|15||2009 ESBC Opening Message by Shep. Dr. Samuel H Lee: The Hope of God ||admin||2009.08.31||12411|
|14||2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Exodus 19:1-6) by M.Matthew Kim ||kimmatthew||2009.08.03||14321|
|13||2009 SBC 3rd Day Message(Acts 19:1-22) by sh. Jason Perry ||livebyfaith||2009.08.02||12875|
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