So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”
And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit (John 19:30).
Jesus spoke many powerful words while He walked this earth, but none more meaningful than His last three: “It is finished.” If we Christians truly understood the power and meaning behind these words, how much more would we love and serve the living God—and impact the dying world?
When Jesus spoke those words as He hung on the Cross, He was referring to a lot more than simply the end of His earthly life or even the cruel and hideous death that evil’s ignorance and God’s righteousness had imposed upon Him. The original meaning of the statement included a “paid in full” stamp for the sins of anyone willing to repent and receive God’s forgiveness.
One of my all-time favorite Christmas cards shows a lamb standing in a field, looking up at a star shining in the heavens. Underneath it says, “He came to pay a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.” What an appropriate visual for our celebration of Easter! He came at Christmas…to pay at Easter. And if He hadn’t? Then there would be no hope for any of us, for there was a debt on each of our accounts that was beyond our paying if we lived to be a thousand. There are not enough “good works” for us to perform to earn our way back into God’s presence, so Jesus came and paid the price for us. And when He uttered those final words—“It is finished”—He stamped our account in His blood: “Paid in full.”
It is a gift we can never repay, but one that we must never stop appreciating. At the center of who we are and everything we say and do must be the joyous and grateful remembrance that “it is finished”—our debt is paid and we can once again come into God’s presence.
An empty tomb is our guarantee.