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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Crissone

It is Finished

It is growing late as Jesus hangs upon the cross, his bare shoulders pressed against the rough wooden beams that suspend him in the air as the nails that have pierced both his hands and his feet send waves of pain and anguish throughout his body.

A Roman soldier stood below him at the foot of the cross, his face turned toward the innocent carpenter as he gazed at him steadily.

“It won’t be long now,” the soldier thinks to himself.

Jesus parts his lips and blinks in the fading evening light, the scars and vestige of his persecution and punishment covering his face.

“I thirst.”

The soldier blinks in surprise.

It is only a simple sentence, but the voice that had uttered it was so hoarse and faint that it seemed he hadn’t spoken at all.

The soldier steps into action, soaking a sponge in a jar of nearby vinegar and placing it on the end of a stalk of a hyssop plant.

Gently, the soldier brings the sponge to the crucified man’s parched lips.

After a moment, Jesus gazes down at the soldier, and meets his stare.

The soldier swallows.

Jesus’ stare is gentle and tranquil, his brown eyes soulful and meek.

After a moment, Jesus lifts his head and speaks.

“It is finished.”

The soldier stares in wonderment at his words.

What did they mean?

“What is finished?” He murmurs softly.

But no response is made other than the sigh of Jesus’ final breath.



What did Jesus’ last words mean? 

It is finished.

In the original greek text, this sentenced is broken down to one word-

Teleios.

It means, Brought to its end; finished.

Or, it can simply translate to ‘perfect’.


So, what exactly was finished?

Up until this point in history, a complicated system of ritual sacrifices had atoned for man's sins. And only through the sacrifice and shed blood of an animal- a substitute- could people be forgiven and become clean before God. 

But God provided a Lamb. Jesus, the very Son of God, Became the final and ultimate sacrifice for our sin.

It is crucial to the salvation story that we take into account that the cross that Jesus died on, was ours.

We should have hung on that cross and died the sinner's death; but Jesus took our vile sins, all of our vile wretchedness, and nailed them to the cross with his own body.

And as he took his last breath, he took upon himself the shame, guilt and reproach that we as sinners rightfully should have borne. 

Through Jesus, God’s perfect plan of salvation was brought to completion- paving the way for lost sinners and opening the doorway for us to enter Heaven and receive eternal life.

With His death, the complex sacrificial system ended because Jesus took all the sins - past, present, and future- upon Himself. 

Now we can freely approach God because Jesus died in our stead. 

So, ‘Finished’ can stand for the fact that we are redeemed and our sin debt has been paid in full.


It is finished, the battle is over.


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