It is finished – Meaning and expression of Jesus last words on the cross

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“It is finished.” These three powerful words uttered by Jesus on the cross have been a source of comfort and strength for many throughout the centuries. But what exactly did Jesus mean when he said these words? To understand the full meaning of Jesus’ last words, we must look at the context in which they were spoken. In this article, we will discuss the meaning and expression of Jesus’ last words on the cross, “It is finished.” We will explore the historical context of Jesus’ crucifixion, the original Greek language in which the phrase was spoken, and how these words can be applied to our lives today.

The meaning of It is finished and expression of Jesus last words on the cross

The last utterance uttered by Jesus on the cross was “It is finished” in  John 19:30. But after all, what does the expression consummated really mean?

The Greek word translated “it is finished”  as tetelestai, an accounting term meaning paid in full. 

Jesus is saying that “man’s debt to the Creator because of Adam’s sin is paid”!

Jesus, with ” it is finished “, is saying not only that He takes away man’s sin, but here he removes it in its entirety, from east to west, for it is finished, paid for, signed, and sealed.

What does the expression It is finished in John 19: 30 mean?

Only Jesus can say it’s finished

It is important to mention that the expression “It is finished” is found only in this biblical passage. 

Before Christ’s arrest by the Romans, Jesus gave his last public prayer, where he asked the Father to glorify Him.

Jesus’ work is to seek and save what is lost (  Luke 19:10  ) and to provide atonement for the sinners He died for in order to reconcile them to God. 

No one but the Lord God could perform and say with all authority, “ It is finished ” (John 19:30). 

It is Finished Points to the Fulfillment of Prophecy

When Jesus said, It is finished in John 19:30, He completed all the Old Testament prophecies, symbols, and foreshadowings about Himself. 

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From the beginning of Genesis to the end of Malachi, there are 300 detailed prophecies about the Anointed Jesus. 

From the “seed” that would crush the serpent’s head (  Genesis 3:15  ) to the Suffering Servant (  Isaiah 53  ). 

The prediction of the Lord’s messenger was also fulfilled by John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for Jesus. 

All prophecies were fulfilled and ended in the life, ministry, and death of the Lord Jesus. 

What should we learn from “It is finished”?

When we meditate on this word spoken on the cross, what should we learn for our lives? Let’s see below:

1. We must live the purpose

First and foremost we must choose to live on purpose. 

For if Jesus did not have a purpose, a mission to fulfill, the words “It is finished” would have little meaning. 

Our lives may not be as clear, as purpose-oriented as the life of Jesus. 

However, I believe that one of the signs of maturity in our Christian lives is discerning our spiritual gifts and abilities and then ordering our lives to maximize what God has given.

Jesus told the parables of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the pounds (Luke 19:11-27). 

In each case, the servant’s success was “ trading ” with what the master had given him, in order to produce the greatest possible result for the master, given each servant’s unique talents, time, and circumstances. 

The reward was hearing the master say, “ Well done, good and faithful servant… ” (Matthew 25:21).

2. We must live focused

Second, living a life of purpose requires us to focus on our priorities. 

Instead of living a life of stray shots, we should be marksmen who aim carefully at the target and make clear shots. This requires focus and discipline. 

It means saying “No” to many things, so we can say “Yes” to even better opportunities.

3. We must live in obedience

Jesus is God himself, but in his earthly life he willingly obeyed. “He humbled himself and became obedient to death” (Philippians 2:8). Paul put it this way:

“ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ” (Galatians 2:20)

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Obedience is the opposite of independent action. We must live in obedience to God, not ourselves.

4. We must be willing to suffer to achieve God’s purpose

Finally, to say “ It is finished ”, we must be willing to suffer in order to achieve God’s purpose for our lives. 

We can’t give up on purpose just because things are difficult. We are willing to suffer whatever is necessary to complete the Father’s plan for our lives.

When our lives are over, we want to be able to say with Paul:

“The time has come for my departure. I fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith. From now on, the crown of righteousness is reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, gives me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who long for him.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

It Is Finished - The Last Words of Jesus on the Cross

It Is Finished – The Last Words of Jesus on the Cross

The Jewish leaders feared Jesus and, with the help of Judas Iscariot, Roman soldiers arrested Christ. 

Jesus was then tried for claiming to be the King of the Jews. Under Roman law, the punishment for rebellion against Caesar was death by crucifixion. 

Jesus placed a crown of thorns on his head and carried the cross to Golgotha.

Crowds gathered to watch Jesus die. On the cross, Jesus was nailed between two criminals and pierced by a sword. 

But even as Jesus was being ridiculed, one of the criminals asked Jesus to remember him (  Luke 23:42  ). Learn more in the following article: The Thief of the Cross.

When Jesus breathed his last, he said, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit, it is finished ” (Luke 23:46). 

He spoke aloud. Jesus declared this for all to hear. He uttered a loud cry to His Father in heaven, that the whole world might know, and that every evil force might flee, for Christ’s work on the cross was complete.

Done. Carried out. Paid! Last words have power. And without a doubt, deep meaning.

There is no doubt that Jesus knew the power these final words would have for generations to come. 

What does it mean that the veil was torn in half?

That day was a day of miracles…

For at the very moment that Jesus breathed his last, the veil of the temple that covered the entrance to the Holy of Holies, the true dwelling place of God among the people, was split in two, from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:51)

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Sometimes in our minds, we might imagine a thin veil covering this entrance, but history records that the veil was about 60 feet high and up to 4 feet thick. 

The sheer size of the veil would make it impossible for any human being to rip it in two. 

This was a complete miracle from the hand of God, meaning that He had opened the door for us to come in and have a relationship with Him.

By the way, after reading this article, I highly recommend that you read: Jesus is the Door of the Sheep.

What does Jesus’ death mean to us?

Up to the time of Christ’s death, there was a system in place in which sacrifices had to be offered for sin. 

That was the only way people could be forgiven.

People sin every day. And these sins cost us a lot, they separate us from God, create a barrier, and often lead us to great despair. 

But the hope we now have because of Christ’s death on the cross and His final sacrifice on our behalf is this: He paid the price for us

He paid the sacrifice in full on our behalf. No further payments are required. He only asks that we accept His gift of forgiveness and life.

Jesus came to save. He came to rescue us and to give us the lasting life that we can only find through him. 

What does it mean in John 19:30?

What does the expression It is Finished mean to us today?

It is finished means that Christ has won. He emerged victorious, and through Him, we are also more than conquerors.

Those 2 words mean that we have been set free, that He paid the price on our behalf, it means that we cannot do anything outside of our relationship with Christ to earn God’s favor…

The expression ‘it is finished’ means that the Lord offers us a free gift and that we don’t need to live under the weight of condemnation, guilt, or shame.