Last Words from the Cross — Article Series:
#1 - Forgiveness
#2 - Salvation
#3 - Comfort
#4 - A Cry from Hell

#5 - I Thirst

# 6 - Victory!
#7 - Committal

Last Words from the Cross #6 - Victory!
(posted 4-9-03)

“When Jesus, therefore, had received the vinegar, He said, IT IS FINISHED:..”(John 19:30).
Out of the mid-day darkness Jesus shouts “IT IS FINISHED!” –His most exciting words from the cross, --words of victory! He has been on the cross since 9:00 a.m. Darkness had fallen at noon.  Now it is almost 3:00 p.m. Jesus’ fifth word, “I thirst”(probably whispered), suggests His mouth and tongue were too parched to say more. The vinegar He received from the soldiers provided just enough moisture for Jesus to shout His sixth word, “IT IS FINISHED!” In Greek, it was one word, “TETELESTAI!” It could be shouted like a trumpet call. The other gospels say Jesus “cried with a loud voice” just before He died (Matthew 27:50, Mark 15:37 and Luke 23:46). They do not say what He cried. Only John gives us this shout of victory that may have replaced the darkness with light. Jesus did not say, “I am finished,” but “IT is finished.”  What was finished?
(1) To manifest God’s love for a lost world, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13), 
(2) To fulfill Scripture (John 19:28),
(3) To suffer in our place for our sins.  “…the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6), 
(4) To satisfy the holy justice of God the Father. “He shall see the travail of His soul and be satisfied;” (Isaiah 53:11),
(5) To pay our ransom. “Even as the Son of man came … to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28),
(6) To destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), and finally,
(7) To provide our eternal life in Heaven. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16). 
All these goals were completed when Jesus shouted “Tetelestai,” proclaiming His Victory! The payment for our salvation was finished. Dr. Herschel Hobbs says it was a common practice at that time to write this same word, “Tetelestai”, across debts or taxes when they were paid. It meant, “Paid in full.” Our sin debt was paid in full by Jesus on the Cross.
The hymn says it so well:
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a
 crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” (Elvina Hall).
World War II ended September 12th, 1945. There were parades and great rejoicing! We sang, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, Hurrah! Hurrah!” Our soldiers came home to a tumultuous welcome. What a glorious time it was!
But not as great as that day when Jesus cried “Tetelestai.” Our Heavenly Father rejoiced! Angels sang! Old Testament saints rejoiced to see the object of their faith, God’s promised atoning sacrifice fulfilled. All Christians should join the heavenly choir celebrating the finished work of Jesus on Calvary. His suffering was complete. His battle was won. Our peace was purchased. Jesus was ready to go back home to Heaven. Can you imagine His welcome? Heaven is still celebrating Jesus’ victory and one day all the redeemed will join that great celebration!
Dear friend, salvation is free! Believe in Jesus and receive Him as your Savior. Let Him write “Tetelestai” on your soul; “Paid for in full.” And Jesus will add your name in His Lamb’s book of life, forgiven at Calvary! Amen.

© 2003 D. B. Martin

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