IT IS FINISHED! (Jesus’ Seven Sayings from the Cross 7)

It is finished!

The last words, according to John, Jesus said before he died were, ‘It is finished!’ (John 19:30).  Not ‘I am finished’ but, ‘IT is finished!’ This is the great guttural Aramaic shout ‘TETELESTAI!’ No matter how hard we may try, it is impossible to shout loudly, our English translation, ‘It is finished!’  But in the Aramaic … well ‘TETELESTAI’ is a word you can really get your teeth into. It is a word meant to be shouted loudly!

Jesus is not a victim, but a servant doing God’s bidding. This is not a cry of desolation – ‘At last its over’ but a cry of triumph! It is a triumphant declaration – it is finished, it is done, it is accomplished! The sacrifice for the salvation of the world is made. His resurrection from the dead three days later is simply God’s ‘Amen’ to the sacrifice Jesus has made on our behalf!

With that, he bowed his head, he released his spirit – he let it go – and he died. Alleluia! What a Saviour!

‘Man of Sorrows,’ what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Alleluia! what a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Alleluia! what a Saviour!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
‘Full atonement!’ – can it be?
Alleluia! what a Saviour!

‘Lifted up’ was He to die,
‘It is finished!’ was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high;
Alleluia! what a Saviour!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing:
Alleluia! what a Saviour!

Philip Bliss (1838-76)

Julia Binney