Featured Items Ritchie Christian Media

June 2005

From the editor: Character Studies in the Assembly (4)
J Grant

The First Book of Samuel (1)
J Riddle

Poetry: The Trial of Your Faith

The Offerings (2)
J Paton

Book Review

Be not ignorant (4)
R Catchpole

Question Box

The First Epistle of John (13)
S Whitmore

Eternal Punishment (1)
E W Rogers

Notebook: Ecclesiastes
J Grant

Whose faith follow: James MacPhie of Cazombo, Angola (1884-1970)
W Halliday

The Lord sat as King at the Flood
W Alexander

Into All The World: Work in Armenia
Toros Pilibosian

Words from the Cross (6)
C Jones

With Christ

The Lord’s Work & Workers


Words from the Cross (6)

C Jones, Cardiff

It is finished

The sixth cry of the Lord Jesus Christ while He was on the Cross is recorded only by John and is translated in the AV as, "It is finished" (Jn 19.30). These words are surely the most wonderful, momentous, and significant ever spoken. They are a translation of one Greek word, tetelestai, which literally means, "It has been finished".

The Lord knew that "all things were now accomplished" (Jn 19.28), and fulfilled the Scripture (Ps 69.21) by saying, "I thirst". He took the offered vinegar (Jn 19.28-30), gave the great triumphant cry, "It is finished", and immediately afterwards committed His Spirit into the hands of His Father and died (Lk 23.46).

The cry was a cry of triumph and victory, declaring that He had accomplished all He had come to do. Meditation on this cry, which is full of great deep and profound meaning, will bring many blessings, peace and sweet joy to believers.

Prophecies fulfilled

Before He gave this cry, the Lord had fulfilled all the prophecies concerning His incarnation and the sufferings He was to endure before His death. The Lord fulfilled all the types and figures found in the Old Testament. There would no longer be any need for the animal sacrifices to be repeatedly carried out because "this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Heb 10.12). The Lord offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin and made possible our salvation. He had glorified God and finished the work His Father had given Him to do (Jn 17.4). He had come to do His Father’s will (Ps. 40.8; Jn 4.34; 5.36; Heb 10.7,9). At the age of twelve years He had said, "I must be about my Father’s business" (Lk 2.49), and now He had carried out the will of God His Father completely and absolutely (Acts 2.23; 4.25-28). What satisfaction this must have given Him.

Sufferings ended

The three hours of darkness were behind Him. The Lord had borne the wrath of God against sin. His sufferings were almost over and He was to experience death immediately after making the great declaration, "It is finished".

The Lord suffered at the hands of men, Satan, and God. In Gethsemane He suffered agony in His soul (Mt 26.38). He was forsaken by the Jewish nation at Gabbatha (Jn 19.13-15), by the disciples in Gethsemane (Mt 26.56), and when He cried the fourth time on the Cross, it was that awful cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mt 27.46; Ps 22.1). The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten, eternal, and beloved Son of God, had fully and completely satisfied the righteous demands and justice of His Holy Father. He had paid, in full, the price of our redemption. He had kept the holy law of God absolutely and perfectly and, as our substitute, He had suffered the guilt, curse, condemnation, and penalty of that law (Gal 3.13). The Lord suffered and died voluntarily (Jn 10.11,17,18). Death is a consequence of sin (Rom 5.12), but He knew no sin (2 Cor 5.21), did no sin (1 Pet 2.22), and there is no sin in Him (1 Jn 3.5).

Blood must be shed if sin is to be forgiven (Heb 9.22), and those of us who have been saved by grace, through faith (Eph 2.8), can rejoice and thank God that the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet 1.19) has been shed. He tasted death for every man (Heb 2.9), and not only did He die for our sins but He was buried, and "rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor 15.3,4). Now the "blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 Jn 1.7).

Satan defeated

Satan’s power over believers was destroyed, and his ultimate complete defeat was guaranteed by the Lord’s victory on the Cross (Jn 12.31). The Lord gained release from Satan’s hold over believers. He suffered and died on the Cross that "through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb 2.14). Because of the Lord’s finished work Satan’s power is broken and the Holy Spirit can say to us, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (Jas 4.7).

As a result of the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection, "Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor 15.54). What an impact the divine declaration, "It is finished", must have had on Satan and his hosts.

Salvation accomplished

The Lord’s finished work is the foundation of the believer’s blessing and assurance of eternal security. In His deeds, words, life, suffering, and death, the Lord had been obedient to the will of God His Father (Phil 2.8). He had shown His love for His Father and for us, and had revealed Him to mankind (Heb 1.1-3; Jn 14.9). He had borne our sins "in his own body on the tree" (1 Pet 2.24), and in so doing had accomplished the gracious purpose of God, in that a way of salvation was now available for all who would put their faith in Him.

The Lord had completed His sacrificial work. His humiliation and suffering were now almost over, and believers can rest in this finished work and enjoy, in the present, that which has been completed in the past.

There is "now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8.1). He has obtained justification, sanctification, and redemption for believers, and we can enjoy fellowship with God now and eternally. Let us meditate on these things, enjoy the comfort such meditation brings, and give praise and thanks to God and our Saviour. We have been saved from the penalty of sin (Rom 5.9; 6.23), the power of sin (Rom 6.14), and one day we shall be saved from the very presence of sin (1 Thess 4.16,17).

All that was needed up to the point of His death to make possible the salvation of souls had been accomplished. The prophecies concerning the committing of His Spirit into the hands of His Father (Ps 31.5), the piercing of His body (Zech 12.10), and His burial in the grave of a rich man (Is 53.9) were soon fulfilled. In the same way, all the prophecies connected with His Second Advent will be fulfilled in detail, absolutely and completely. Truly, "He hath done all things well" (Mk 7.37).

To be continued.


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