Wooden cross in Good Shepherd Chapel



It is Finished

Lent 2018

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.”

John 19:30

As our Lord concludes his sixth hour upon the cross, he thirsts. To quench that thirst, a sponge dripping with sour wine is thrust into his face. Despite its awful bitterness, he drinks. Then, in a loud and victorious voice, he proclaims the sweetest words ever spoken, “It is finished.”

But, what was finished? And, to whom was he speaking? When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He announced the completion of his redemptive work. He had made us one with God the Father again.

“It is finished” means that he had completed his great sacrifice for the world—that as our substitute, he had paid our ransom to the last penny so that no sin could ever be charged to our account when we believe in Jesus as our Redeemer and Savior from sin.

To whom was He speaking? First and primarily, our Lord was triumphantly reporting to his Father. He was reporting to the one who had sent him on this mission of mercy. He was reporting not as one forced against his will, but as one who endured it obediently and who looked forward to his new role as our mediator at his Father’s right hand.

Second, these words were spoken for all to hear, so that all might be comforted in knowing that God’s plan of salvation was now a completed fact.

Now that you have heard these words once again, you who are far removed from the scene of these dying words, what do they mean to you?

They call us to take the task he gives you—and taking it gladly, saying, “Here am I, Lord, send me.” And, they call us to pass on the victory and the meaning of our Lord’s final and sweetest words on the cross : “It is finished.”

Dr. Marty Schramm
Professor, Concordia University Irvine

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