Today is the day. The day we mark the hinge-point of the Gospel. Christ didn’t come here to preach, first and foremost. He came to get a job done.
Today is the day we mark the work He came here to do.
Yes, people loved how He cared for them, how He offered a message of hope. How He told the sinners and scallywags that society would turn their backs on that He loved them and that they had value.
Today marks the day that he proved it.
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. — John 19:28 NKJV
In English, that is three words. In the New Testament, it is written with the word tetelestai.
Literally translated the word tetelestai means, “It is finished.” The word occurs in John 19:28 and 19:30 and these are the only two places in the New Testament where it occurs. In 19:28 it is translated, “After this, when Jesus knew that all things were now completed, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, he said, ‘I thirst.’” Two verses later, he utters the word himself: “Then when he received the sour wine Jesus said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
The word tetelestai was also written on business documents or receipts in New Testament times to show indicating that a bill had been paid in full. The Greek-English lexicon by Moulton and Milligan says this:
“Receipts are often introduced by the phrase [sic] tetelestai, usually written in an abbreviated manner…” (p. 630). The connection between receipts and what Christ accomplished would have been quite clear to John’s Greek-speaking readership; it would be unmistakable that Jesus Christ had died to pay for their sins. –Bible
He made His purpose clear for anyone with ears to hear.
Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and [e]scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” — Mark 10
He settled our accounts with God.
This is what Justice and Mercy really look like.
There is a popular counterfeit going around.
One that likes to speak in terms of ‘oppressed’ and ‘oppressor’. One that explicitly goes so far as to reject the idea of a savior. HEY CHRISTIANS: Does YOUR Church Condemn This ‘Woke’ Heresy… Or Are They SEDUCED By It?
They don’t like the idea of Christ dying on the cross in our place for our sins. A lot of people struggle with that idea. We’ve addressed that here: Why Does God Even Need The Cross To Forgive Anyone’s Sins?
There are two options. We let Christ absorb our guilt into Himself with all the finality of a star being swept into a black hole, or we keep settling scores and checking if they are balanced forever.
One side feels guilty for sins done by his group, or slighted by sins done by another, and we enter into an endless cycle of blame and resentment, where nobody will every be able to dig themselves out of that hole, because we are more interested in making the other guy pay than we are in making things fair for our kids’ generation.
No amount of self-flagellation will be enough. No gift, no apology, no act of abject humiliation will be enough for the oppressor/oppressed cycle to be declared dead. Someone will always find another grievance.
Tell me, can such a society ever hope to find peace? Botherhood? Unity? Forgiveness?
It is a pseudo-justice, driven by emotional ideas of getting what’s mine, not objective values or the Golden Rule.
There is no substitute for the Cross.
If there were, he never would have had to go there.
But there is good news for anyone willing to let go of the oppressed/oppressor narrative.
You don’t have to walk on an endless treadmill of guilt and shame.
He said it Himself…
It is finished.
He knows the things you’ve done. All of it.
He knows YOU can’t fix it.
But He loved you enough to pay the price, and welcome you home.
(If you’ll just trust Him to do so.)
God Bless you on this Easter weekend.