“It is finished!” (John 19:30)
If, with these words, Christ is declaring that a goal has been accomplished, that something has been finished, to what is He referring? Let’s answer that question by asking another question, “With what work did Christ concern Himself?” You see, when one makes the declaration that something is finished we understand that he has started something—we know that he was about some work. Well then, in what work was Jesus involved?
- “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”(Matthew 20:28).
- “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins”( Matthew 26:28).
- “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 10:45).
- “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
- “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).
- “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law”(Galatians 4:4).
- “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
The work with which Christ had concerned Himself was the work of atonement—the work of redemption, He was concerned with accomplishing something and that something was the salvation of man from sin. We must understand this: Jesus accomplished something on the cross. He accomplished atonement. Just like the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place once a year who did not merely make atonement available, He made atonement. And that indeed is what our Great High Priest has done. When He cried out with declarative authority, “Finished!” He was stating not that atonement was available but that it was COMPLETED!!!! Jesus did not die in vain! His death was not some flimsy attempt at accomplishing a work, it was an all out success and so when we read this word we read not the final desperate cry of a victim, no, we hear the loud resounding shout of the Victor. IT IS FINISHED! What is finished? The work of atonement–this is the completion of the work of grace! That is what He completed.
Christ completed this work in full, leaving nothing undone. There is nothing that can be added to the work of Christ.
But there remains this very important question: Is it finished for you? Is the cup of Divine Wrath that has your name on it empty or full? Has it been drained by Christ or are you heading toward His judgment?
For whom did Christ accomplish this atonement? Well, we must answer this question with the inspired and inerrant words of the writer of that great letter to the Hebrews. This book is nothing more than a commentary on the Day of Atonement and so it is fitting that we go there on this important day. Notice please Hebrews 10:14, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”