John 19 v28-30
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John is keen to show how everything was aligned to the Scriptures, Psalm 69:12 “(They) gave me vinegar for my thirst.”
He tells us that the hyssop plant was used to give the vinegar to Jesus: Exodus 12:22 “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe.” The reader realises that we have come full circle, Scripture has been completed; Jesus is indeed the Passover Lamb of God which didn’t cover over but took away our sin.
That is why John uses the same word on two occasions in this short section. He uses one word which is translated for us as ‘It is finished’.
The job is done! Everything that had to be done has been done! It is finished!
All that is left to do is for you and I to put our faith in that finished work of the cross and follow that Lord who died and rose for us.
John is the only gospel to have originally been written in Greek and the one word that is used for ‘it is finished’ is tetelestai.
I am sure many of you have heard thousands of sermons on this one word with wonderful explanations of what it means. Perhaps we just need to meditate on the word as I have been doing this morning. Let it fall into our minds and hearts. We may never fully comprehend this word but we must let it rule our lives. C.H. Spurgeon said, “It would need all the other words that ever were spoken, or ever can be spoken, to explain this one word. It is altogether immeasurable. It is high; I cannot attain to it. It is deep; I cannot fathom it. “It is finished” is the most charming note in all of Calvary’s music.” That quote in itself is beautiful.
It is finished and so I don’t strive to be a better person, God says I am already.
It is finished and so everything that comes my way, whether fear or guilt, shame or judgment falls to the ground, whether or not I feel it or believe it, it matters not, it is a contract binding in the blood of Jesus, it is true.
It is finished and so I don’t need to question what God thinks of me and I don’t need to ask whether He is angry with me.
Some of the most miserable people are Christians who are trying to be holy. They haven’t understood the words It is finished.
Some of the most miserable people are Christian moralists. We need moralists to practice good morals but we don’t need moralists who condemn the immoral simply because they have never understood the words It is finished.
Some of the most miserable people are the Christians who are more aware of them doing the work of God than the Spirit doing the work of God in them. They haven’t understood It is finished.