Bringing radical thoughts worth pondering (A blog of poriruachurch.com)
“After this Jesus, knowing that all things are now finished, that the scripture might be accomplished, saith: ‘I thirst.’ There was set there a vessel full of vinegar; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar upon hyssop, and brought it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said: ‘It is finished’ and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit” (John 19:28-30). A terrible darkness had settled down on that barren hill outside of Jerusalem. It was as if the sun refused to shine on a world that could hate so bitterly and kill so cruelly. He had been betrayed by one of his disciples, denied by another and now he alone must tread the winepress as he takes upon himself the sins of the world. As the life force was fleeing from his body we hear Jesus utter the most beautiful words mankind has ever heard: “It is finished!”
Jesus’ final words as he hung upon that cross signified more than the end of life. The ministration of death, the fulfillment of prophecy and the consummation of God’s eternal purpose for mankind were all being realised. It is finished; God’s perfect sacrifice for sin was being poured out upon the altar. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection were a pivotal event in the redemptive history of mankind. God’s eternal purpose for man kind was being fulfilled, and still many in the religious world miss the significance of Christ’s death on the cross.
Jesus’ death put an end to the Law of Moses and the ministration of death. Jesus “hath obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). He took the law (the hand written ordinances) and nailed them to the cross so that man would no longer be judged according to meat or drink or in respect of a holy day or new moon or Sabbath days (Col. 2:13-17). Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5:17-18 is often misapplied in relation to the Law of Moses. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am come not to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Jesus was not indicating that the Law would continue eternally, but that the law and the prophets would not pass away until all had been fulfilled. Paul tells us that the purpose of the law was to be a “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster” (Gal. 3:24,25).
Jesus’ statement, “It is finished.” meant that the prophecies concerning his birth, life, ministry and death had been fulfilled. There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. Concerning Jesus’ birth we are told that he would come forth from the seed of a woman (Gen. 3:14), that he would be a descendent of Abraham and David (Gen. 12:1-3; Psa. 89:3-4), and that he would be born in the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Concerning his ministry we learn that a forerunner was to prepare the way of his coming (Isa. 40:3), and that he would confirm his ministry by many signs and wonders (Isa. 42:1-7). We are told that he would be mocked, scourged and abused just prior to his death (Isa. 50:3), that he would be wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities (Isa. 53:3-5). The prophecies of the birth, life, ministry, betrayal, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus were all fulfilled to the minutest detail.
Finally, Jesus was indicating that God’s eternal purpose for mankind had reached fruition. God had spent generations preparing man through the law, prophets and Old Testament types for this one grand event in the redemptive history of mankind. The great sacrifice for sin which had been promised time and again was now being realised.
Jesus opened the door of salvation for mankind on the precious cross nearly 2,000 years ago. Over 4,000 years were spent in preparing man for Christ’s sacrifice for sin. Now that God’s plan has been culminated and instituted, it is essential for man to realise this great offering through obedient acceptance of God’s will. All the time, preparation and sacrifice made by our divine Father is for naught if we fail to render obedience to his gospel call. This requires belief in Christ (Mark 16:16), Repentance of Sin (Luke 13:3), Confession of Christ (Matt. 10:32), and Baptism into the body of Christ (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21; Gal. 3:27). It is finished! God’s plan for mankind is complete. All God requires is your obedient acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for sin.
Trent H. Wheeler, Enduring Words, Vol. 8, Issue 3, September 1989