January 20, 2018
READ: John 19:16-30
[Jesus] said, “It is finished!” (v.30).
During our lifetimes we might occasionally find ourselves uttering the words, “It’s finished!” For the student who just took a final exam, it means “I’m done with that class,” or perhaps even “I’m finally graduating!” For the project manager, it could mean, “The project is successfully completed.” For the husband ending a conflict with his wife, it could declare, “I was wrong, please forgive me.” For someone caring for a dying loved one, it might mean, “Your father has passed on.”
For the Jewish leaders at the time of Jesus, the words, “It is finished”, meant they had succeeded in killing Him (John 11:53). For the Roman soldiers, the words declared they’d carried out the death penalty (19:16-18). For the disciples, it meant their hopes of the Messiah delivering them from Roman bondage were dashed (Luke 24:19-21).
But for Jesus, the words meant He had done the work He came to do, to be “a sacrifice to take away our sins” and “to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:10,14).
Since mid-morning, Jesus had hung on the cross, enduring the pain, disgrace and defeat of that instrument of death. Now it was 3 p.m. and, on the brink of death (Mark 15:25,34), “Jesus knew that his mission was now finished.” He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:28,30). At that moment, every sin of His people committed throughout history was paid for. The door for us to be made right with God was swung open forever (Romans 3:24-26).
Jesus completed the work the Father gave Him to do. And we can now possess a “wonderful new relationship with God” (Romans 5:11). By His strength and grace, may we finish the work Jesus has given us to do in this life (2 Cor. 5:17-18).
—K. T. Sim
365-day plan: Genesis 32:1–33:16
Read 2 Cor. 5:11-21 and consider what God has called believers in Jesus to do.
If Jesus hadn’t finished the work the Father gave Him, what would that mean for you? How has Christ’s triumphant cry, “It is finished”, helped you know God personally and intimately?