“He said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30)
Notice two things in this verse:
First, the obvious: whatever Jesus was meant to accomplish on the cross—he did it! As Hebrews 1:3 says, “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Jesus work of paying the penalty for our sins, purifying us from sin, was accomplished when God poured out his wrath on the one who became sin for us (see again 2 Corinthians 5:21, and the fourth devotional sent out, “The Word of Separation.”)
I believe there were two other times Jesus “finished” a job given him by his heavenly Father. In John 17:4 he said “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” This was before he even went to the cross; I believe he was saying his work of teaching and demonstrating the kingdom of God, as well as his training of those who would carry on this task; essentially, his work of laying the foundation of his future church, was accomplished even before he went to the cross.
The third time I believe Jesus accomplished something for all of us is when he rose from the dead—which is where all of these devotionals are leading up to.
But right now we are focusing on the one at hand: at the cross, when Jesus “took away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). What does “it is finished” effectively mean for us?
Simply put, that our sins have been paid for, and we no longer are separated from God! Indeed, we now have full access to our heavenly Father; to the throne of grace! Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
It means all of our guilt has been put away; we no longer need to fear condemnation from God. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
And it means that, at the cross, Jesus even took our shame; we no longer need to feel guilty; we no longer need to feel ashamed. Indeed, Jesus himself is not ashamed to be called our brother (Hebrews 2:11) and God is not ashamed to be called our God (Hebrews 11:16.)
No more separation from God. No more guilt. No more shame. “It is finished!!!”
The second thing I would like to point out about the verse we are looking at is this: Jesus was fully in control, even to the very end! Notice that John 19:30 says “he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” Nobody—not even Satan—could take Jesus’ life before his work on the cross was finished, and nobody could prevent him from physically dying once he was ready. Notice something Jesus told his disciples shortly before he voluntarily went to the cross: “The ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me.” (John 14:30,31)
Jesus taught a similar truth in John 10:17,18–“I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”
So, two questions to end with today: if Jesus is not ashamed to be your brother, and if he has finished the work of paying for your sins, is there anything that can ever separate you from the love of God? (Please read Romans 8:31-39.)
Second closing question: if Jesus was in control of his life, even while on the cross, can you trust him to control yours?