It is finished.
Words with such finality, yet full of comfort.
Throughout the book of John Jesus says that His time is not complete yet (John 2:4; 7:6; etc.). He still has work to do. However, on the cross He says that His work is complete. He has finished what He came to do.
I also think back two chapters to the prayer of Jesus in John 17. Jesus said that the time had come for God to glorify the Son so that He could glorify the Father. Part of Jesus work was done. He said that He had completed the task that God had given Him. Obviously not everything was complete at that point because Jesus had not died. But each step of the way Jesus was completing the tasks God had given Him.
On the cross Jesus says that the work He was sent to do was complete. The sin debt had been paid. He had done His work of reconciling man to God. He fulfilled the law in His life and opened a way that we could have access to God through Him. What a glorious statement: It is finished!
While His work of redemption is complete, I am also thankful to know that He still has plans. We can read the Scriptures and see that He has a future planned for us and that because of His work on Calvary, we can have an eternal future with Him.
[This is part of a series of posts during Easter week looking at the seven statements of Christ on the cross.]
Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Jesus was speaking to one of the thieves on the cross beside him. This man had recognized that Jesus was the Son of God and that Christ had the power to forgive him. In his conversation with the other thief on the cross he had already come to grips that he was a sinner in need of punishment. What he did not expect to find was a Savior hanging on a cross next to him.
Jesus offered eternal life to this man. The man accepted, even though his theology was not completely right. He asked the Lord to remember him when Christ took control in His future kingdom. Jesus said that the day the thief died was also the day he would be in the presence of God.
There were no works, good living or even baptism that was required for this man to have the gift of salvation that was offered to him that day on the cross.
What a glorious promise to a thief on the cross. Praise God that salvation is offered to us in the same simple way.
[This is the first in a series of posts during Easter week talking about the seven statements of Christ on the cross.]
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
The men involved in the crucifixion were unaware of the gravity and importance of what they were doing. There may have been some—like the centurion who commented that he believed Jesus was the son of God—who had a small understanding. Yet, I think even the disciples who had spent years with Christ were still very much in the dark of what it all meant.
Thankfully God does forgive us. God forgives because of the work of Christ on the cross. Jesus shed His blood as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.
Even on the cross Christ was thinking about the forgiveness of others. Which, of course, was His purpose in this world to begin with.