“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar he said, It is finished, and bowed his head and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30
There Christ hung, in pain and agony on the cross, dying the death of the damned, seemingly defeated. His enemies surrounded Him, laughing, spitting, jeering, mocking. Yet, in a sense, his whole life led up to this moment on the cross when He cried out “It is finished.”
The New Bible Commentary states here, “The words, ‘It is finished,’ are really a shout of victory.” Christ had finished His work on earth, suffered the torments of hell for the whole purpose of redeeming His people. He was ready now to go to His Father.
We must remember, that in all His sufferings, Jesus knew this was the plan God had laid out for Him. We see reflections of this suffering throughout all of the Old Testament. Adam, trembling, had been calmed with the prospect in Gen. 3:15, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed, and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
David also went through sufferings as a reflection of the sufferings of Christ. In Psalm 22:14-20 we read, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels…for dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet…but be thou not far from me, O Lord, O my strength, haste thee to help me.”
As Rev. Kortering states in his article in the Standard Bearer (Vol. 43, p. 266), “What God had said of the suffering Christ throughout the whole of Scripture was now fulfilled, it was completed, and Christ was conscious of this, “Finished.”
Another quote, from the New Testament Commentary states, “As Jesus saw it, the entire work of redemption (both active and passive obedience fulfilling the law and bearing its curse) had been brought to completion.”
Christ’s work on earth, His suffering and pain, were finished. He had fulfilled the prophecies of Scripture, suffered the torments of hell and died on the cross and was ready to be with God.
As we read in Rev. Veldman’s article in the Standard Bearer (Vol. 56, p.266), “The entire program of suffering has been fulfilled. All the righteousness of God has been satisfied. Our righteousness has been accomplished, all our debt paid and everlasting life merited.”
Now then, how does all this apply to our life today? First of all, we must busy ourselves in the Lord’s work throughout our whole life. We also must honor and glorify His name in all that we do. Our lives must lead up to that day when in death, we can say that our work on this earth is completed. When we can truthfully say, “It is finished.”
Examine yourselves. If you died tomorrow, would you be able to say, “It is finished”?