Jesus said, “It is finished.” What was finished? Temptation. No more temptation. It has no power over Him. No more dependence on human agencies. He is going to pass into a tunnel. He is going to do what no man in history ever did. This is an unprecedented act. It’s an UNREPEATABLE ACT!
I say He is the perfection of the law, He is the perfection of prophets. Take the most beautiful characters in the world and mold them all into one and HE IS EXACTLY THAT! And instead of angels hanging over Him and coming down and slaying people and saying, “BOW DOWN YOU REBELS, THIS IS THE SON OF GOD,” people kicked Him, and reviled Him, and they spat on Him. THEY MOCKED HIM. Remember that lovely song that says, “He could have called ten thousand angels?” I like that song.
It is finished. What was finished? The tyranny of the devil. I don’t think the church has wakened up to that yet, but it is finished. It is so. I believe that when Jesus cried with a loud voice it echoed down every corridor in hell. IT IS FINISHED!! I can almost hear the demons in hell say, “What? He’s broken our power.” “You mean that Satan doesn’t have…?” “No, no, no. Satan is bound. And not only that, death has lost it’s sting.” “What?” “Yes, death has lost it’s sting. And more than that… ‘The vilest offender who truly believes that moment from Jesus his pardon receives.’ It doesn’t matter if he is going in the Woldorf Astoria this afternoon with somebody else’s wife dripping with diamonds. Or if he is a bum down the street. Or he is with the folk that still go naked to the beach every week there in San Diego and defy the police to arrest them. Or whether he is a big ecclesiastical guy standing behind the desk with all his mind loaded with such modernistic ideas. It makes no difference. If he comes to the cross…” Well, we sang about it this afternoon, “That old rugged cross, so despised by the world has a wondrous attraction.”
“It is finished.” The implication of the Greek word is “This is complete.” This is redemption complete. You can’t add to it. You can’t subtract from it. It doesn’t need something the priest says added to it. Jesus made a perfect redemption for men. His blood was shed. It’s more than all the blood of beasts. Because again, it says in Hebrews 10:9, “If the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works.” He not only paid the total sum of human sin, He nailed it to the tree. That’s what He did.
It wasn’t the Greeks that put Him there, it wasn’t the Romans that put Him there – they were all there, I thank God for that.
The Greeks were there, their day was over, they were coming out of their glory, they were fading out. They were the past generation.
The Romans were there, they were the ruling generation at that time.
And who else were there? Well, the black folk were there, a future generation.
So, you see, the past, the present, the future, all were at the cross.
If you lay a cross on the floor it points North, South, East and West. If you stand the cross up it embraces – as Wesley says, “The arms of love that compass me do all mankind embrace.” If you stand it up it points to a topless heaven and to a bottomless hell and the arms are outstretched to save.
We are mutilating all the hymns and we mutilated that gorgeous hymn we sing so often, “Beneath the cross of Jesus.” A stanza of it says this, listen,
“The darkness of an awful grave
That gapes both deep and wide;”
And there between us stands the cross,
Two arms outstretched to save,
Like a watchman set to guard the way
From that eternal grave.”At the other side of that cross there is an eternal grave, and the only obstruction to that eternal grave is the finished work of the Lord Jesus. You see, it is finished, the law and the prophets they’ve no… at least the Old Testament economy, as we say, has no power. Sin, if we obey God, has no dominion over us. Death has no dominion over us. The power of Satan has been broken. Heaven has received Him. And the next thing is not only “It is finished,” but “He is Risen” which will be superseded with “I will come again.”
We shouldn’t put our tongue in our cheek and say this in a whisper. We ought to shout this from the house top. To a world that is groping in darkness we ought to proclaim with a trumpet voice, “It is FINISHED,
you can’t buy salvation,
you can’t crawl on your knees through the holy city,
you can’t go on a pilgrimage,
you can’t offer your righteousness,
there is nothing you can do, but bow in humility and confess and accept it.”
It is finished. This is the language of earth. Why? Because in heaven they never say, “It is finished.” Because it is never going to be finished, for all eternity. Oh, redemption is finished, sure enough. All that I said is finished. But you see, this never finishes. We are going to live and reign with Him for ever and ever. And Gabriel isn’t going to blow the trumpet one day and say, “Hey, you’ve been living in this super millennium for four billion trillion years and it’s over.” NO SIR. I like that part of the Messiah where it goes up and up as they sing “And He shall reign for ever and ever. King of Kings.” Nobody wants it to finish in eternity. We are going to be with the eternal Bride Groom. But wait a minute. They never say it in hell either.
There will be people in hell today and people in hell a billion years from now. No messenger will come from another world and say, “It is finished. Your judgment is passed. You’ve no more suffering for your sin. The wrath of God doesn’t abide in you anymore.” No. If we are going to escape that eternal judgment, if we are going to enter that eternal rest, it must happen now. Isn’t it amazing that people withhold their petty little lives from Him? That they love their sin enough to get the anger and wrath of God? Rather than repent, and believe, and be saved?
Christ’s love is, “so amazing and so divine,”
That He bore our sins in His body,
That He took the curse and the wrath of God upon Him.
That He took our sins and His heart was broken that ours might be healed.
He was an outcast that we might be brought in.
He suffered without the gate that we might enter into heaven and said,.
IT IS FINISHED!