That’s the Last Straw!
What kind of words are these?
Usually, these words are used to express frustration and they might be expressed in anger.
I’m Done! \ Say these sadly;
It’s Over! \
I’m Finished! /And then say them
That’s All! / Joyfully
When any of these words are used, we can’t understand them without inflection and context.
When merely reading them, silently, we don’t know how to read them, without context.
I used to be a substitute teacher, and I remember that I gave a quiz to some students and one of them as soon as he received it, wrote his name on the top of the page and then announced, “I’m done!”
I assumed he was the class clown.
We need to understand the context in order to understand what is meant by any statement.
This is the seventh (7th) sermon in the series on the Statements of Jesus from the cross.
We have looked at the context and the meaning of each statement.
Jesus spoke very briefly on each occasion.
He spoke clearly, and not in parables on these occasions.
We must remember that it was hard for him to speak, as he hung naked, bruised, flogged and broken, nailed to the cross on that awful day.
I’ve shared no hidden meaning behind any of these statements.
Today, as we look at the sixth (6th) statement, let’s consider the previous five statements:
- “Father, Forgive Them” (Who Jesus Was—Full of Grace)Baba onları bağışla” (İsa’nın kişiliği – Merhametle dolu )
- “Today, You Will Be with Me in Paradise” (To Where Was Jesus Going—Heaven) ”Bugün benimle birlikte cennete olacaksın” (İsa nereye gidiyor-du – Cennete)
- “[to Mary] Dear Woman, Here Is Your Son…[to John] Here Is Your Mother” (Who He Was— Concerned For His Mother’s Earthly Future) ”[Meryem’e] Kadın işte oğlun…. [Yuhanna’ya] işte oğlun” (İsa kimdi-Annesinin geleceği için kaygılanıyordu)
- “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?” (Why Jesus Went to the Cross—Forsaken to Save the Forsaken) ”Tanrım, Tanrım beni neden terk ettin?” (İsa neden çarmıha gitti-Terk edilmişleri kurtarmak için terk edildi)
- “I Thirst” (How He Showed His Love—Suffering For Us) ”Susadım (Sevgisini nasıl gösterdi – Bizim yerimize acı çekerek)
Today, as we look at the sixth statement, we will read the fifth statement, again.
This is because I want us to see the context of the statement.
To merely show that Jesus said, “It Is Finished,” and then preach my sermon, would be incomplete to me.
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:28-30
28 Daha sonra İsa, her şeyin artık tamamlandığını bilerek Kutsal Yazı yerine gelsin diye, “Susadım!” dedi. 29 Orada ekşi şarap dolu bir kap vardı. Şaraba batırılmış bir süngeri mercanköşk dalına takarak O’nun ağzına uzattılar. 30 İsa şarabı tadınca, “Tamamlandı!” dedi ve başını eğerek ruhunu teslim etti. Yuhanna 19:28-30
A couple weeks ago, when we looked at the fourth statement,
“My God, My God! Why have You forsaken me?”
and I asked the simple question:
“Why ask the question, ‘Why?’”
That was a simple question that led to a full statement that Jesus answered the “why” questions of those who were watching, even those of us who read the story of the crucifixion, today.
Why did God forsake him?
Because God had long ago planned to forsake Jesus for our sakes.
Today, I have another very simple question that is in my mind as I share from God’s Word about this statement:
“What is ‘It?’”
Jesus said, It….is finished.
So, What is “it?”
In order to understand the answer to this simple sounding question, I believe that we need to understand the context that surrounded this event.
- The Context
a. Context Clarifies/İçerik durumu açıklığa kavuşturur
John helps us understand what Jesus meant by the statement, “It is finished.”
He wrote that Jesus knew everything had now been finished.
So “It” is “Everything”…So what is “Everything.”
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled… John 19:28
28 Daha sonra İsa, her şeyin artık tamamlandığını bilerek Kutsal Yazı yerine gelsin diye,… Yuhanna 19:28
Right away after this statement, Jesus drank the wine vinegar and that fulfilled one of the prophesies in the psalms:
They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst. Psalm 69:21
But, over all, all prophesies pointing toward the suffering of the Messiah up to that point had been fulfilled.
The context clarifies that Jesus was not quitting, but he was making a declaration.
Jesus had declared this, previously, in what we call the “Sermon on the Mount:”
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17
Up to this point, Jesus had fulfilled the Law and the Prophets.
b. Scripture Fulfillment / Kutsal Yazıların Tamamlanması
At least thirteen different prophesies about the suffering of the Messiah were fulfilled in a 24 hour period from Jesus’ Betrayal to his Burial. The next prophetic fulfillment that Jesus needed to do would be burial, and after that, his resurrection, which would happen on the third day, when he would raised from the dead to a new body.
The Apostle Paul, who was educated in the Holy Scriptures (the Law of Moses; the Books of the Prophets; and the Writings, including the Psalms of David), wrote these words (by the way, he wrote from Ephesus…I love to remind people in Turkey that most of the New Testament was either written in Turkey, or by people who were born in Turkey, or to people in Turkey) about 20 years later to the Corinthian church:
15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Şimdi, kardeşler, size bildirdiğim, sizin de kabul edip bağlı kaldığınız Müjde’yi anımsatmak istiyorum. 2 Size müjdelediğim söze sımsıkı sarılırsanız, onun aracılığıyla kurtulursunuz. Yoksa boşuna iman etmiş olursunuz.
3-4 Aldığım bilgiyi size öncelikle ilettim: Kutsal Yazılar uyarınca Mesih günahlarımıza karşılık öldü, gömüldü ve Kutsal Yazılar uyarınca üçüncü gün ölümden dirildi. 1 Korintliler 15:1-4
By the context, Jesus’ statement is clarified.
It was not a whine of a wounded loser, but the cry of Victory, by the One Who had come with the purpose of dying, to fulfill the Scriptures and open the way for all of us who would believe in Him to have a way to enter Heaven.
“It” is Done.
The “It” meaning, the fulfillment of Prophetic Scriptures to this point, “’It’ is Finished.”
- The Cry/Yakarış
Today’s statement from the cross is,
Jesus said, “It is finished.” John 19:30
“…İsa ‘tamamlandı’ dedi…” Yuhanna 19:30
We are only reading words, so we don’t know the inflection in his voice.
I hear this statement as a CRY. Not a Cry, like with tears but a Cry, like a SHOUT or an EXCLAMATION!
Let’s look at three ways this could be understood as a shout:
a. Cries of the High Priest/Baş Kahin’in feryatları
The writer of the Letter of Hebrews reports that Jesus is our High Priest who cried out to God on our behalf:
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7
7 Mesih, yeryüzünde olduğu günlerde kendisini ölümden kurtaracak güçte olan Tanrı’ya büyük feryat ve gözyaşlarıyla dua etti, yakardı ve Tanrı korkusu nedeniyle işitildi. İbraniler 5:7
A priest is one who cries out to God on behalf of Man.
We know from this verse in Hebrews that Jesus was heard.
We know that David was heard when he cried out as he records in Psalm 22.
Jesus’ cry of “It Is Finished” was not a cry to God, specifically, but to the universe that what he had set out to do, as a sacrifice was accomplished.
b. The Cry of Victory/Zafer (nidası) yakarışı
This statement, “It is finished” is the cry of a champion runner finishing a race. When I was young, I won a few races. My cry of victory was more of a grunt as I successfully strode first across the finish line.
It is the shout of a concerned parent when their child finishes a difficulty in life, like a dangerous job, or university, or even their teenage years.
It is an exclamation of success when someone finishes a project or a job.
Like when I was building a deck last year in America. When I had nailed the last nail, I said, “That’s all!” meaning, “it is finished!”
c. The Cry, “Paid in Full.”/Yakarış, “Eksiksiz ödendi,”
The term that John wrote in the gospel that we translate as “It is Finished” had another meaning: “Paid in Full!”
This term was used for accounting, and once an account had been fully paid, this word was used:
Τετέλεσται—Tetelestai—“paid in full”
IT IS FINISHED
The greatest prophetic work that was finished on that day was the repetitious work of sacrifice.
Sacrifices were made as a payment to God. Jesus’ statement meant that full payment was now made.
Remember my initial question,
“What is ‘It?’”/“Bu nedir?”
“It” had been “paid in full!”
“It” is the work of God on our behalf from the introduction of sin to man unto this point in time of the crucifixion.
No longer would “It” be the sacrifice of a sheep or ram or any other animal, because the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus, was sacrificed.
So “It,” i.e., “sacrifice” AND EVERYTHING THAT HAD BEEN PROPHESIED UP TO THAT POINT.
Jesus knew he was fulfilling prophesy. Sometimes I learn after the fact that I have done something good or followed God’s will, but Jesus knew that he was.
This is because He Is the Son of God…He is the Word of God…He is God in the Flesh.
Just as God showed Abraham that the sacrifice of our own children cannot please God, so He showed that no longer was any sacrifice for sins needed.
For in Jesus, Sacrifice for Sins, is “It” and It is FINISHED.
Not since the words, “Let there be light,” and there was light have the Words of God been more magnificent and more important than “It Is Finished!”
Sin has been paid in full!
This is the Word of God, Jesus, spoke this word, and darkness fled.
Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, but have you ever wondered how fast darkness travels?
The same speed, because light drives away darkness.
So what does this mean for us, besides the obvious?
- The Call/Çağrı
Earlier in the story of Jesus’ ministry, people asked him what did they need to do, what work they must accomplish to please God?
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28, 29
28 Onlar da şunu sordular: “Tanrı’nın istediği işleri yapmak için ne yapmalıyız?” 29 İsa, “Tanrı’nın işi O’nun gönderdiği kişiye iman etmenizdir” diye yanıt verdi. Yuhanna 6:28,29
IT IS FINISHED!
PAID IN FULL!
Our call in response to this is to rest in the assurance that in Jesus,
I am saved…that is, if I believe in His sacrifice.
If I don’t believe in His sacrifice, then I am not saved.
I am not a student of other religions, but what I see in the Words of Jesus is that we can trust in Him for our salvation. I don’t believe anyone else offers such assurance of safety.
Our call in response to Jesus’ cry, “It Is Finished!” is to trust in Him.
As well, we are called to stop trusting in our own ways to live and to rule our own lives.
Jesus’ Cry, “It Is Finished!” means that we must not only BELIEVE in His Finished Work on the Cross, but we must live as one who believes.
Serving as pastor of Nations Church is one of my greatest privileges and ministry experiences of my life, but the greatest experience was when our whole family served at a special needs children’s home in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
I remember children there in wheelchairs, children with Down Syndrome, Autism and even Schizophrenia…we loved to help those kids and to show them the Love of Jesus.
One of the ladies who worked there asked me, “Why are you doing this?” She continued, “Are you doing these good things so that God will reward you with heaven?”
I looked at this woman and said, “I am already saved and know that my home is in heaven because of the Good Work that Jesus did on the Cross. THEREFORE, I do these good things as a response to the work of God.”
We should do good things NOT in order to be saved, but because we ARE ALREADY saved by Jesus.
People love to criticize Christians when they say anything about sin.
They love to say, “you guys are acting like Pharisees;” or “you guys act as though you’ve never sinned.”
Because Jesus finished everything on the cross, I want to respond with my life, being lined up with heaven. As Jesus taught us to pray,
‘Our Father in heaven:
May your holy name be honored;
10 may your Kingdom come;
may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9, 10 GNT
9 “Bunun için siz şöyle dua edin: ‘Göklerdeki Babamız,Adın kutsal kılınsın.10 Egemenliğin gelsin. Gökte olduğu gibi, yeryüzünde de Senin istediğin olsun. Matta 6:9,10
Our calling in response to Jesus’ statement from the Cross
Τετέλεσται—Tetelestai—“paid in full”
IT IS FINISHED
Our response is to honor God the Father’s Holy Name with our Lives;
Our response is to open our lives to God’s heavenly Kingdom.
Our response is to stop following our sinful will
(our lusts, tastes and tangents) and to let His Perfect Will lead our lives.
Can We Say “It Is Finished”?
“Bittiğini / Tamamlandığını” Söyleyebilir miyiz?
And I want us to look at our lives and look at what we need to “finish.”
What do we need to let go of?
What are we doing that does not please God?
What must we disarm in our lives?
Where must Satan’s will be broken in our lives?
I want us to take a few minutes to pray.
I encourage you, if you like, to get on your knees and pray.
When Jesus said, “It Is Finished,” he meant that our sins were paid in full, but what is it we still need to repent of.