It Is Finished
He said, It is finished. — John 19:30
This was our Lord’s sixth word on the cross. His allotted life-work was done; all His task was ended, all things set for Him to do were done, and nothing more remained for Him but to die. Many men come to the end even of long lives and find their work far from finished when the call comes to leave this world; but though the life of Jesus had been so short, He was ready to go. He had done each day the work given Him that day to do, and when the last hour of the last day came there was nothing that He had left undone. We ought to learn the lesson for ourselves and live as Jesus lived, so as to have every part of our work finished when the end comes. We can do this only by taking our allotment of duty each day from God’s hand and doing it faithfully. Then when the last day comes we shall leave nothing unfinished.
But what was it that was finished when Christ bowed His head on the cross? The work of redemption was done. The atonement for sin was made. As Jesus died, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, and access made into the holiest for all who would enter. A famous picture represents Christ lifted up, and beneath Him an innumerable procession of the saints advancing out of the darkness and coming into the light of His cross. There can be no doubt that He had such a vision of redemption while He hung there; for we are told that He “endured the cross, despising the shame, because of the joy set before him” — that is, the joy of receiving home the souls He had redeemed.
“It is finished” was, therefore, a shout of victory as He completed His work of suffering and sacrifice. Death seemed like defeat, but it was not defeat. He went down into the grave, but not to stay there. He came again, like a glorious conqueror, and because He lives all His people shall live also.