“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, ‘It is finished’…” John 19:30
The ancient Greeks boasted in being able to say so much with so few words. That’s what happened when Jesus said just one word, but it was a word that shook the world – Tetelesti.
In John 19, verse 30, Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished.” In English it may be three words, but in Greek, it’s one word - Tetelesti. When Jesus died on the cross, there were some things that were completed, for the word means paid in full, completed, summed up in essence.
When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He meant all of the prophecies had been fulfilled. You can see the prophecy in Psalm 69 verse 2, “They gave me also gall for my meat and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
It is absolutely indescribably amazing as you study the prophecies that deal with the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just one such example is in Psalm 22. It reads as though the writer was standing at the very foot of the cross and yet it was written centuries before the Lord Jesus Christ was born. I would encourage you to read Psalm 22 again.
What’s the lesson for us? Just as surely and accurately as the prophecies concerning His first coming were fulfilled, just as surely and accurately those concerning His second coming are going to be fulfilled! There are two threads ─ the red thread of blood redemption and the golden thread of His second coming.
And if Jesus Christ fulfilled those first prophesies minutely, accurately, He’s going to fulfill all the others.
In uttering Tetelesti, He’s also saying the anguish and the heartbreak of the cross is finished. I don’t believe that you and I in our wildest imagination can begin to understand what Jesus Christ suffered upon that cross.
We can’t comprehend that upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ paid for all of the sin for all of the world, for all of the time, for all of the eternity that any man, any woman, any boy, and any girl would ever have to pay.
Jesus Christ in six hours upon the cross suffered all the hell that you and I would suffer for eternity. For Jesus, being infinite, suffered in a finite period of time what you and I, being finite, would suffer in an infinite period of time. The eternities as well as the sin of the world were compressed upon the Lord Jesus Christ in that time.
But the cruelty of the cross was the final suffering. So many other ways He suffered even before He got to the cross ─ the Garden of Gethsemane, the mock trials, the spitting in His face, the beatings and mockings.
But it was not the physical suffering that redeemed us. At midday the glowing face of the sun hid and the shade of night and darkness was pulled. The veil was pulled across the sun symbolizing the greater spiritual darkness that Jesus was in. And Jesus gave those words from Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
Jesus Christ hung on that cross forsaken of God, deserted by man. Alone Jesus Christ died. He took my suffering, my shame, and my separation. He was separated from God the Father and while men jeered and taunted and God the Father turned His back.
I thank God He’ll never go to the cross again. But I want to tell you ─ once for all, forever and ever, He hath bought redemption for me and for you. It is finished.
THE WAY OF SALVATION
God’s mighty work of redemption was finished. When Jesus died, all that was necessary for you to be forgiven and to be saved was done. There’s nothing for you to do but to receive what Jesus Christ as already done, for it is finished.
You see, that’s why He came. Jesus said in Luke 19, verse 10. “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.”
You and I are the sinners, the criminals. You and I are the ones that had the sentence executed against us. But Jesus Christ took it out of the way and nailed it to His cross. And it is written, “It is finished.”
Every stain, every blot, every blur, every blemish that ever came across your soul, Jesus has done it all. And all you need to do now is to receive what He has done. Oh, it’s not what you do, my friend, it’s what He has done. Jesus Christ has purchased your salvation. Tetelesti, it’s finished.
Used by Permission of Love Worth Finding Ministries.
Dr. Adrian Rogers, preacher/teacher of Love Worth Finding Ministries, and one of America's most respected Bible teachers. Under his 32 years of pastoral leadership, Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, grew from 9,000 members in 1972 to more than 29,000.
Most important to Dr. Rogers have been the tens and thousands of believers who have had their faith strengthened and thousands of others who have for the first time entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Dr. Rogers passed away on November 15, 2005.