The One Thing We Can Never Say As Christians
“It is finished.” John 19:30
There was only one person in the history of the world who could ever truly say, “It is finished.” None of us will be able to say that when we die, because none of us are able to say it while we live. None of us will say to God, “I brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do.” I wish I could say it, but I haven’t been able to say this a single day of my life!
As a Christian, you’ve begun the work of all the commands, but you haven’t finished the work of any! Every time we come before God we say, “I’ve done the things I ought not to have done and I haven’t done the things I ought to have done.” That will never change this side of heaven. You may grow in the Christian life, but you’ll never move beyond being “a believing sinner.”
Jesus completed the work of atonement
“You are accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:6 (kjv)
If you are in Christ, you don’t have to do something else to be loved and accepted. All that you need is inChrist. If He is yours, then the love of God, the forgiveness of God and the acceptance of God stream to you in Jesus Christ.
Jesus completed the full course of obedience
“God made him who knew no sin to be sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Just as your sins were laid on Jesus and counted as His, His righteousness is draped on you and counted as yours. In Christ you have already lived a righteous life. He lived it for you. You are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10).
If your hope of heaven rests on your work, that hope will not stand. Your works are incomplete. They’re unfinished. If your hope depended, in any degree, on something you had to do, in addition to what He’s already done, it could never stand. But when your hope of heaven rests on Christ’s work, that hope is secure, because Christ’s work is complete. He says, “It is finished.”
Jesus completed the decisive victory over Satan
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
Some of you look at your family history and see the work of Satan, the destroyer, at work over generations. You wonder if some kind of curse is hanging over your family, “What does this mean for me?” I say to you, on the authority of Scripture, no curse can stand against you if you are in Christ. How could it? He won the decisive victory over Satan on the cross.
Maybe you find yourself overwhelmed by the strong pull of temptation. Satan knows your weakness and he has been running rampant in your life because of it. You have failed so many times you can hardly imagine prevailing over this enemy.
General Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army. One day his granddaughter, Catherine, was getting ready to speak in the open air for the first time. She was nervous, and she said to her grandfather, “I don’t know if it will do much good, but I’ll do my best.” The old general said to her, “Catherine, with Christ you can do better than your best.”
Let that be an encouragement when you feel defeated. You have done your best and you have failed, but with Christ you can do better than your best. In Christ your enemy is a defeated foe.
Jesus completed the long night of His suffering
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
No suffering lasts forever. Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. One day our Lord Jesus Christ will reveal the glory of the resurrection body, the new creation—no more sin, no more pain, no more tears and no more death. All this is yours when Christ is yours. Christ finished. You haven’t. But with Him you will!
Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.
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