"So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said 'It is finished!' And bowing His head He gave up His spirit." John 19:30
It is finished. There is so much significance for the history of humanity in these three words. This Good Friday we celebrate the day Jesus proclaimed 'It is finished' while hanging on that cross 2000 years ago.
So what was finished? How does this simple phrase offer hope?
In the original Greek text, the word that was used for this powerful phrase was tetelestai. This is the past tense of the word telos which means; to end; to bring to completion; to bring to a conclusion; to complete; to accomplish; to fulfill.
Why is the completion of Jesus' earthly life a good thing?
First, Jesus completed the work that the Father sent Him to do. For hundreds of years prior to the crucifixion, the authors of the bible wrote about this exact moment. Jesus fulfilled prophecies that were written about Him hundreds of years earlier to extreme detail.
Second, that word tetelestai was used in the business world to signify the full payment of debt. Jesus took the sins of all humanity on that cross and received the punishment that we all deserve. God is a Holy God. He hates sin, he cannot associate with sin. So he sent His own son to pay the price for our sins so that we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Last, in classical Greek times, the word tetelestai depicted a turning point when one period ended and another began. When Jesus said "It is finished," it was a turning point for the history of humanity. We are no longer under the Old Covenant but now we are under the New Covenant.
To sum it up, because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, our right standing with God is no longer based on what we do but it is based off what Jesus already did. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) Through our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus we enter into a relationship with God. This gives us hope that when we die we will spend eternity in heaven. This is the Good News that we celebrate this Easter weekend. God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The cross of Jesus is a gift to all humanity from God Himself. It is the ultimate and only hope for humanity.