“It is finished” (John 19:30)
I suppose in some ways it doesn’t seem right to elevate certain passages of Scripture above others, particularly when those words carry the special significance of being spoken by our Savior. A search through the gospels reveals seven statements Jesus made from the cross, each one having their own unique purpose. On the cross, Jesus made provisions for His mother, entrusting her care to the apostle John (John 19:26-27). On the cross, Jesus fulfilled His teaching to love one’s enemies by asking His Father to forgive those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34). On the cross, Jesus demonstrated His saving grace to a thief who hung beside Him, expressed anguish at separation from His heavenly Father as He bore the wrath for the sins of His people, fulfilled Scripture saying, “I thirst”, and voluntarily gave up His human spirit that it might return to the presence of God (Luke 23:43; Matthew 27:46; John 19:28; Luke 23:46). All of these statements speak volumes as to who Christ is, and to what He has done for us. But of these seven statements, there is one that expresses a freedom like no other kind. So, the intent is not so much to elevate what Jesus said in John 19:30 relative to His other sayings on the cross as much as it is to emphasize the implication of His words, “It is finished.”
It is easy in our Christian lives to think we can move beyond the cross. Too often we can be so much in search of the “abundant life” or that certain “experience” that we forget from which they flow, the cross. The cross is a symbol of Christ’ atoning work on our behalf; not only does it symbolize Jesus’ death for sin, but also His perfect life and victory over the grave by His resurrection. One of my favorite songs expresses the truth of John 19:30 with lyrics that say, “It is done will shout the cross, Christ has paid redemptions cost. While the empty tomb’s declaring Jesus saves.” The song is appropriately titled Jesus Saves.
Jesus does save; He saves perfectly and completely, and because salvation is in Him alone, it is secure for all eternity. Now that’s real freedom, the kind that frees us from our past, present and future sins, the kind we find only in Christ. That’s the kind of freedom that leads to genuine worship. So, today and every day, walk in the freedom of the cross and Jesus’ three word declaration from it, “It is finished!”
Father, thank You for the freedom You provide in Christ. Though that freedom will be experienced in full when we see You face to face, by Your grace we can experience it even now. Lord, help me to understand that You didn’t atone for my sin for me to remain in it, but instead, so I would respond to Your love by living a life that honors Your sacrifice and brings You glory. You are worthy of nothing less!