The Greatest Freedom Ever Known

“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 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 (Luke 23:43). And on the cross, Jesus expressed anguish at being separated from His heavenly Father as He bore the wrath for the sins of His people, He fulfilled Scripture saying, “I thirst”, and He voluntarily gave up His human spirit (Matthew 27:46; John 19:28; Luke 23:46). Each of these statements speak volumes as to who Christ is, and to what He has done for us. But of these 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 for us to think we can move beyond the cross. Too often we search for an “experience” that is not grounded in sound theology. Therefore, we must stay focused on the true meaning of the cross. The cross is a symbol of Christ’s atoning work on our behalf, not only Jesus’ death for sin, but also His perfect life and victory over the grave by His resurrection. One of my favorite Christian songs expresses the truth of John 19:30 this way, “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. No longer are we bound by our sin. We are free from it, and now empowered to live a life that honors our Savior. Now that’s real freedom, the kind that flows from a thankful heart and 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!”

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