Summary: This message examines Jesus' last words on the cross and how important they are in relation to His work as Lord and Saviour.
Christ's Lasts Words - The Finished Work John 19:28
Peoples last words are traditionally held as of great significance.Jesus' last words before His resurrection are recorded in the Gospel of John. All the words Jesus uttered on the cross have great import and relate to His eternal purpose as our Redeemer.
Jesus' last words are in one sense the most profound words he uttered. 'It is finished'. These words are only recorded in by John in his Gospel. The possible reason for that is that at the time he was in close physical proximity to Jesus as He hung on the cross.
These are powerful words - they are so deep in meaning and significance.
In the Greek it is actually one word - tetelestai - 'finished', 'complete'. This word is used a number of times in the Gospel of John. In John 4: 34 'My food said Jesus is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.'; John 17: 4 'I have brought you glory on earth by completing (tetelestai) the work you gave me to do.'; John 19:28 'Later knowing all things had been completed (tetelestai) and so that the scriptures might be fulfilled (teleiothi), Jesus said, 'I thirst'.
The meaning of the word 'finished' is from the Greek word - telos includes ending or completion. In addition it also has a number of other meanings and uses:
Servant - would saythe word to a master on completing a task.
Priest - would say the word when finding the sacrificial object perfect/worthy.
Artist - would state the word on completing a work.
Shepherd - would use the word on the birth of a spotless lamb.
Merchant - used when an agreement was made to the satisfaction of both parties.
Also in the ancient world when a person was convinced/convicted of a crime. They were placed in prison with a 'Certificate of Debt' written with all the crimes they were convicted of nailed to the prison cell door for all to see. When the sentence had been 'paid in full' the word 'tetelestai' would be stamped across the certificate and then given to the prisoner. This reminds one of Romans 8:1, 39.
The word Jesus used on the cross 'tetelestai' is in the past perfect tense - a past completed action or event with continuing effects/results.
What is Finished
Christ's Work - His ministry - obedience to the Law. His work encompasses: Suffering; Prophecy; the Ceremonial Law; Payment for the Penalty of sin; the power of Satan, Sin and Death.
Another way of considering it is the completion of :
1. The Plan as contained in prophecy, the ceremonial law, the purpose of the Temple
2. The Pain in suffering, humiliation and sorrow
3. The Payment for Sin and Judgement
4. The Power of Sin, Satan (John 12: 31-33), and Death
Conclusion - Jesus bowed His head and gave up His spirit. He was active to the end.
Finished is the atoning work of Christ - Purchase and Paid is the power of His blood. Do you have a share in His finished work!