Summary: Resurrection Day Sermon - looking at some of the last words of Jesus - IT IS FINISHED and then one of the first words of Our Risen Lord - "GO"

Scripture: John 19:29-30; 20:11-18

Theme: Resurrection Sunday

Title: Last Words, First Words


Grace and peace from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

This morning, I want to talk to you about last words and first words. In particular, some of Jesus’ last words on the Cross of Calvary and then some of the first words that Jesus spoke on the Day of His Resurrection.

In verse 30 of John chapter 19 we read Jesus saying the common Greek word –tetelestai (ta tel e stai) which is translated in most of our Bibles as:


In John 20:17 we find Jesus saying another small word - p??e?? (po-ryü'-o) which is translated in most of our Bibles as the word:


It is those two little words that I want us to dwell on this Resurrection Sunday –



Pain doesn’t usually bring about our best moments. When we are hurting, when we have a headache or we don’t feel well, we are usually not the most pleasant of people to be around. Usually we tend to lash out or say things that we later wish we had not said.

But that is not the picture we see of Jesus. The Bible tells us that that he was in immense pain on the cross. His hands and his feet had been pierced by nails and his back had been ripped open from all the beatings. And yet, we see Jesus forgiving people, looking out for his mother and sharing the Good News of Salvation.

Have you ever thought about what Jesus could have said while hanging on the cross? What most people did say when they were wrongly accused and unfairly put to death?

+Jesus could have been cursing all those around him. He could have spent his time being vengeful and attacking those who had falsely accused him.

+Jesus could have said – “Just wait, you will regret this?” And then sent legions of angels to destroy mankind.

+Jesus could have said – “My Father, I and the Holy Spirit hate you.” And then cause the earth to melt and destroy all creation.

+Jesus could have said – “Go to Hades” And sent everyone to Hades where we really all belong.

But that is not what we hear coming out of the mouth of Jesus. Instead, as I have said – we hear words of comfort – “John, take care of my mother”. We hear words of forgiveness – “Father, forgive them”. We hear words of pain – “I thirst”. We hear words of surrender – “Father, into you hands I commit myself”.

And we hear the word – (tetelestai (ta tel e stai) - It is finished.

Jesus was not speaking defeat.

Jesus was not telling everyone when he used the words– IT IS FINISHED – that the dream that he had for world was gone. The dream that he had for his disciples was gone. The dream that he had for himself was gone. Jesus was not saying – It is over – it didn’t work – Sorry, but it looks like I am finished. I made the wrong people mad.

Those words were not the words of someone who thought they had made a mistake or that all was lost. Just the opposite.

Tetelestai (ta tel e stai) is a WORD OF VICTORY!

The word itself was used in common times as a word of transaction or completion. When a document was signed, when a debt was paid or when a job was done a person could say Tetelestai (ta tel e stai) . It is finished.

It was a happy word. It was a word of success and triumph. It was a word that said – “JOB WELL DONE”. It was a word that spoke of a person being free from a debt. It was a word that spoke a person who was enjoying a time of freedom and victory.

Jesus is saying:




The fact is, Jesus was just getting started. Jesus was just getting to the good part of the mission that He and the Father and the Holy Spirit had wanted to happen for so long.

The mission of Jesus was getting ready to go into high gear. He had come to earth to be a human – God in Flesh. He had come to earth to make it possible for the debt of sin that man had brought upon himself to be paid for and removed. He had come to earth to make it possible for the power of sin to be broken.

It is finished – was a cry of Victory:

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