Summary: With his perfect life and innocent death, Christ won for us eternal life in heaven
“It is finished.” The last words of our Lord Jesus Christ before he died. It is finished... What is finished? Is Christ giving up? Are these words of defeat? No, when Christ says the words “it is finished,” he is announcing our victory. In Greek, the original language of the New Testament, this phrase is only one word, the word that in Jesus’ day was stamped on debts when they were “paid in full.” With his last breath, our Lord announces to us the victory that we have in him. “It is finished”; “Paid in full”; “The debt of your sins is gone forever.” And so, today in our meditation, we are going to talk about these words of comfort and we are going to see exactly how Jesus paid our debt. 1) He paid our debt with his perfect life 2) He paid our debt with his innocent.
I. He paid our debt with his perfect life
When my credit card bill comes each month, I get a little nervous. How could we have accumulated such a debt? So, I check the bill to see where all our money went. In the same way, on this Good Friday, in which we are remembering how Christ paid our debt, I think that it would be a good idea “check our bill” to see how we accumulated such a debt. Let’s take a look...
In part we inherited the debt from our parents, i.e. we inherit a sinful nature, original sin. As King David tells us in Psalm 51, from the very moment of our conception we were sinful. But before we go and blame our parents for our debts, let’s see the charges that we have added to our bill. Let’s see: just this month, I have lied on more than one occasion; I have dishonored the government, God’s representative; I have been lazy; I have gossiped; I have had lustful thoughts. After 26 years of accumulation, I have a monstrous list of charges. So, how’s your bill?
And the Bible tells us very clearly what we owe because of this debt. “The wages of sin is death.” And it’s not just talking here about physical death. It’s talking about eternal death in hell. When we start to think that our sins really aren’t that bad, that they are just white lies or just thoughts that don’t hurt anybody, look at the cross. Look at the cross, because there you will see the price of your white lies, the price of your sins that “never hurt anyone.”
But wait, before we talk about the cross, we need to talk about Jesus’ life, because he began to pay our sins long before he was nailed to a cross. Jesus was born and lived as our substitute under God’s law. He lived the perfect life that we have not. Remember a few weeks ago when we talked about God’s law? Remember what one word summarizes God’s law? Love. And Christ showed his perfect love until his very last breath. When the soldiers nailed him to the cross, what did Jesus say? “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And when the thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him when he entered in paradise, how did Jesus respond. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” And as we see here in our text for this evening, Jesus loved and respected his mother to the very end, asking his beloved disciple John to care for her.