Summary: In this sermon we examine the sixth word Jesus uttered on the cross, which is a word of victory.
Herbert Lockyer, in his book titled All the Last Words of Saints and Sinners, says,
"The last words of both saints and sinners about to enter eternity, what they had to say before their stammering tongues lay silent in the grave, demands our deepest attention and most earnest concern. If, when the soul is face to face with eternal realities, true character is almost invariably manifest, then we can expect the lips to express glorious certainty or terror concerning the future."
For the past five Good Fridays we have been examining these so-called “last words” of Christ.
By studying the last words of Christ we do learn a great deal about the true character of our Savior. After Jesus was nailed to the cross he spoke seven short phrases before he died.
Tonight, on this Maundy Thursday, we come to the sixth word Jesus uttered, which is found in John 19:29-30:
"29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ’It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:30)
The Lord Jesus has become man. He has lived an absolutely perfect life of self-sacrifice and obedience. He has been despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. His enemies have been many. His friends have been few.
He is at last handed over to those who hate him. He is arrested while in the act of prayer. He is betrayed by one of his very own disciples.
He is arraigned before the spiritual and secular courts.
He is beaten beyond recognition. He is robed in mockery, and then unrobed in shame.
He is declared innocent, and yet he is delivered up by the judge who ought to have preserved him from his persecutors.
He is dragged through the streets of Jerusalem which had killed so many of his prophets who had come before him, and now would cover itself with the blood of the prophets’ Master.
He is brought to the cross. He is nailed to the wood. He is hanged up for all to see. He loses blood. He dislocates his bones. He suffocates and can hardly breathe.
His own disciples desert him. People mock and ridicule him.
Even his Father deserts him, so that he cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
He looks everywhere, and there is no one to help him. He casts his eye around, and there is no one who can share in his suffering. He must suffer alone.
On and on he goes. He is determined to drink to the very last dreg of that cup which cannot pass from him if he is to fulfill his heavenly Father’s will.
At last he cries, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
And then, a little while later, he dies.
What did Jesus mean when he cried out, “It is finished”?
Much can be said, but I want to draw your attention to just two points this evening.
I. All Types, Promises, and Prophecies Were Fully Accomplished in Jesus
First, all types, promises, and prophecies were fully accomplished in Jesus.
Those who are acquainted with Greek know that the word, “It is finished” is tetelestai. But did you know that the word actually occurs twice within three verses?
The first occurrence of tetelestai is found in John 19:28, where we read, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’”
This helps us to see the meaning of Jesus’ sixth word clearly. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” the entire Scripture, from first to last, in the law, the writings and the prophets, was finished and accomplished in him. Every type, every promise, and every prophecy was fully accomplished in Jesus.
Jesus is a prophet like Moses, and yet a champion like Joshua.
Jesus is both Aaron and Melchizedek, David and Solomon, Noah and Jonah, Judah and Joseph.
Jesus is not only the lamb that was slain, and the scapegoat that was not slain, the turtle-dove that was dipped in blood, and the priest who slew the bird, but he is also the altar, the tabernacle, the mercy seat, and the shewbread.
And he is the one in whom there was no sin, and yet the one upon whom the Lord poured all the sin of many.
When Jesus said, “It is finished,” he meant that all the types, promises and prophecies of Scripture were fully accomplished in him.