Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. (John 19:28-30 NLT)
It is such a joy to know that while in times of sorrow there is joy. Every detail of Jesus’ last day on this earth was full of sorrow because He was tortured and humiliated to the lowest degree. The joy that we as Christians are now experiencing comes about when Jesus shouted out “It is finished”. He did not just speak it as John 19:30 would lead you to believe but He shouted it out “It is finished” (see Matt. 27:50; Mark 15:37). What exactly was ‘finished’, have you ever taken a moment to think about Jesus’ last three words before He bowed His head in humility and give back His spirit to the Father?
Jesus came on this earth to fulfill one specific mission which was mentioned in Genesis 3: 15 ‘And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel (NLT).’ This verse points to Christ as the vindicator of the woman (Rom 16:20) who will crush Satan’s head and this was accomplished at the cross. God crushed the Serpent’s (Satan) head through the bruising of His Son on the cross.
Jesus accomplished many other missions while here on earth which leads to the main mission. His other missions were preparation for the grand finally, His death. So what are some of the ‘It’ that was now finished? Let’s dig deeper into the Scripture to identify some of them. Keep in mind that the ‘it’ are the works that God the Father sent Jesus to accomplish on earth. We will never be able to identify all of them because everything is not recorded in the Scriptures.
He obeyed the Father by being the perfect fulfillment of the Law of God and the prophesies regarding the Messiah (Matt 5:17).
- He did not come to bring peace on the earth but division. He made it clear that you are either with the one true God or against Him (Matt 10:34-36; Luke 12:51).
- He came in the name of the only true God and to perfectly do His will (John 5:43; 6:38).
- He came to perfectly do the works of His Father so people could understand that He and the Father were one (John 10:30, 37-38).
- He came as the light of the world, giving fallen mankind the opportunity to move from utter darkness into His marvelous light. He came to save people (John 12:46-48; 14:6).
- He came as fully God and fully man to be the incarnation of the truth of God (John 18:37).
- He came to make propitiation for our record of sin against God (Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 2:14-18).
- He came to make reconciliation between God and man possible (Romans 5:6-11).
- He came to die for and to purify His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:25-27).
- He came to glorify His Father through His life, death, and resurrection (Philippians 2:5-11).
- He came to make a way, the only way, for people to find mercy, grace, and peace in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
These are some of missions that God gave Jesus to accomplish and He finished all of His work, including the great exchange. A great exchanged took placed at the cross, Jesus paid the eternal sin debt of the world in full on the cross. So as we approached the celebration of Easter, let’s keep in mind that it’s not about the Easter bunny. It’s about the great price that Jesus paid on our behalf to free us from sin.
While on that cross, He could have drank the vinegar mixed with myrrh and gall to sedate the pain but He refused it (Matt 27:34; Mark 15:23) to stay alert and focus on the final mission which was the most difficult one of all. Once He knew that His mission was completed, He drank the sour wine. This wine was different from the first one offered. The first wine was mixed with drugs and used as a sedative pain killer, while the sour wine would contract the throat muscles to keep Jesus from screaming loudly in pain. The bitterness of the wine would prolong the pain by extending the life of Jesus on the cross. He died a horrible death, so that we can have eternal life. Let’s never lose focus of the eternal debt He paid and always remember that ‘It is finished!’
Missionary Judith Gilzene Moodie
- Borchert, Gerald L. 2002. The New American Commentary: John 12-21.
- Gangel, Kenneth O. 2000. Holman New Testament Commentary: John.
- Mathews, Kenneth A. 1996. The New American Commentary: Genesis 1-11:26.
- McFadyen, Phillip. 1998. Opening Door on John, A Gospel for Our Time.
- Miano, Tony. “It Is Finished!” Jesus Does Not Need Your Help. Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry. http// www.carm.org
- Robertson, Archibald Thomas. 1930. Word Pictures In The New Testament.