Saturday, April 07, 2007

Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.

Last night at our Good Friday service at Providence Church I gave some devotional thoughts on the 6th of the 7 sayings of Jesus while on the cross: "It is finished."

(cf. "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" by Jay the Bennett)

Jesus had asked, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" and stated, "I thirst." But we now turn to a declaration of victory.
“From the words of the victim, we now turn to the words of the victor. It is proverbial that every cloud has its silver lining; so had the darkest cloud of all. The Cross of Christ has two great sides to it: it showed the profound depths of humiliation, but it also marked the goal of the incarnation, and further, it told of the consummation of His mission, and it forms the basis of our salvation.”
-A.W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross
The first Greek word I learned is still my favorite and it is translated with the English sentence, "It is finished."

τετέλεσται - to complete, fulfill, accomplish; to pay what is due

It is here in the perfect tense, meaning that it has been completed, it has been fulfilled, it has been accomplished; the debt has been paid.

What has been finished? What was accomplished?

For those in Christ, the full price of our redemption has been paid.
  • His stripes by which we are healed (Is 53:5) have been imprinted on His back.
  • The hours of darkness have passed.
  • His precious blood has been shed, without which there is no forgiveness (Heb 9:22).
  • The cup of wrath has been emptied as Jesus took it on Himself.
Jesus had prayed in the garden, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." (Luke 22:42)
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
(Luke 22:43-44)
Why would He be in agony and pray even more earnestly after the visit? Because an angel is a messenger. He brought the message, "Drink the cup." Jesus did. That's why He could say, τετέλεσται.
  • Ultimately, God has been propitiated. He has no more wrath for those who are in Christ, for Jesus paid it all. He treated Jesus as sin that we might be the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21).

We know God has been propiatied, we know God's anger over our sin has been assuaged because:
  1. The curtain sectioning off the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Luke 23:45), showing we now have access to the Father through Christ (Eph 2:18).
  2. Jesus rose from the dead, demonstrating His victory over death and ours as well (1 Cor 15:55).
  3. Christ has been exalted to God's right hand, His rightful place of authority.
  4. The Spirit has been sent to finish Christ's work of redemption, as He regenerates those for whom Christ died, and subsequently sanctifying them.
"But now the suffering is ended. That from which His holy soul shrank is over. The Lord has bruised Him; man and devil have done their worst. The cup has been drained. The awful storm of God's wrath has spent itself. The darkness is ended. The sword of divine justice is sheathed. The wages of sin have been paid."
-A.W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross
That why Jesus can say, τετέλεσται, "It is finished."

There was darkness, but it would pass. A new day would come. And when the sun shines on Sunday, His followers will understand. Then and only then will the begin to understand what Jesus meant when He said, τετέλεσται, "It is finished."

Far too many look back on their lives a few moments before death with despair from having accomplished nothing of any significance. This was not so with the Lord Jesus. This High Priest finished the work He was given to do.
11And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds," 17then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." 18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
-Hebrews 10:11-18, ESV
His food and drink was to do the will of the Father and He's done it. Is there any pertinent application to this? The writer of Hebrews thinks so, as he continues:
19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
-Hebrews 10:19-25, ESV
Lifted up was He to die.
"It is finished," was his cry.
τετέλεσται - It is finished!

Hallelujah, What a Savior!

Labels: ,


At 07 April, 2007 16:35, Blogger Lance said...

Soli Deo Gloria!!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting