When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – Jn. 19:30 NIV
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The records of the comments of Jesus on the cross after his crucifixion differs from one synoptic gospel to the other. He is generally reported to have made seven statements while on the cross before giving up the ghost but not all the gospels recorded all. A summary of those comments are as follows:
1. Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing – Lk. 23:34.
2. Today you will be with me in paradise – Lk. 23:43.
3. Son look at your mother, mother look at your child – Jn. 19:26-27.
4. My Lord my Lord, why has thou forsaken me – Matt. 27:46.
5. I am thirsty – Jn. 19:28.
6. It is finished – Jn. 19:30.
7. Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit – Lk. 23:46.
The foundation scripture for today’s devotional is the statement recorded in the biblical book of Luke where Jesus was quoted to have said that it is finished. What is obvious about this statement is its definitive and conclusive nature. It implies that with all assurance, there is nothing to be done again as all that needs to be done has been successfully done. So what is it that needs to be done and what was the objective of the task that has now been completed?
It may be necessary to go down memory lane for the significance of his statement to be revealed. The Almighty God had taken the decision to make man in His own image after the creation of the world and all its contents – Gen. 1:1-26. After the creation of man, he placed man in the Garden of Eden to tend it whilst at the same time he gave total control of all creation and the garden to man permitting man to dominate the entire earth. He in addition blessed man declaring that man should be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth – Gen. 1:27-30. He developed a very close relationship with man such that he regularly comes down for evening relaxation in the company of Adam. This was the situation until Satan succeeded in deceiving Eve to be disobedient to the Almighty God, who in turn encouraged Adam to do same – Gen. 3:1-10. The consequence was their ejection from the garden of comfort and condition of total control of their environment into a life of pain and discomfort. They also lost the closeness they had with the Almighty God who created a gulf between them and himself – Gen. 3:11-24.
However the new state of man was not pleasing to a loving god who decided to bring man back to himself. This was not going to happen without some form of restitution for sin which had by now become an ancestral issue. Every one that came to the world simply inherited the weight of the sin of Adam and Eve – Psa. 51:5. Man had to be restored and the only way was to remove the consequences of sin. In order to do this, the Almighty God in a series of ordinances given to Moses charted a path for man to return which involved the shedding of blood of several animals for different categories of sin (Lev. 1:1 – 7:37) but this was still insufficient as sin by now had become a habit that man was not going to get away from. It was from one sacrifice to the other, yet the intention of the Almighty God to bring man back to Himself was not achieved. He eventually came up with a solution. He needed to offer a once and for all sacrifice Himself on behalf of man that will serve as a route of return of man to Him – Jn. 3:16. Who was going to be this sacrificial lamb? This is where Jesus came into the picture.
As a the second person in the Trinity, he offered to come down to earth to be offered as a sacrifice to cleanse and relief man eternally from the weight of sin – Jn. 10:18. It was to be a once and for all sacrifice (1Pet. 3:18) and in a manner of immaculate conception, a virgin who was betrothed to a man called Joseph became pregnant with the second person of the Trinity coming into the world as baby Jesus – Lk. 1:35. The single reason for his coming was to die for the remission of sins in a sacrificial manner. He needed to symbolically bear the weight of all sins already committed and the ones yet to be committed, bear the shame of all these sins on himself in a humiliating manner, be made a curse by being hanged on a tree and his blood shed with the piercing of his side – Isa. 53:5; Gal. 3:13-18. This was to be the first phase of the project that by now can be tagged, “The return man to His Maker”.
Since he went through all these phases up to the point where he was going to give up his ghost on the cross, he had all the right to pronounce that his task in relation to the living man was finished. He had paid the supreme sacrifice and all that remained was for every one to enjoy the advantage of the sacrifice. Everyone that is, except those who have refused to accept him as Lord and Saviour. Indeed after undergoing all that he went through, there was no need for any sacrifice again by man if the intention was to avoid the wages of sin. He had done all that needed to be done – Heb. 10:1-18.
All that remains is for man today to acknowledge this sacrifice and do the needful to benefit from it – 1Jn. 1:8-10. Unfortunately, not all people, Christians inclusive are living life with this awareness or belief as so many people are still making efforts that are similar to offering sacrifices in order to avoid the pains that sin has brought into their lives. Personal efforts aided by the deceit and ignorance of many spiritual leaders are still being deployed by people who believe they have to offer their own sacrifices to be free from the weight of sin when all that is required is a honest confession of sins committed.
Truth be told, no other sacrifice is required for sin outside this one that Jesus did. Any effort different from this by man will be a huge waste as it will not be recognised by the Almighty God. Are you groaning under the weight of a sin that you know you have committed? Do not stretch the period of pain by putting any human efforts or applying any other solution. They will not work and if they do work, it will only be for a period. Take advantage of this great sacrifice today by confessing those sins to him. He will definitely forgive all those sins and you will be restored into a life of comfort and peace. May that be your testimony soonest in Jesus name. Amen.