“So when He received the sour wine, Jesus said, ‘It is finished,’ and bowing his head, He gave up His spirit.” (St. John 18:1-19:42)
In the name of Jesus. Amen. Everything that it took to win your salvation, Jesus did. He was betrayed for you. He was beaten for you. He was mocked for you. He was cursed for you. He was scourged for you. He was stripped for you. He was tortured and died for you. He, who knew no sin, became sin for you.
And after He had accomplished everything given Him to do by His Father, He receives some sour vinegar-wine and calls out a single word: “Tetelestai,” which means, “It is finished!” Completed! Done deal! Mission accomplished!
Today we must repent of the sin of not believing this last word of Jesus. We’d never say that, “It wasn’t finished” on the Cross. But we live that way don’t we? We live as if something must be added to the Cross – something that we think, something we feel, or something we do. We act as if what Jesus won on the Cross merely starts everything off for us, but must be finished by something that we do or something inside of us.
Repent! What Jesus did on the Cross IS the final word on your salvation! Your sins, all of them, were answered for on the Cross. It is finished – Jesus did not miss one of your sins. The suffering that you deserve was accomplished on Calvary. It is finished – God cannot punish you anymore. Jesus suffered the pain and agony of hell in your place. It is finished – you cannot go to hell. Even the death you deserve was paid for on the Tree. It is finished – though you die, yet shall you live.
Your standing before God is sure, not by adding something to the Cross, but by the Cross of Jesus alone. God refuses to treat you as you deserve, not because you are committed to Him, but by the Cross of Jesus alone. We must be saved and we cannot go to hell, not because of something that we have done, but because of the Cross of Jesus alone. This means that everything about your salvation depends on the Cross of Jesus alone!
Your sins caused Christ’s death on the Cross, mine too. Yet, He took all our sins upon Himself. He didn’t miss a single one. He took them all upon Himself. By His stripes, you are healed. Your sins, all of them, are finished. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Merciful and everlasting God, who has not spared Thine only Son, but delivered Him up for us all that He might bear our sins upon the cross, grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, and reigneth, with you and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.” (the Collect for Good Friday)
Higher Things Reflections are written by Rev. George F. Borghardt III, Assistant Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Conroe, TX.