John 19:28-30 :
After this, Jesus, seeing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” Now a vessel full of vinegar was set there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop, and held it at his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.
I have been a Christian for over 30 years and I am still taking to heart the wonders of what Jesus “finished” at this point in history. This moment changed the whole world.
Up to this point, our sin had not been paid for. We were guilty before God because we were unable to live by His Law. No one had ever lived up to the Law of God except the one that the Bible had predicted and this was the one who just died.
I have learned, from the Bible, that many major things took place at that moment, but I would like to highlight three of them.
First, Jesus died in our place. We should have been the ones who died there because God won’t forgive sin without the price being paid for it. Somehow, in my culture, we have adopted the idea that forgiveness means “to choose to ignore and act as though it didn’t happen.” This is not the way that God forgives. God never forgets a sin that hasn’t been paid for. The Bible says that without blood there is no forgiveness of sins. It was what Jesus finished here that made it possible for us to be forgiven.
Secondly, we died. This is something that I didn’t really pay attention to when I first became a Christian. The Bible tells us that not only was Jesus our substitute, but that we were included in Him when He died. Paul, in his books of the Bible mentions this many times. This has meaning that affects how we live today. I don’t plan to go into that now, but it is good to realize that the Law of Moses was only good for those who had not already died because that was the ultimate punishment. We can see here that Jesus paid that punishment, and we also died with Him. That shows us that the law no longer has power over us.
Another thing that happened that is that we read in another part of the Bible that the veil of the temple was torn. The veil of the temple was what separated man from God. This veil was important to man, partly so that man wouldn’t be killed automatically by the presence of God. This act of God was a demonstration of a change in our relationship to Him. We were now able to come into the Holy place of God because that which separated us was removed!
Notice that we had no part in that which was already “finished” here. It is good for us to continue to remember that we had no part in it and that it was the gift of God. Isn’t it amazing what God has done for us?