“It is finished…”
Through the centuries, so much time has been squandered, seeking for God to “change us” into godly people – or to “fix us” in our state of brokenness. We have expended our energies and efforts trying to get God to do something that His Scriptures declare He has already done for us. We have so often neglected to see all that God has done on our behalf. We have adhered to brief glimpses of His immeasurable grace and comforted ourselves with thoughts of God’s limitless forgiveness… and with thoughts of leaving our struggles behind us whenever it is our time to pass from this life.
All along we have believed, and proclaimed, a gospel that has been far too small and weak – a gospel that fails to represent the fullness and majesty of a God of complete supply and perfect handiwork. We have so often struggled to see what has been right in front of us all along: Our Savior and Redeemer has already done everything necessary to completely liberate us from the snares and chains of this fallen world.
The apostle John recorded that when Jesus died on the cross, His last declaration pierced the darkness with an eternal proclamation. Our Lord announced: “It is finished.” (John 19:30) We have so often taken this to mean that “the price is now paid, and forgiveness is now available.”
But it is so much more. The Greek for “finished” also means “accomplished, fulfilled, completed.” Jesus’ proclamation declares the accomplishment, fulfillment, and completion of God’s great plan. Jesus surrendered Himself to this great plan while He was alive and, with His last breath, He surrendered His Spirit for the Father to complete it (as was accomplished when the Father powerfully raised Him from the dead! [Romans 4:24; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; etc.] ).
Jesus was the One Who took our place, but not just to carry our sins. He took our place as the doorway to the Father (John 10:7, 9; 14:6). That in declaring our faith in Him, we might share in everything He went through, in orchestrating and performing God’s great plan. We share in His surrender to the will of God. We share in His sufferings. We share in His crucifixion. We share in His death. We share in His burial. And when the Father raised Him from the dead, we shared in the power of His resurrection.
We who have been baptized for our declaration of faith in Jesus, have been literally immersed into Jesus Himself. What He did for us, is shared by each and every one of us. This is what it means to be “in Christ.” We have become common sharers in His Person… and in all His work.