30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.”
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Dear saints, Jesus says, “It is finished.”
Jesus isn’t talking about His suffering. He doesn’t mean His agony or pain. These words do not refer to the darkness over the whole land while Jesus hung on the cross between noon and three. Yes, those things are coming to an end when Jesus says,“It is finished.”But Jesus is talking about something much bigger.
He is saying that the war between God and man is over. “It is finished.”
All of creation was plunged into sin and rebellion when Adam and the woman ate from the tree of which God commanded them not to eat. In that moment, all of humanity declared war against God. But God would not let mankind, the crown of His creation, be at war against Him. God would not fight against us though we fight against Him. Instead, He would fight for us.
Right after we fell into sin, God came down to the Garden and said that He would put enmity between Himself and the devil promising that the Seed of the woman would come and crush Satan’s head even as the devil crushed His heel. Then and there, God declared war – not against us – but against the devil, against death, and against your sin.
The Scriptures are the record of that war. Throughout the Bible, you read of the devil claiming people as his own, putting his name on them, making them his servants and followers, and dragging them with him into destruction.
But all the while God was fighting back. He kept rescuing His people from the devil and his armies. He rescued Adam and Eve. He delivered Abel, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. God ransomed His people from slavery in Egypt. He saved Joshua, Samuel, Samson, David, Elijah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and countless others – both named and unnamed. God was fighting back, calling His people back to Himself. Promising that one day the battles would cease. The war would end. And there on the Cross, Jesus proclaims the victory when He says, “It is finished.”
The victory was costly – more costly than we can ever fathom. And the victory did not appear to be glorious. The victory, in fact, looked like defeat as the eternal Son of God hung there, dead on the cross. It is much easier for us to see Jesus’ heel being crushed than to see the devil’s head being crushed because that heel crushing is overwhelming.
But, dear saints, if the crushing of Jesus’ heel appears to be that devastating, how much more annihilating is the crushing of the devil’s head?
Today especially, but whenever you consider Jesus’ suffering, see what God is doing. He is ending the war. The war is ended not with a ceasefire or a peace treaty, but with total and complete victory. “It is finished.”
Consider what God says the crucifixion of our Lord means. It means that everything that was ever demanded of you in the Law (Col. 2:14), Jesus says, “It is finished.”
All the prophecies about Christ’s suffering that were recorded for us in the books of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms (Lk. 18, 24), Jesus says, “It is finished.”
Everything that was necessary for the Christ to suffer so you could be forgiven and adopted as God’s child (Php. 2:5-15), Jesus says, “It is finished.”
Everything that was necessary for you to be saved and have eternal life (1 Pet. 1:10-12), Jesus says, “It is finished.”
Remember that God calls Jesus “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:19-20). It is God’s loving and gracious will for you to believe in Him. Everything that weighs on your soul, every sin that troubles your conscience, every burden of doubt, every fear, every worry, and every guilt is taken off of you and placed on Jesus. And Christ bears it away and buries it in the depths of the sea (Pr. Preus). “It is finished.”
Today is not bad Friday or sad Friday or black Friday. Today is Good Friday, the day that our Lord restored the original goodness to His creation, and that is most certainly good for us (Petersen).
The death of Christ is your redemption, your victory. Jesus is the Lamb who was slain, but now lives forever and ever. Christ has suffered and died in order that you might be His own, live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. Christian, just as Christ is risen from the dead and lives and reigns to all eternity, you will too. Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.