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It is Finished
Scripture: John 19: 28-30; John 18:33-37; Genesis 1...
Track 6 of in the series
Running time: 51 minutes, 56 seconds.
It is finished. There are a lot of thoughts when we read those words of Jesus. To me, the main thought that goes through my mind is God dying on the cross. My heart accepts the reality and the truth of that moment but my soul totally doesnt understand how something like that could happen. I struggle with the concept because I cant begin to understand it but my salvation is totally dependent upon the reality.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Death of a Friday Afternoon
“It Is Finished”

A lot of things happened and came together those few hours Jesus hung and died on the cross. Too often the words just roll off our tongues when we say, “Jesus died on the cross”, without having a real sense what we are saying and what that statement really means. It is almost a slang phrase at times; it becomes cliché in a way. Each time we say that phrase or refer to the death of Jesus, we should have this sense of falling to our knees and thanking him each and every time we think about his sacrifice.

John 19: 28-30 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

“It is finished”. There are a lot of thoughts when we read those words of Jesus. To me, the main thought that goes through my mind is God dying on the cross. My heart accepts the reality and the truth of that moment but my soul totally doesn't understand how something like that could happen. I struggle with the concept because I can’t begin to understand it but my salvation is totally dependent upon the reality.

“It is finished” here should be taken in a sense, it is consummated, it is fulfilled, brought to perfection. This is so much more than saying, “It is over”.

All of us go through terrible ordeals in our lives. Once they are finished, what are some of the phrases we use to exclaim the event is over? Thank heaven that is over with, Good riddance, See ya later, All of these mean that it is consigned to the past, now we can get on with life.

The phrase, “It is finished”, is quite the opposite. It means a life brought to completion. It is real interesting a conversation Jesus and Pilate had when they were alone together.

John 18:33-37 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” What is truth?” Pilate asked.

From the cross Jesus declares that he has done just that, borne witness to the truth, to the very end. Just like Pilate, many ask what real truth is. For those who honestly ask this question and seek the real answer, the truth – the truth about everything is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

First words in the Bible: Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Last words in the Bible: Revelation 22:20 “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

It is here when Jesus says, “It is finished” that we are at the cross point in history. At the cross point everything is retrieved from the past and everything is anticipated from the future and the cross is the point of entry to the heart of God from whom and for whom, quite simply, everything is.

What is hard to imagine, hard to deeply understand is that when Jesus said, It is finished”, he didn't mean that it was over. It is finished means it is settled, decided, certain, complete and incontestable. Nothing can happen now to undo it. Now there is absolutely nothing to fear. The WORST has already happened and it is only going to get better.

Have you ever said something like this to your kids or had someone say this to you? Give me an example? Does the reality of this make us actually feel better?

Here’s the point, on a certain Friday afternoon it could truly be said, “God is dead”. What worse catastrophe beyond the death of God can there be? God has taken our part by taking our place.

One of the things that I learned and I am fascinated by is how God used the lost to testify to the truth. Many times in the New Testament it was pagans who gave testimony to Jesus and help lead many to the truth.

Woman at the well
The magi
Thief on the cross
The person who offered Jesus the wine/vinegar on the hyssop branch
The Centurion who declared that Jesus was the Son of God

Another pagan who pointed the world to the truth is Pilate. Many Christian thinkers believe Pilate said much more than he understood.

John 19:1-5 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face. Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”

Pilate declares this statement in Latin which was “Ecce homo”. Today these are very famous words. In Jerusalem stands an arch that was built by Hadrian during the 2nd century that happened to be over the site of the entrance of the Pretoria. It is called the Ecce Homo Arch. What is interesting about this statement is Pilate said it without the definite article in the statement. In our Bibles today the statement is translated “Here is the man” or “Behold the man!” What is missing is “is the”. What Pilate declared to the crowd and essentially to the world, “Behold Man!” In reality, “The thing itself”.

“It is finished” means that they do not have the last word. It means love has the last word. The cross means that at the heart of this horror is hope because at the heart of this horror is Christ. Jesus has over come the world because “It is finished”.

Constantine thought he had the original crown of thorns. He gave it to the Venetians as collateral for a loan! Later Louis IX of France bought it. He built Paris's lovely cathedral of Saint Chapelle to house the crown of thorns and other relics. Think of it! The crown of thorns as collateral for a loan! But then the cross was more than collateral for our debt of sin. It paid the debt in full.

Colossians 2:13-15 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Have you ever wondered why Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss? Judas was promised that he would be given 30 pieces of gold if he would show the Jewish authorities where Jesus was and point him out. But why kiss Jesus? Why not just go up to him or tell the guards, there he is or he is Jesus? Why the kiss?

What did Judas’ kiss mean? It was not an act of love or affection; it in reality was a false act made up to look genuine.

Luke 22:47-48 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

There are many Christians today who call themselves followers of Jesus. Jesus said that for a person to follow him they must first deny themselves and take up their cross. They have to decide that Jesus is God and they are to put away sin in their lives. Too many Christians live a life that is opposite that. They are just like Judas, they act as though they are close to Jesus (the kiss) but in a sense they are working to destroy his mission. Today the mission of the church is to win the lost and there are so many who work to stop that from happening either directly or indirectly.

What is really cool and ironic is the scene that takes place every Good Friday in New York. During the mass on Good Friday, during the liturgy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the priests, the deacons lie prostrate, collapsed, before the cross. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is directly across the street from Rockefeller Center. SLIDE 11: At the entrance to Rockefeller Center is the great sculpture of Atlas holding up the world. On Good Friday, the doors of the cathedral are opened and you can see the great cross from the street. Turn in one direction and there is the mythical Atlas holding up the world, turn the other direction and there is the One broken by the world. Which image speaks the truth? Is the world upheld by our godlike strength or by the crucified love of God? Upon that decision everything simply turns.