I have had people ask me, “What’s so good about today? Isn’t this the day Jesus died?” It was not good for Him in His humanity, He was crucified. Had it been any of us we would say this was more like “black Friday.” What makes this Good Friday is what Jesus did for us. When He gave Himself on the cross it became a good thing…the good thing He did for us is proclaimed in His words: “It is finished.”
What was Jesus talking about? His Life? Certainly His life in human form was coming to a close, but when He spoke He spoke of something far greater than the end of His physical life here on this earth. Jesus actually spoke one word that translates into “It is finished.” That word in the original text is the word tetelestai. It means to complete, fulfill, to pay a debt or to carry out. It is a word that is used many times in the New Testament. A servant would use this word to tell his master that he had completed the task that he was given.
What is the task that Jesus declares from the cross that He has completed? Jesus has finished the task the Father sent Him to earth to accomplish. God’s plan for mankind to have a way, a path, a doorway to Himself was now complete. The prophetic words that God spoke back in Genesis 3:15 after Adam and Eve sinned: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (NIV)
Jesus completed everything that the Father sent Him to do, but we have not. He still has good things for us to do before we can say “It is Finished.” Paul tells us this in Eph 2:10; “For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” To get to the end of life and know we finished the task that God created us for is the ultimate ending. Paul was able to declare this about His life; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Tim 4:7-8 (NIV) That’s powerful. He speaks words that sound very familiar to those spoken by Jesus on the cross.
How about you? Are you running the race of life with a resolve to “finish” what God has created you for? Is there some unfinished business that you are avoiding or ignoring? I want to run the race in such a way that not only can I declare like Jesus and Paul that “I finished” but to hear the words spoken by the master: “well done.” (Luke 19:17)
Because Jesus finished His work on the cross, we have His power and life in us and through us to be able to finish all that God has given and created us to do and be.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Phil 1:6 NLT)