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“It is finished.” These are some of the most chilling and simultaneously hope-filled words in the Bible. At this point in the story, it is hard not to burst into tears. How could Jesus die? What does He mean “it is finished”? In John 13:1 (ESV), it says, “When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” A few chapters later, as He hung on the cross, that hour had come!

Imagine for a minute that this is your first time reading this story in John 18-19. You started back in Genesis, and you learned about this God who made and rules all things. He made man and woman in His image and had a beautiful relationship with them. Unfortunately, you read about how they went their own way and rebelled against God’s good design and commands.

From that moment on, you watched all of creation unravel and be filled with death and destruction. But in the midst of all the despair, you saw the Creator God promising to restore all that has been broken. He does this through Abraham, Moses, the Law, the sacrificial system, prophets, priests, and kings, but all of them fail. Surely there is someone better!

After the exile of God’s people, their return, and then four hundred years of silence, a baby is born in a manger. The one whom all the people and prophecies were pointing to is here! Jesus, the better Adam, the perfect prophet, priest, and king. You read about His ministry of healing diseases and forgiving sins. You see His claims to be God and His perfect obedience to the Law. Then all of a sudden, He is dead on a Roman cross. How could this be good news?

To those who loved and followed Him, this didn’t look like good news at all. But Jesus knew, as He died, the full extent of the Father’s love and the rescue plan that had been fulfilled. All of the prophecies made about this coming Savior found their fulfillment. The wrath of God towards sinners is fully satisfied. Satan is disarmed as promised in Genesis 3:15 by the “King of the Jews.” Forgiveness and salvation are made available for all who would believe in this true Savior, Jesus.

I have found throughout my walking with the Lord that this verse and all of its implications for my life are harder for me to believe than I often like to admit. I find myself trying to work for the salvation that I have already received in Christ. As He hung on the cross, Jesus didn’t proclaim that the work was half done, and we need to pick up the rest with good works and some prayer. No!

He proclaims “it is finished”! The debt is paid!

His perfectly obedient life and sacrificial death were enough to cover the charges against me because of my sin. Isaiah 53:11 (ESV) speaks of Jesus saying, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”

Praise God that, in the finished work of Christ, all who would believe would be made righteous. If you are like me in your struggle to believe this truth, let Romans 4:5 (ESV) encourage your heart as it says, “…and to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” Praise be to God!

Do you believe the work to be finished? Where do you find yourself working for the salvation you have already received? Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of the good news of the finished work of Christ. Praise God for finishing the work on your behalf. Pray for opportunities to share with others the hope and freedom they can have in Jesus.

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Jenna Rea

Jenna Rea

Jenna finds it a joy to study God’s Word together with others. Recently married, she is pursuing a M.A. Theological Studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. She currently works for an amazing ministry called Scarlet Hope that exists to share the hope and love of Jesus with women in the adult entertainment industry.

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