By Warren Coe
MARCH 13, 2005
1. Nearly two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, Son of God was put to death by crucifixion. The cross upon which he died is considered the chief symbol of Christianity.
- You will find it in church sanctuaries, worn as a necklace & theme of most hymns
- Famous Christian missionary Oswald Chambers wrote, The central keystone for all time and eternity on which the whole purpose of God depends is the cross.
2. It was upon this cross Jesus spoke seven times. The sixth time was words just read today It is finished! It is an interesting phrase. In Greek the phrase is only one word.
- Servants used it when they completed the master's work. It is finished!
- Archeologist have discovered its Latin equivalent Consummatum est on tax receipts
- It means paid! The tax is paid. The debt is settled in full.
3. The verb tense Jesus employed is also interesting. It is a perfect tense which means what is finished is still in effect today. Past tense would mean it was finished long ago.
- Whatever was finished at the cross would have benefits now & forevermore!
- Are you curious? What did Jesus finish? Why is this word considered the most important word ever spoken in history of world and the most cherished by the church?
It is finished meant that Christ's sufferings were finished.
I.CHRIST'S SUFFERINGS WERE FINISHED V30
1. No person born to human race was born to suffer as much as Jesus. Suffering characterized his life. The Bible called him The Man of Sorrows Isaiah 53:3
- The Ancient prophets predicted Christ would suffer. Isaiah 53:3,4.
- In Mark 8:31 Jesus forewarned his disciples of his suffering.
- It was Christ's sufferings which was central to Peter's sermon in Acts 2
2. No man suffered like Jesus. His pain & death was like no other person in history. Jim Bishop in The Day Christ Died conveys horror of Jesus' last hours.
- Crossbeam on ground. Jesus was pulled down. The cross beam fitted at back of neck. Soldiers held his arms while executioner drove nails into wrist. The beam lifted with force. Jesus was dragged by wrists. With every breath he groaned
- Once beam was in place, Jesus' feet were nailed to small platform. The ritual was to nail the right foot over left, and this was probably the most difficult part of the work. If the feet were pulled downward, and nailed close to the foot of the cross, the prisoner always died quickly.
- Over the years, the Romans learned to push feet upward on cross, so the condemned man could lean on the nails and stretch himself upward to breath.
3. Why such brutality? It was the way the Roman government dealt with capital offenses. But God employed it for his Son as the only way of healing our sin-sick souls.
- Isaiah 53:5. It makes you wonder how sick is our soul that it required Jesus to suffer?
- Story of teen with tumor on pituitary. To remove the tumor, the surgeons had to remove the teens face. The surgery revealed depth of sickness.
- On the cross, Jesus' sufferings were finished. Our sin-sickness was healed!
2ndly, this word of our Lord declared that...
II.THE MOSAIC LAW & ITS DEMANDS WERE FINISHED V30
1. God's law was given at Mount Sinai through Moses. This law demanded perfect obedience. It was a reflection of God's holiness. What was its purpose?
- Galatians 3:19,22 added cause of transgressions & shut up everyone under sin
- The Old Testament law pointed a finger and said, Sinner! The Ten Commandments yelled, law-breaker!
- Have you ever wondered why the world is as it is? Your life is what it is?
2. Paul gave that some thought in Romans & cried out Wretched man... who will set me free from body of this death. The Prophet Jeremiah said The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
- I talked to a man unable to explain why he beat his wife. Bible knew why
- Our hatreds, bitterness, petty grievances are the result of a heart filled with sin.
- To expose sin was the purpose of the law, to expose and condemn sin.
3. Here is where Jesus Christ comes in. Galatians 3:13 Christ became a curse for us. Galatians 4:4,5 Christ was born under law to redeem us. Literally, to set us free from domination of law
- Christ's humiliation fulfilled the demands of the law on our behalf.
- Christ's obedience to the law was credited to our account so we are justified!
- When Christ said, It is finished! The law and its demands upon me were fulfilled
Christ's sufferings were finished, mosaic law and its demands were finished and...
III.OUR SIN DEBT WAS PAID IN FULL V30
1. The human DNA is fascinating. It contains the info needed to construct and operate a human body. Each DNA has stretches of genes which turn off/on
- These stretches coil the DNA into chromosomes which determine hair, eye
- What scientists have yet to discover is that sin is part of our spiritual DNA.
- Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as thru one man sin entered into world, and death thru sin, so death spread because all sinned.
2. Our spiritual DNA explains the brutal history of human race. It explains why there is death. Even natural disasters can be explained by our sin condition.
- Romans 8:20 tells us that the corruption of our nature is due to sin; tsunamis, etc.
- It would be a hopeless story if it weren't for these three words of Jesus - It is finished.
- God's answer sin in the Old Testament was death of a lamb. Exodus 30:10. Covered or removed sin.
3. But year after year, the high priest slaughtered numerous animals. Yearly on the Day of Atonement, an innocent lamb was sacrificed. Why? The sacrifice was inadequate to cover all sin.
- But with Christ's death something new happened. Hebrews 9:25,26,28. Payment made!
- What morality & religion could not do for sin-slaved humans, Christ did with his blood.
- We had a sin-debt we could not pay, but Christ settled the debt. As the beloved hymn says Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.
When Jesus said, It is finished, it meant his sufferings, God's law demands, our sin debt are finished and...
IV.THE POWER OF DEATH & DEVIL ARE FINISHED V30
1. What are the two great enemies of human race? Death and the devil. Death waits for all people. Satan, as the prince of this world, is our great tempter.
- Death and the devil have frightened or terrorized the world since the beginning of time.
- But Christ has defeated both of them. John 12:31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
- Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death that is, the devil
- In Christ, the power of death and the devil is finished.
2. You know what this means? The sting of death has been removed. No more fear of the tormentor of our souls. Both were defeated at the cross of Calvary.
- But you say, death will still cast a shadow across a life path and the devil is still loose.
- Yes, but the do not have free reign nor do they carry the punch and sting they once had.
- Let me explain it this way. A father and daughter were traveling in car. Dad noticed a bee in the car. The situation was serious since little girl was allergic to bee stings & could die if stung. As the bee flew toward the daughter, the father reached out his opened hand. The Bee landed. Dad closed fist and the bee stung him. A minute later dad opened his hand & the bee flew free. Don't worry honey, he can't hurt you anymore. The stinger is in my hand.
- By dying on cross, Christ defeated death and the devil so we have no need to worry.
What are applications of this incredible word of the Lord?
1. Sin is no joking matter. It required the death of the perfect and sinless son of God! The death of Christ makes sin no joking matter. It should grieve our souls.
2. That payment for sin was Christ's innocent blood should give us confidence with God. Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own son, but deliverer him over for us all
3. That he finished his redemptive work explains why countless Christians have gladly surrendered to Jesus Christ and have gladly followed him.
- It drives Liberals nuts. Atheists go insane. Opponents of Christianity choke.
- They can't understand this undivided loyalty that believers have for Christ.
- The Answer is easy. Our loyalty is moved by his great sacrifice. We owe debt of love. So Jesus speaks. From the cross he tells the world, It is finished! His sufferings, the laws demands, payment for sin & death/devil are finished! It is finished!
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