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“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
The fearful suffering of our dear Saviour was coming to its conclusion. Following the unjust trials, the scourging, the mockery of the soldiers, the journey out to Golgotha, being nailed to the cross and being lifted up to the amusement of the gaping crowd, the Lord had endured six hours of the most intense physical agony, a searing thirst and the crushing weight of our sins. He made one final shout of triumph, “IT IS FINISHED!” and gave up His spirit. What was finished at that moment?
Quite obviously HIS PHYSICAL LIFE was finished. He had been born of Mary some thirty-three years earlier, spent the first thirty years in virtual obscurity and the last three years in the public domain. At this moment His brief earthly life ended. Certainly He rose again but that was in His resurrection body.
We find in John 17:4 that the Lord also saw this as the completion of the work the Father had sent Him to do. “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” The Lord was always conscious of the fact that He had been sent by the Father to accomplish the Father’s will.
He used this phrase on numerous occasions. One is in His reply to the disciples at Sychar’s well when they were concerned about the fact that He had not eaten. In John 4:34 it says, “Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” The cross was the consummation of the Father’s plan.
Also finished was the Old Covenant, as we saw in our previous meditation. The age of the LAW had run its course. As a result of the death of the perfect Substitute, the age of GRACE was commenced, during which anyone in the whole world can be eternally saved through repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus, (see Acts 20:21).
Furthermore Satan’s intractable grip on mankind was finished. Romans 5:12 paints a sad and sorry picture of the results of Adam’s sin. “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Verse 14 tells us that, “DEATH REIGNED from Adam to Moses.” What a monarch to have on the throne!
But as we read on, hope bursts forth. “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as SIN REIGNED in death, even so GRACE MIGHT REIGN through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Satan’s grip is finished! Now GRACE REIGNS!