A Voice in the
"So when Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, It has been finished! And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." (Jn19:30)
"And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit. Having said this, He breathed out the spirit." (Lk23:46)
If we combine these two (partial) accounts, perhaps it might have read something like: And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, It has been finished! He then said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit; and bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Jesus came to this earth for a specific mission, He did it purposely from His own will, and saw through to its completion.
As the writer of Hebrews reviews for us: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You have not asked. Then I said, Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me): I delight to do Your will, O My God, and Your Law is within My heart. I have preached righteousness in the great assembly; lo, I have not restrained My lips, O Jehovah, You know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not hidden Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly." (Ps40:6-10, Heb10)
For 4000 years mankind had offered animal sacrifices. But "..it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.." (Heb10:4) The blood of animals "after their kind" is not the same blood as of man-kind. Each created being is of its own flesh. (1Cor15:39) Each flesh also has its own unique blood. And mankind is -all- of "one blood". (Ac17:26) When man is murdered, his blood is to be avenged "by man". (Gen9:6) When man sinned, 'sin' was imputed to all men. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to every person, because everyone sinned." (Rom5:12) God had promised that sin would result in death (Gen2:17), and thus the penalty for sin is death. (Ezek18:4, Rom6:23) If man is to have any hope of Life, his sin must be avenged/atoned by (some) man's blood. Just as Abel's blood cried out to God from the earth when he was murdered (Gen4:10), there is an accounting of man's sin with God. (Mt23:35)
By faith (Heb11:4) they observed what God instructed regarding animal sacrifices after Adam and Eve sinned, when He also made coverings of animal skins and clothed them (Gen3:21), after promising the "Seed" of the woman (Gen3:15) for a future date. Until Jesus came to fulfill 4000 years of promise, Believers acted in 'Faith'. The symbolism of the shed blood of an animal.
God loved the world and sent His Son. (Jn3:16) In order to be qualified to be the propitiation for our sin (Heb2:17), Jesus took on "flesh and blood". (vs14) And whereas the O.T. priests "bore" the sins of the people symbolically when they were sprinkled with the blood of animals, thus bearing their sins before God's mercy seat (Lev16), and as they ate of the sacrifices they "bore" the congregation's iniquities (Lev10:17, Num18:1); Jesus offered Himself: born of a woman (Ga4:4), being the "Seed" of the woman (Gen3:15) and when He was crucified, He -became- sin for us. (2Cor5:21) Since the O.T. priests themselves were sinners, they possessed no intrinsic ability to justify and atone. So when they carried the blood and sprinkled it, it was a visual representation of what Christ would do. In their eating of the sacrifices, it symbolized the sacrifice -becoming- part of them as the meat was digested and became part of their bodies...thus symbolizing Christ's work.
In the same way, Jesus proclaimed that it was necessary to "eat" Him for Eternal Life. (Jn6:54) He was illustrating, taking something they had been observing for centuries, and proclaiming: I AM the One who is fulfilling all this. Just as you ate the animals, as I fulfill this on the cross, you must now eat Me, and digest Me. This is how those who partake in Christ in this way are "one" with Him. (Jn17) This is why correct translations will speak of believing "-INTO- Him". (Jn6:29, 17:20, Ga2:16, etc.)
So Jesus came, first preaching "righteousness in the great assembly". He preached the sermon on the mount, the parables, healed the sick, raised the dead, and invited: "Come to Me..." and have rest. (Mt11:28-30); Come and eat (Jn6:35) Come and drink to overflowing (Jn7:37-38, 4:14)
So when it came time to be crucified, as He prays to the Father He says, "I have finished the work which You gave Me to do." (Jn17:4) And then He gives understanding to those coming to take Him, by knocking them to the ground while proclaiming His joint name with the Father, "I AM". (18:6) And then 'gives' Himself to them. Just as He gave the message faithfully (Ps40:9-10), He also gave His body to those who beat and whipped Him. He did not shrink back, cradling His head in His arms to protect Himself against them: "I hid not My face from shame and spitting" (Is50:6)
And when it came time to die, He also 'gave' His life. He "laid down" His life. The Roman soldiers, who were used to knowing how much a human body could take before it would die, were not expecting that Jesus would be dead yet. When the end of the day came along, in order to speed up the process of suffocation, they would break the legs, so they could not 'push' up with their feet to free up the constriction of the chest cavity for breathing that resulted from being hung from their arms the way they were. When they came to Jesus, He was already dead because they (the Roman soldiers) did not "take" His life. Previously He had proclaimed, "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself." (Jn10:17-18) The Romans did not 'kill' Jesus. He 'gave' His life a ransom. (Mt20:28)
All the way from what most people thought was His 'capture' to His death, God was in full control of everything, as we learned last month "that the Scripture might be fulfilled". (vs28)
It did not happen as the world's historian theoreticians suggest, that Jesus was born an exceptional man, and had political aspirations, and a wonderful heart of wanting to better the situation for Israel, but got cut off short in the prime of His life in betrayal and death....and never got to fulfill His goals and ambitions. Like so many 'good' men, where in the struggle between good and evil, sometimes the bad guys kill the good guys. Or others will postulate that Jesus (the 'man') was merely a deluded old fool who had some pipe dreams, but wasn't possessed of the 'realities' of the global political situation of His day, and was sucked under by it..."poor fella!" And how many other such ideas are circulated...?
No! Jesus was in FULL CONTROL. He came on a mission, fulfilled it, and then died. The Roman officer on hand when He died concluded, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Mt27:54) because when Jesus yielded up His spirit, there was a big earthquake...a -BIG- earthquake that split rocks. (Mt27:50-51) And this went on during the darkness of a solar eclipse. (Mt27:45) And certainly, if he heard Jesus 'give' up His spirit, the centurian also heard Him shout the proclamation, "It has been finished!" Being a military officer commissioned with an assignment, he would have recognized the announcement of one on a mission, who had successfully completed it victoriously.
"IT HAS BEEN FINISHED!"
A very interesting proclamation. KJV renders it, "It -is- finished!" Certainly, close to the correct meaning. However, the verb there is 'perfect' tense. To say that it "is" finished is certainly a proclamation. A present-tense edict. But, taking a simple dictionary definition, "perfect tense" is a "verb form expressing action completed prior to a fixed point of reference in time". In other words, when Jesus cries out to all creation as He did, it was by then a 'done-deal'. It was not -just- 'now' being accomplished, just 'barely' before His death. Phew! We 'just' made it in time! Pant, pant! ... No!
It's a done deal. Like a person writing their will, "I, being of sound mind...blah, blah, blah", Jesus was proclaiming, Knowing all things, being in full control all along the way, having 'given' Myself and fulfilled every prophecy... the Work I was sent to do is now complete. I just fulfilled it. It has been done..."once for all time". (Rom6:10, Heb7:27) And in case you need proof... that which the high priest needed to do every year, I have completed, and I will prove it... He "entered the Holy of Holies once for all.." (Heb9:12) and then tore the veil from top to bottom (Mt27:51), revealing direct access to God (Heb4:16) and the Mercy Seat.... because it is "by grace (mercy)" that we are saved. (Eph2:5,8)
The proclamation that was against us to death, He took it and "nailed it to the cross" (Col2:14) conspicuously for all creation to see; He took on rulers and authorities and "triumphed" over them. (vs15) Proclaiming "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (1Co15:55)
Contrary to the false doctrine of Rome, the wounds of Jesus are -NOT- "-still- bleeding". They have Him 'still' crucified on the cross. Satan cannot stand the fact that he was defeated, that he could not pollute the woman's Seed line, that he could not wipe out Israel into unrecognizability, that he could not destroy David's seed (2Ki11:1), nor kill Jesus as a baby (Mt2). But if he can deceive people into thinking that Jesus is 'still' bleeding, that His work of the cross is still 'continuing', he at least keeps them from receiving redemption from sin. He can make them think that Jesus lied on the cross when He made His triumphant shout. Is it any wonder, then, that the translators from Rome muddied the verb tense there! To say, "It -is- finished" can accomodate both past and present tenses, making allowances for Rome's doctrine of the continual crucifixion. Scripture does not say Jesus is "crucified forever" but rather, that He "-LIVES- forever to make intercession..."! (Heb7:25) He was not left in Sheol, nor did He suffer corruption. (Ps16:10) By the fourth day He would have begun to decay. (Jn11:39) Jesus was resurrected after three days! When they keep Him crucified, they are "..seeking the living among the dead...He is not here! He is risen!" (Lk24:5-6)
So... "It has been finished!" was Jesus' battle cry of victory!
Thus, as the people sang to David, "...and David [has slain] his ten thousands" (1Sam18:7), the song that is sung to the Son of David is, "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation... Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing! Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" (Rev5:9,12-13)
As a result of Jesus' finished work of redemption: for the one who comes to God in repentance, and to Jesus Christ in faith (Ac20:21), receiving Jesus (Jn1:12) with the whole heart (Ps119:58), there is nothing that can separate us from the "love of God in Christ Jesus". (Rom8:32-39)
Just as Jesus made proclamation in the 'perfect' tense, if I may do an out-of-context play-on-words... Jesus' work makes us...
"-Perfect- and complete, lacking nothing." (Jac1:4b)