"IT IS FINISHED"
John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
And so it ends. All that our Lord had come to earth to do. As he bows His sacred head and gives up his spirit the final sacrifice for sins is made. “Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” He takes away your sin and my sin with his holy, innocent, and precious blood. And we must believe that, or else we mock and scorn His death. Christ did not hang dead and bloody on the Cross for His sake, but for your sake and for mine. We must, therefore, use His death in the manner in which He commands us, with these words, to use it. We must regard the death of Christ as the death and end of all of our sins. We must never let the devil, the world, false-clergy, or our own feelings or reason tell us that we have sins to deal with. For on the Cross Jesus tells us that he has dealt with our sins, and in such a way that they are dealt with forever.
The world hates to hear that message. The devil cannot stand it. And so he sends his evil legions out into the world to exterminate the preaching of the Cross of Christ, or to twist it and distort it. And so we Christians have both our own sinful flesh and the kingdom of the Devil conspiring against us. They tell us, “You are a sinner. You must spring into action to take care of those sins.” They would have us set our works, our morality, our good intentions, our best behavior, our highest and purest emotions, our most sublime artistic achievements against our sin. In short, they would have us ignore the cross of Christ and his words, “It is finished”. They would have us think that it is not finished, that there are as many sins to make up for as there are sins committed.
But the Lord crushes all of the attempts of the devil and our sinful nature, and the very gates of hell itself with these precious words from His Cross: “It is finished!” All that needed to be done with your sin has been done by Christ. The death that your sins demanded has been died in your place by Christ. The separation and forsaking by God that your sins have demanded has been experienced in your place by Christ. It is finished. No one can now tell you that there is still more to do, for Christ has done it all. His words do not leave any sin untouched, uncovered, unpaid for. It is finished—the Salvation that He came into this world to achieve has been accomplished with His death. Complete Salvation, not partial salvation. It is all done. Complete. Finished by Jesus.
And it is done for you! Jesus is not just a Savior, but your Savior. The spitting, the beating, the mocking, the striking, and the dying are all our sins—but suffered by Jesus. We must all say—each and every one of us—that, “It is my sins that hang around the neck of Jesus!” And we must then consign all of our sins to Jesus. When the false teachers come, when our consciences begin to condemn us, and when we are tempted to deal with our sins on our own we must flee to these words of our Savior—“It is finished!” For only in them do we find refuge and peace. We must make His death to sin to be our death to sin, for He has made our sin His own and taken them to the Cross, to put them to death forever. We must set His death against our conscience when our conscience condemns us. That is why Christ died, and that is how He would have us use His death.
“Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Rejoice, dear Christian Friends, rejoice! Today is not a funeral! Today is a day of victory, for on Jesus’ Cross your sins have died with Him. Your works have been rendered useless and worthless. Your salvation is accomplished. You now have peace with God, through the cross of Jesus Christ. Amen. So today is rightly named – it IS a Good Friday indeed!