By Dr. Ed Young

I pray you and your loved ones have enjoyed a special time this Easter season, celebrating the power of all that God accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection.  

Every year, Easter offers the reminder that you and I need to anchor our lives in the proven truth of God’s Word. One way to do that is by meditating on the last words of Jesus, spoken as He hung on the cross. 

Perhaps the most famous of Jesus’ last words are these:

            “It is finished.” 

Three simple words… but possibly the most significant ever spoken, upon which the whole scope of history and the entire created order turn. 

While skeptics may hear Jesus’ final words as an admission of defeat, nothing could be further from the truth. He didn’t say, “I am finished”, but “It is finished.” It was a declaration of total triumph.

In the original Greek, the word Jesus spoke at this moment was tetelestai—a word used in lots of contexts at that time. I want to share five of them with you, to help you grasp the depth and power of Jesus’ final words. 

  1. The market trader… would state tetelestai over a transaction once a buyer had settled the bill in full. 
  2. The artist… would proclaim tetelestai once a painting was finally finished. 
  3. The priest… would declare tetelestai over a spotless animal presented for sacrifice at the temple. 
  4. The servant… would tell their master tetelestai once they’d completed their allotted duties.
  5. A prisoner… upon completion of their sentence, would receive a stamp of tetelestai, confirming their punishment had been paid in full. 

“Tetelestai! It is finished!” With these words, Jesus showed His work on the cross to be beautiful and complete. His sacrifice was perfect and He paid the price for our redemption in full. Mission accomplished!

As you put your trust in Christ and in His incredible work of salvation, His final words cover you. Your sin, your guilt, your punishment, your fear, your condemnation… all FINISHED! Hallelujah! 

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