The finished work of Jesus upon the cross
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 17:3
I find it amazing that Jesus, the almighty Son of God, would come to earth to finish something for His Father. It was a task that couldn’t be finished in heaven; he actually had to come to earth to complete it. It was a task that couldn’t be done in his divinely powerful body; it had to be done in the weakness of a man’s body. It was a task that wasn’t completed with him sitting on an earthly throne in Jerusalem, but rather it was finished with him dying on a lonely cross outside Jerusalem.
So what exactly did Jesus finish?
Jesus, in His own words, said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”.
The finished work of Jesus upon the cross is what gave all of us the opportunity to take hold of eternal life. Eternal life is often associated with heaven, streets of gold and singing angels, but that wasn’t how Jesus defined eternal life. Jesus’ definition of eternal life is this: “That they may know you, the only true God”.
Jesus’ death upon the cross allows us all to see God for the first time as he truly is. The whole world has an opinion on who God is and what He is like. Some people have a good opinion, some have a negative opinion, but ultimately nobody has the right opinion. No matter how good someone may have believed God was, they could not possible have imagined he was this good. It was Jesus Himself who, for the first time, revealed God as He truly is.
Jesus came as a servant to the Jewish people, fulfilling an Old Covenant not one of them had ever succeeded in doing, so they could now enter the better covenant promised to them. “It is finished”
Jesus established a New Covenant for both Jew and Gentile, tearing down the walls of hostility and opening up a new and living way; a new covenant of grace, apart from law. “It is finished”
Jesus took the punishment for all our sins, all our rejection of God and all our faults, so that we could inherit the blessing of complete forgiveness and acceptance from God. “It is finished”
Jesus revealed the depths of God’s love for mankind. That He so loved the world, He sent His only Son to die for us all, so that we could live with Him forever. “It is finished”
If you want to know who God truly is, just look to the cross. Take a moment to see Jesus, and remember who He is. He didn’t have to come, but he came freely that you may know the truth about your Heavenly Father. God is not angry with you, nor is he disappointed. His love for you truly knows no limits.
I think, as Christians, we will never truly know how to rest if our focus is on anything else.
Maybe so many believers are burning themselves out trying to finish something for God because they have the wrong focus? This is only my opinion, but I think it is only when we look back to the cross and see the fullness of what Jesus accomplished, and the fullness of who He is, we can breathe easy, rest in His presence, and joyfully declare together with our beloved saviour, “It is finished”.