Peninsula Community Church
It Is Finished
August 26, 2018
John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Colossians 2:13-15 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Today, we have our sixth and final installment in our series “the Battle is the Lord’s.” Specifically, in this study we will focus on the battle won by Jesus on the cross. It is noteworthy that some, in today’s anti-Christian and anti-Jesus society, have tried to deny the fact that Jesus died on the cross. They purport that either Jesus never died on the cross, or this was a false narrative made up by the disciples to cover up the claims that Christ would die and then rise again. However, to remove the cross from history would be to make us powerless over sin, and would place us in an untenable position of having to face our battles without Christ.
Let me ask you. What, most often, is the greatest battle we face? I would suggest that, for most of us, the great struggle of our life is the impact of sin. Sin robs us and strips us of so much of the vitality and power we have been freely given. We constantly battle the work of sin. While we may not be personally engaged in the big ten of sin, we are often impacted by the power of sin.
To fully understand the work of the cross, we must go back to the beginning of what we know as time. We must come to an understanding of how we got to where we are today. In Scripture, we find that satan was cast out of heaven because of his pride and his desire to usurp the authority of God, which is a foolish proposition. Because of his sin, he was cast down to earth and has been the nemesis of all humankind ever since.
As we look back in time, we find the story of creation and that everything God created was good. However, the one who had fallen from grace, and was now an accuser and deceiver, was waiting to corrupt all that was good. Since creation and until today, the enemy’s ploy has been to corrupt all that God made good. This hit me like never before, as I was preparing for this message. Satan’s primary goal is to corrupt all that God made good. Think about the things that have been corrupted in society: relationships, families, marriage, our view of God, the sanctity of life, morals, sexuality, addictive behaviors, religion/spiritual things, our thoughts, and so on. All of these has been corrupted by satan.
Almost immediately after the creation, Satan was at work and through deception man disobeyed God’s will and sin was ushered in. This resulted in man being cast out of the Garden of Eden. The woman was cursed and now suffers the pain of childbirth. The man was cursed and must now work the ground by the sweat of his brow. For the deceiver, a prophetic curse was placed upon him. God stated, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. God recognized that from that moment of time there would be warfare and confrontation with the enemy, until he was finally subdued at the end of time.
While that is true, in this passage we find a promise to bruise the head of the serpent. The serpent will wound the heel that crushes him. He will afflict humanity and bring suffering and persecution. He will attempt to corrupt that which is good but, at the right time, Christ will put His foot on the head of the serpent and he shall be bruised. This is critical because the serpent’s poison is in its head; and a bruise on that part of the serpent would be fatal. The fatal blow occurred 2000 years ago when Christ died on the cross. In the Garden, the enemy bruised the heal. On the cross, the head of the serpent was bruised. Christ won!
In our first passage, we find the culmination of this prophesy in three powerful words. “It is Finished!” In that moment of time the head of the serpent was bruised. In this act of great love, the future was changed forever. The Greek word for “it is finished” is TETELESTAI. We could get into the weeds of the grammar used here, but instead let me give you some insights based on the grammatical structure of the word. First, the action has been completed, and the results of the action are ongoing and in full effect. The work of Christ was completed that day and that work continues today.
Second, the word insinuates this was not for the one taking the action, but for the one who was receiving the action. Here is what is amazing, we are the benefactors of the cross. The work of the cross was completed on our behalf. We continue to benefit from that action today. Christ died not for Himself, but He died for us. He who had no sin died for “our sin.” He took all of our sin, shame, and the accusations of the enemy upon Himself that day. He did that for us.
The third truth is this action was an actual event that occurred. This was not the figment of someone’s imagination. It was a reality. It happened and all the world was changed. Through the cross, the ceremonial law was fulfilled. Through the cross, the head of the serpent was not just bruised, it was crushed. Through the cross, we have redemption and the forgiveness of sin. Through the cross, sin was overcome. Through the work of the cross, the rulers and powers of the world were disarmed. What began in the Garden was completed on the cross.
In preparing for this I came across this interesting information and thought I would share it. nowThe work was finished! In the Greek, this word is used in different ways but some of these may help us understand the power of the statement “It Is Finished.” An artist might proclaim Tetelestai! when he finished a painting. He would announce “the picture is perfect.” A servant might confidently proclaim Tetelestai! when asked by his master if the work he had been assigned to do was complete. The servant would say, “Yes, master. I have finished the work.” A judge might say Tetelestai! when he conferred a sentence or when issuing a ruling that a sentence had been completed. The judge would say, “Justice has been served.” A merchant might say Tetelestai! after stamping a bill “the debt has been paid.” A soldier might shout Tetelestai! as a battle cry toward a vanquished foe. The soldier would yell, “You are finished!”
You see, the artist had the last word as to the meaning of the painting, not the art critic. The Servant knew if the work in the house had been completed and approved by the Master, not the stranger who entered the house. The Judge determined the sentence and it’s execution, not the convicted criminal. The Priest determined if one’s sacrifice was acceptable to God, not the penitent one. The Merchant determined if a debt was paid, not the debtor. The Victorious Warrior determined the future of his combatant, not the defeated enemy. Jesus Christ is the Artisan, the Servant, the Judge, the Priest, the Merchant, and the Victor, you are not. Your religion is not. Your intellect is not. He has determined that you are free and that all your debts have been paid because of who He is and not who you are.
In our second passage, we find that the power of satan has been neutralized and diminished. We see this in the word disarmed which means to put off completely, to undress completely, and thus render powerless. It carries the idea of stripping the clothes off of a deposed official. At the cross, the leaders and authorities of satan’s force and his kingdom were stripped of their authority and power.
In the death of Christ, Satan was stripped of the power to accuse us of the guilt we try to carry. He was stripped of the power that causes us to believe there is no hope. Because of the cross, we no longer have to walk in the accusations of the enemy. We are empowered to walk in the confidence that He overcame the power of the enemy to falsely accuse us. The result is that there is nothing that can defeat us, and nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing, no nothing has the power to do that. Since satan’s power has been diminished, we must remember that satan can only take what we give him. He has no right to take anything. He has no right to accuse us. He has no right to torment us. And yet, he does it over and over because we allow him that territory in our life. He knows his destiny and he desires more than ever to weaken our spirits and our hearts by false accusations and false identities of who we are.
Too often, we are fighting battles already won. Too often, we are giving up ground we do not need to give up. Many years ago during the days of the settlers, a father and his son were traveling west when they encountered a huge fire that was burning all around them. The son was terrified, but the father placed the son in the middle of where the fire had been burning. At first, the son could not understand why he did this, but the father explained that the fire would not burn the same spot twice. He would be safe because the fire had already burned a safe spot for him. Here is the point. The Savior has paved the way for us. He has conquered ground on our behalf which means the enemy cannot touch us when we are standing on ground already secured by the Son. After doing all we can do to stand firm, we can take on the promise that the head of the serpent has been bruised and he does not have power over us as believers.
So what ground are you giving over to the enemy? Where have you allowed the enemy to deceive you and take ground that has already been won by the Savior on the cross? Where have you allowed the name to corrupt that which is good? Do not allow the enemy to deceive you or accuse you any more.
For an audio of this message go to http://pccministry.org/media.php?pageID=14
Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved Robert W. Odom