It Is Finished

What does the word 'finished' mean to you? Does it give you a sense of satisfaction? Does it calm your heart and relieve your anxiety? That's what it does for me. The dictionary definition of finished is ended or completed, perfected in all details, polished to the highest degree of excellence, accomplished. It's a complete word! It's absolute perfection. When we complete a task, it might not come out as absolutely perfect in every detail, or polished to the highest degree of excellence. When we do a project, it might be perfect, or as perfect as we can get it, but there's always something that could have been done a little bit better. When Jesus hung on the cross, right before He took His last and final breath, John records "Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:28-30) When Jesus says it is finished, He says it with absolute certainty and resolve that His death is, and was, perfect. His death is perfect in every detail, making it possible for every person who believes in Him to be completely redeemed and forgiven! For me, finished means I have been made complete in Jesus Christ. Finished means that I have been totally and completely forgiven. And so are you. Finishing The Cup Of Wrath The gospels mention that Jesus was offered three cups of wine. These are important parts of the finished work! The first one is mentioned in Matthew 27:34 "they offered Him wine mixed with gall (myrrh, a bitter-tasting narcotic) to drink; but after tasting it, He refused to drink it" and Mark 15:23 "Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it." In multiple commentaries it is said that Jewish women would mix myrrh with wine and give it to those who were crucified to help ease their pain. Myrrh, when consumed, is a narcotic that helps diminish some of the excruciating pain of the cross, giving those who are crucified a small sense of relief. It would have dulled the senses, helped decrease inflammation and pain, as well as blocked certain receptors from experiencing pain in the brain. In essence, they would experience a high. Most criminals who were crucified would have taken this drink to help relieve their symptoms! Jesus refused this drink because He knew the cost of the cross. He knew He must endure the entirety of our pain, our suffering, our sicknesses, our diseases, and the full weight of our sin and guilt. If He did not endure all, and had taken a shortcut to dull the pain, we would not be completely and totally forgiven today. When Jesus finished the work of forgiving us, He did it perfectly. There are times when we go through extremely difficult things in life and it will be tempting to dull the pain. In fact, there may be times that we choose to dull it, to cut out the emotional or physical pain that we are in. We might choose alcohol or drugs. Maybe we even choose prescription drugs instead of doing the hard work of retraining our mind and receiving the finished work of Jesus. It could be food that's the escape, or sugar. Maybe you workout excessively, or feel the need to moderate your food intake. It could be busyness, or seclusion, or actually hurting yourself to feel something different than emotional pain. Whatever your vice is, whatever your weakness is, I just want you to know this: Jesus died for it. Jesus took every single sin, every single thing you struggle with today, and it burned on the inside of Him so that you can walk in freedom. You are free! Jesus refused the wine mixed with gall (myrrh), so that today you don't need a vice in order to live your life. You don't need alcohol, drugs, starvation, over-eating, cutting yourself, prescription medications, or anything else that keeps you from coming to Jesus with your pain. Come to Him! Come to Jesus! Put your pain at His feet, and receive His joy, His love, His peace, His provision for your weaknesses. When you come to the Lord with your cup of wine mixed with your vices and let Him have it, He will exchange it for His perfection. Receive it. Tell Jesus you receive it. Tell yourself you receive it, and do that over and over. Lay down your pain over and over. Jesus took your pain and suffering and guilt and sickness almost 2,000 years ago. It has been paid. He not only took it all, He made sure He was conscious and aware of every single enemy that tries to keep us in defeat today. So, receive it! He paid for it. The Second & Third Cup The second time Jesus was offered wine it was because the soldiers cruelly mocked Him. It doesn't say whether or not He consumed this sour wine, just that it was offered to Him. (Luke 23:36) The third time He is given sour wine it's because He asks for it in fulfillment of the scripture: "They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." (Psalm 69:21) John 19:28-30 says "Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." The fulfillment of the scripture that is mentioned in John is that of Isaiah 51:17 "You who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath..." Jesus took the cup, He drank it completely. The wrath of the Lord is described as being filled up within a cup, and only when a cup is filled to the top would He destroy a nation. Did you know that? When Jonah went to Nineveh to prophecy their impending doom, the scripture says, "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." Their cup had filled, their judgement was upon them. Jonah didn't want to go because these people were known to be ruthless. They were wicked! He was afraid. He lacked courage. But you know what happened? They repented. They turned from their ways and repented of their sins, and they received forgiveness. Their cup emptied out because of their repentance. Today, there is no cup of wrath. There are consequences to sin, absolutely. There is still a natural law to this earth. When Adam sinned, he gave the keys of this world over to Satan and his angels. God gave Adam dominion over this world (Genesis 1:26), Adam and Eve gave it to the devil when they sinned in the garden. But Jesus, but Jesus, he took back the keys of dominion with His death. (Revelations 1:18, Matthew 16:19) He bought our freedom. When we receive the forgiveness that Jesus bought for us, when we receive the payment He made, we come under the grace that His death bought for us. His grace encompasses us and we are able to have every blessing in Christ Jesus. Jesus, on the cross, experienced every single pain, sickness, disease, weakness, vice, everything. The entire cup of God's wrath consumed Him like fire as He became our literal burnt offering to fulfill scripture so that you and I can know this promise to our very core: This is what the Sovereign Lord, your God and Defender, says: “See, I have taken the terrible cup from your hands. You will drink no more of my fury." (Isaiah 51:22) It Is Finished! John 19:30: "he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." It is done. What do you need today? It is paid for. Completely. Not only is it perfectly paid for, it's overpaid. In the Greek, the word finished is teleō, which means to bring to a close, to finish or to end. Jesus brought to a close the covenant of the Old Testament, fulfilling the scripture that says, "Do not think that I came to do away with or undo the Law [of Moses] or the [writings of the] Prophets; I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17) This means that today, there is nothing you have to do to earn your salvation. There's no sacrifice you have to make to atone for your sins, no guilt offering that must be given for you to not feel condemned. You are forgiven. There is no wrong you can commit that Jesus didn't already take on the cross! So don't feel condemned today, don't let your feelings get in the way of the finished work. Instead, change your mind. Change your thinking. Your thoughts dictate your feelings, so think right! Think on the finished work, think about the cross, think about what Jesus did for you, then you will feel joy, peace, and contentment. Teleō also means to discharge a debt, payment, to go over. Not only did Jesus completely pay off our debts, He went over the balance. It's like this: imagine that all of your sins and the ways you have messed up in your entire life accumulate to 1 million dollars. When you get to the throne of God in heaven after you have died (assuming you have accepting the Lord as your Savior), God looks at your name written in His Book of Life, and next to your name it says, "Debt Owed: 1 Million, Debt Paid: 1 Billion. This one is paid up." Then the Lord looks at you and says: "Welcome to heaven, my good and faithful servant." That's how great the blood of Jesus is for you and me. His blood is so perfect, so sinless, so awesome, that He didn't just cover the weight of all of our sins, diseases, angst, depression, loneliness, and fears, He overpaid the payment! By a lot! We can't possibly know or understand how great He is until we get to heaven, but receiving the overpayment every day, every time you mess up, reminding yourself you have been made righteous because of His blood, puts His sacrifice into right perspective in your mind. We need to do that. We need to have a right perspective to enjoy the full benefits of His death. He died so that we may live. So live! You Are Free Indeed If you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you put your trust in Him, then know today that you are free. You are totally and completely and utterly free from anything that torments you. You are totally and completely free from any enemy that haunts you. Seize upon this truth! I have a friend who lives in her feelings. Almost every time I talk with her she says, "I'm an emotional person, I can't help my feelings!" I used to be like that too. I remember a day when I was 24-25 years old and I cried out to the Lord saying, "Why can't I control my feelings! I hate having these outbursts!" It was some time after crying out to Him over and over that He brought me to the verse: "We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP) Did you know that living in your feelings is a proud thing? It is. It's pride to deny that Jesus has delivered us out of our slavery, out of our bondage to our feelings. It's not that feelings are bad, they help us live a fulfilled life. We cry when we are sad. We laugh when we are happy. We enjoy special moments and we are in awe when God shows up in awesome ways in our lives. But living in your feelings is bondage. When you live chained to how you feel, then you can't ever be rational, self-controlled or grounded despite your circumstances. And we destroy sophisticated arguments and every exalted thing. Do you know who has "sophisticated arguments"? The devil. And he goes around whispering lies into the lives of anyone he can destroy. Do you know what sounds like a sophisticated argument right now? "Make sure you teach your children that gender is neutral so that they may choose for themselves who they want to be." Or "men can play on women's teams and women can play on men's teams." Or "God is angry with you because of this {insert how you've messed up} sin you committed." These are sophisticated lies and exalted things that are set up against the true knowledge of God. When Satan comes at you and reminds you of your sin that you've committed, do you let him? Or when he tells you to live in your feelings and keeps you in chains to how you feel instead of to the Truth, do you just accept them for yourself? Don't! Stop letting him control you! The next time you mess up and feel the condemning guilt of it, take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. What is the obedience of Christ? It's stopping that thought right where it is in your mind, and telling yourself, "Jesus died for this. Jesus was obedient to my God, and He went to the cross and gave up His life so that I no longer have to be tortured by this. I no longer have to live with the guilt or shame of sinning. I am righteous! Jesus overpaid my debt! It is finished!" And every time that the lies come, remind yourself of the Truth. Every time that you mess up, remind yourself that you are redeemed. Every time that you hurt yourself or believe a lie, remind yourself that IT IS FINISHED! And stop condemning yourself for your flesh. The flesh is what it is, it's flesh. It's fallen. But you, your life, your soul and spirit are redeemed. I said I used to live in my feelings too. I rarely do anymore. I feel things, absolutely. But I don't live in them. I don't let them control me. I have taken those feelings captive to the obedience of my Lord who paid for them dearly, paid for them with the blood that speaks of better things. Sometimes the flesh rises up, and for a few minutes or several hours, I will feel condemned or guilty, or sad or overwhelmed. When that happens, I remind myself I am dead to the flesh! Jesus has resurrected me with the words, "It is finished!" When I react out of how I feel, instead of trying (on my own strength) to be better the next time, I just remind myself of what Jesus has already done. I remind myself over and over that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I remind myself that I have been sanctified and justified. Those reminders have changed the way I think. And every time the lies come, I remind myself again. That's how the flesh dies, and the Spirit gives me life. I don't remember how long it took, but one day I woke up and I no longer reacted to things the way I used to. It was a battle to renew my mind, renew my thoughts. I can't lie and say it was easy. When the Lord called the Israelites out of Egypt, out of slavery, He brought them to the wilderness and to the promised land. In order for them to get to their promised land, they had to go in and fight their enemies. In order for us to get to our promised land, our freedom from our addictions and vices, we have to fight our enemies. We have to go in and possess our promise! And today, possessing your promises begins in your mind. Jesus died, and with His final breath, His final words, He said "it is finished." He said that for us. He said that out loud so that John would record those words that we might read them and say, "my enemies are finished because of the cross." Today, your enemy must kneel to the cross. Sit down and write out your enemies. Find Bible verses that speak against these things. Hold those verses close to you, write them on your heart. Instead of being like my friend who declares out loud that "she can't help her feelings, can't help her emotions" giving her enemy a voice and power over her life; be the saint you are and declare God's Word over yourself. If you have a disease, find a verse about healing. If you suffer from self-harm, recognize the root of your hurt and find a verse that speaks to how loved you are. If you use drugs or alcohol to numb something, look at what you're trying to numb and invite Jesus into those places with you. Find a word you can hold onto that tells you about how wonderful you are. (Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:14, Romans 8:1) I want you to hear this my friend, whatever your weakness, whatever your need, whatever you lack, Jesus says IT IS FINISHED! He says to you, I PAID FOR IT! It's done! Go somewhere quiet, go for a drive, read these words aloud, and then shout out to the heavens, "I receive it!" Whatever your battle is today, receive your finished work. Jesus wants you to honor what He did for you by not trying to earn it, by not trying to add to it, but by just surrendering to it, receiving it, and letting Him wash over you. He loves you with an everlasting love, a love that is eternal. He loves you so much that He died so that you could be with Him in heaven forever. Forever! He wants to be with you forever! Receive that love my friend, and we will be together forever with Him in eternity. With Joy, Jessica

It Is Finished