Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
— John 19:30
Before he died on the cross, Jesus uttered a cry of triumph, saying “It is finished.”
The Greek word here—tetélestai—had three meanings that point out Jesus’ finished work for us.
First, it was used for the completion of a task. When a son finished his work on a project, he would say to his father, “Tetélestai,” meaning, “The work entrusted to me is finished.”
Second, it was used to pay off a debt. When a person paid off a debt with the legal authorities, the document was stamped “Tetélestai,” meaning, “The debt has been paid.”
Third, this word was used to declare a person’s definite possession of a deed. When someone bought a piece of property and paid for it in full, they received the deed with the inscription “Tetélestai,” meaning, “You have the right of possession.”
When Jesus gave up his life for us on the cross, he completed the work the Father had entrusted to him so that we could be saved from sin and death. And on the cross he paid our debt in full, opening the way to eternal life for us. We have forgiveness and salvation. Because of Christ’s finished work, we have received the right to take possession of eternal life.
Jesus’ sacrifice was fully sufficient to offer us eternal redemption and full life forever!
Father, you have forgiven me a debt that I could never repay. May the certainty of your forgiving love create in me a forgiving heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.