Last Saturday was a relatively warm day. It wasn’t blistering hot, but it was warm enough. My yard was beginning to look like the beginnings of a Old Fort rainforest. It needed mowing, badly. So, I roared up my lawn mower and went to work. After I was finished mowing, I went back and took a weed eater and cut in the edges. After it was done, I sat down on my front porch and just looked at it. Proud of my accomplishment and hard work my wife even acknowledged the freshly bladed grass.
As you are reading this, and in spite of that great hard work, something is coming tomorrow. I have to mow again. The job was done temporarily. Really just delayed until the next growth.
Now lets switch gears, and talk about the title of this post which you are probably wondering about. Tetelestai is a Greek word. This is one of the words Jesus used on the cross. It means “it is finished.”
What was finished?
John Stott gives great insight about this:
Being in the perfect tense, it means “it has been and will for ever remain finished.” We note the achievement Jesus claimed just before he died. It is not men who finished their brutal deed; it is he who has accomplished what he came into the world to do. He has borne the sins of the world. Deliberately, freely and in perfect love he has endured the judgment in our place. He has procured salvation for us, established a new covenant between God and humankind, and made available the chief covenant blessing, the forgiveness of sins. At once the curtain of the temple, which for centuries had symbolized the alienation of sinners from God, was torn in two from top to bottom, in order to demonstrate that the sin barrier had been thrown down by God and the way into his presence opened.
John Stott, The Cross of Christ
The work of man does not last. It is temporary. The work of Jesus Christ lasts forever. The video at the bottom of the page is the music video for Matt Papa’s song “It Is Finished.” Most of the footage comes from the movie “The Passion of the Christ.”
I just rewatched it, and I’m crying. I am reminded of what his work demanded of him. What the will of God demanded of him. I am reminded that my sin was placed squarely on his shoulders as he carried it to the cross.
My punishment delivered to a sinless king.
Here on Good Friday, let us remember the cross…but Sunday’s coming.