“When Jesus had tasted it, he said, ‘It is finished!’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:20
Fulfill, accomplish, perform – these three words define what Jesus came to do. When he uttered the last three words He would speak from the cross, “It is finished,” just before taking His last breath, He was making a declaration that something significant had happened. Something had been performed and accomplished that would fulfill a requirement that would never again have to be repeated.
It was no coincidence that Jesus was crucified the day before the Passover celebration was to take place. This annual festival and feast was the commemoration of what had taken place back when the children of Israel were captives in Egypt. For 400 years, they were slaves under the merciless hand of the Egyptians. But on their last night in Egypt, something significant took place. Every household chose a lamb and slayed it, taking its blood and applying it to the top and sides of their doorpost. Inside their homes, they ate the roasted lamb until there was none left. That night the death angel passed over every home where the blood was applied, sparing those homes from judgment and death.
This event marked the beginning of sacrifices that would need to continually be made, for hundreds of years, for the forgiveness of the people. However, all of that ended on a hilltop just outside the city gates of Jerusalem. There, at the top of Golgotha, Jesus said those final words, “It is finished,” signifying that He had finished and accomplished what the Father had sent Him to Earth to do, to be the once and for all time sacrifice for the sins of the world.
We will never see all the punishment meant for us because “Jesus was the Lamb of God” that took away the sin of the world and the needed punishment for sin. The same God who had punished Israel for its sins time and time again, as we see in Jeremiah, was now completely and thoroughly satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus. As we see in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Today, we can be at rest and be thankful for the finished work of Jesus on the cross on our behalf. And, we can live in peace and the blessing of God’s love, knowing that we will never experience His anger and wrath, all because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.