Our Sin is Forgiven!
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the 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)
Nearing the end of the greatest accomplishment ever to be done on behalf of mankind, our Lord proclaims, “I am thirsty.” In Psalm 22, King David prophesied what Jesus would someday experience. David’s use of many poetic expressions were literally fulfilled in the Savior’s suffering:
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalm 22:14-16)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? (Psalm 22:1)
Having once refused the soldier’s medicinal offer of wine vinegar to dull His pain (Matthew 27:34), Jesus now readily accepts this mocking offering. The vinegar soaked sponge on a hyssop branch would be used to free His tongue. Jesus had words left to say and He needed His mouth moistened to declare them.
Tongue freed, our Lord now offers the three greatest words of triumph ever uttered to a startled universe. Expressed with majestic simplicity, the Savior states from the cross, “It is finished.” Inexhaustible in meaning, these three words are rich and full of deep truths. Jesus had accomplished what He had come to do. He had done all that was needed to save sinners–all that was needful to satisfy the justice of God.
“The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment in history of the very mind and intent of God. There is no place for seeing Jesus Christ as a martyr. His death was not something that happened to Him–something that might have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came.” (Oswald Chambers)
Jesus had had come to die as our substitute; He had come to fulfill the ceremonial law; He had come as the true sacrifice for our sin; He had come to fulfill many of the prophecies; He had come to accomplish the great work of man’s redemption. Nothing was whimsical or happenstance regarding Christ’s life or death–not one thing in the minutest details was by accident or by chance. The cup of suffering was at last now drained to the last dregs. He was rightfully preparing to enter back into glory–right back to His Father’s side:
I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. (John 17:4-5)
Take It to Heart
We can rest our souls on the finished work of Christ! We need not fear sin or Satan or the law to condemn us on the last day. Jesus has done all, paid all, and accomplished all that was necessary for our salvation. When we look at our own works we may well be ashamed at the imperfections we see, but when we focus on the finished work of Christ we have comfort and peace. We are made complete in Him–not lacking anything:
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. (Colossians 2:9-10)