The Cry That `It Is Finished' Is the Promise of Salvation
Excerpts from a sermon given yesterday by the Rev. Robert Oliver Schmidt at First Baptist Church of Rockville.
Filmmakers generally end their films with the words "The End." The story is over. No matter how long you sit there, nothing more is going to happen.
As Jesus was on the cross, the Bible says there were two times he spoke with a loud voice [John 19:30]. First was in darkness as He suffered the hell of all sin for all time. He cried out, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?"
When the darkness has lifted, the Bible says, He cried out again, "It is finished."
Normally when people die, they have no strength to speak out. A missionary tells the story of making hospital calls and hearing a patient cry out, "I'm dying, I'm dying." He rushed to the nurse and she said, "Don't worry. People who are dying don't scream." Jesus was not dying at the hands of men, but giving His life, and He had the strength to cry out.
The word finish in Greek literally means "done forever." The farmer uses the word when a calf is born perfect, and he knows he can breed that perfection. When an artist paints a canvas, and knows that even one more brush stroke would mar a completed work, he says, "It is done." . . .
When Jesus hangs on the cross and raises His voice, He is saying "It is done forever." Nothing else could add to or complete the work of Jesus Christ. In verse 28 it says "knowing that all was completed," and in verse 30 we read "It is finished." The word completed and finished are exactly the same.
What I want to look at now is the meaning of the "all" that was completed. What was finished?
First, Jesus was saying that all roadblocks to the Father are removed. When you start reading the Bible, Genesis is great and Exodus is good, but it is very difficult reading when you get to Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. You learn that there are sin offerings, and trespass offerings, blame offering, and seed offering. The sacrifices can be either a lamb, goat, ox or grain. I would have needed a big offering chart to keep track.
All of those offerings are symbols of Jesus Christ the Messiah and what He would do for us on the cross. Jesus is saying that all those sacrifices, all those details needed to come to the Father, have been eliminated. …