Pastor Erwin Lutzer says, “All of us are born with an expiration date.” When Jesus breathed his last words, He knew he had completed all the work the Father had given Him to do. Pastor Lutzer proclaims what the finished work of Christ did on our behalf. When we reach our final days, will we have finished what God called us to do?
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Thank you so much for joining us again as we stand at the foot of the cross. The series is entitled “Cries from the Cross: A Journey Into the Heart of Jesus.” I hope that you’ve been able to share these episodes with your friends, subscribe, follow, and share. It’s important that we expand our knowledge of what the cross of Christ was all about and there’s no better way to do it than to think of what Jesus Christ said when He was there on the cross.
Today, we come to the sixth saying of Jesus. “It is finished.” In Greek one word: “tetelestai.” Some people pronounce it differently. I’m not sure that anyone knows exactly how it was pronounced in those days, but everyone agrees that it means “paid in full.” “It is finished. I have completed the work which My Father has given Me to do.” Now all of us are born with an expiration date and the question is this. When we die will we be able to say to our Heavenly Father, “It is finished. I have finished what you have given me to do.” This expression was sometimes used by servants who would run errands and then they’d come back and they would say, “It is finished.” Tetelestai. I did it.
Now interestingly, in “it is finished”—the “it” is not defined. What is there in that “it”? What was finished? Well, the rest of the New Testament helps us fill it all in. For example, we can know now that His suffering was finished. He was finished suffering. Because in a moment He’s going to be going to the Father, as we’re going to be noticing next time. His suffering was finally finished. All of the false accusations. All of the lacerations. All of the spiritual suffering that took place because He bore our sin, that is all now finished. Something else. The sacrifice of course was finished as I already mentioned. In the Old Testament times you would have various priests who would continually in shifts take care of the sacrifice. Their work was never finished. There were no chairs to sit down on there in the Tabernacle area. But Jesus sat down at the right hand of God the Father because His work was finished. He accomplished it all. Just think of what that means. That means the sin that you have committed, no matter how great, if you’ve trusted Christ as Savior and repented of your sin, imagine this: Paid in full. You do not owe God any righteousness because Jesus paid it all. It all is finished.
Something else: Satan was defeated. I wish I had time to read the whole passage but in Colossians 2 there’s a very interesting passage of scripture where Paul uses imagery to show what Jesus did for us on the cross. Now when somebody was crucified, their crime was written above them. That’s why Pilate wrote above the cross of Jesus “The King of the Jews.” That was His crime. He claimed to be king of the Jews. So Paul says here that God took our sins and nailed it to the cross in such a way that we could list all of our sins above the cross of Jesus. Those were his crimes committed legally by him. And we can say with assurance today, “It is finished.” My friend, I explained this to a doctor friend of mine just recently, who still thinks that we have to contribute to our salvation, that there’s something that we have to do. No, what we have to do is to repent of our sins and trust Christ who died in our behalf and his wonderful cry of victory: “It is finished!”
I want you to imagine that you’re in a courtroom. All of your sins are listed there. God is in the courtroom of course. Satan shows up and he tells God that “If you allow this sinner into heaven, he is going to defile the courts of heaven because look at all of the sins that he committed.” And Satan would be right. Those would be sins that we have committed. But then Jesus is there and the Father looks at Jesus and Jesus says, “I paid it all.”
“Jesus paid it all. All to Him we owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
It is finished.
Rejoice in that. And be sure to join us next time as we have our very last time together on the sayings of Jesus Christ from the cross. Because Jesus is going to teach us how to die. Thanks for being with us. God bless you and as for today, you just go with God.