It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. Luke 22:44-49
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:28-30
It is around 3:00 Friday afternoon and Jesus has been on the cross at least nine hours. They sky is black and in the Temple the veil that separated the Holy of Holies has been torn, Matthew also recounts this event. Due to the Romans wanting to observe Jewish customs regarding the dead during the Sabbath they will be getting ready to break the legs of the condemned to hasten their deaths. But the Old Testament prophesies say that not one bone of the Messiah will be broken. It is time for Jesus to die and finish this part of His work, His sacrifice in payment for our sins.
So as we read in the verses from Luke and John today Jesus fulfills one last prophesy and gives up His life say that it is finished. This part of His work is done. The price has been paid and we are now able to be reconciled with God. As I have written in the past when Jesus said it is finished He meant it. Nothing else needs to be done. There is nothing we can add to Christ’s finished work on the cross. Nothing we can do will make us any more saved than what He has already done.
Too often we want our salvation to hang on Christ and, Christ and good works, Christ and going to church or Christ and baptism. What we do when we make Christianity to a “Christ and” religion is take away from Jesus work and sacrifice. We are saying that His sacrifice was not enough, that we need to do something to complete our salvation. We are placing ourselves in God’s place. We are doing a disservice to God in such thinking.
Jesus’ finished work is all we need. Yes we should do good works but we do them because we are saved not to get salvation. Yes we should be baptized but we do that to show the world our commitment to Christ not to earn salvation. And yes we need to go the church to learn more about our faith and engage fellow believers not to earn salvation. Once the price has been paid we no longer need to make payments. All we need do is accept the free gift of salvation.
Have a blessed day,