IT IS FINISHED – Ray E Horton
So many people bandy around Jesus’ last words to prove their doctrine or agenda. So, let’s look at what scripture says. “It is finished” did not mean salvation was fully accomplished – that wasn’t until after the resurrection, so Jesus must have meant His ministry here was complete and the Old Covenant law was fulfilled, ushering us into the New Covenant.
The Law Fulfilled
Paul made it clear that if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then our faith is vain, and we are yet in our sins.
Let’s read Jesus’ phrase in context: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ … So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:28-30).
Andrew Wommack, in his commentary, compiles Jesus’ last moments from the four Gospel accounts and explains it well: “The last few moments can then be summarized in this manner by compiling the information given in all four of the Gospels. First, Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?‘ That means ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?‘ (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34). Next, He admonished John to take care of His mother (John 19:26-27). After this Jesus said that He was thirsty (John 19:28), and in response, someone dipped a sponge in vinegar and gave it to Him on a long hyssop stem. Others who were standing there told the one giving Him the drink to leave Him alone and see if Elijah would come and save Him (Matthew 27:49 and Mark 15:36). He then cried again with a loud voice, saying, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit‘ (Luke 23:46) and ‘It is finished‘ (John 19:30). After this, Jesus died.
“When Jesus cried, ‘It is finished,’ He was not referring to the whole plan of salvation as being completed. He still had to descend into the lower parts of the earth and lead the captives out (Ephesians 4:8-9) as well as come back from the dead and ascend to the Father to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). Paul made it very clear in 1 Corinthians 15:14 and 17 that if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then our faith is vain, and we are yet in our sins.
“Therefore, Jesus must have been referring to His ministry here on earth and the Old Covenant Law that had now been fulfilled in Christ (Matthew 5:17).”