It is Finished! (August)

Christ’s Victory Cry
by Sarah L. Bryant

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; 
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, 
despising the shame, and is set down
at the right hand of the throne of God.”
{Hebrews 12:2} 

Dear Sisters,

Welcome to August! Time is flying by and the year is more than half way gone. It is my prayer that you are growing in the grace of our Lord Jesus as you live under His hand. This month, I wanted to share some thoughts I wrote in my journal a while back, about Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross. It is encouraging to meditate on Jesus’ life and death and resurrection, because it is so victorious!  His earthly life contained no blemish or fault or unconquerable foe. He was completely victorious – and He secured my salvation through His powerful victory. Bless the Lord, o my soul! (Psalm 103)

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed
with corruptible things, as silver and gold,

from your vain conversation received by
tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ,
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
{1 Peter 1:18-19} 

The Son of God came to earth to live and die for the salvation of His people. His blood alone can pay the penalty of our sin against God, and the shedding of His blood was a terrible, painful and dramatic death. We can learn so much as we gaze upon Calvary’s cross and view His victory in the midst of such crushing stress. As Christ hung on the tree and became sin on behalf of His people (Hebrews 9:28, Galatians 3:13), the silence was pierced with His strong and loud cry, “My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34) We can see that even in this cry of pain, it was not a cry of distrust or hatred or distraught defeat toward God–He still trusted in His Father. Note His words–My God. He still trusted in His God until the end, even though the Father had turned away His face. He did not turn to something else in this great climax of agony; He did not curse the Lord Who had given Him the cup to drink (Psalm 102:10). Christ still loved and unwaveringly trusted His Father even though He was for this time deserted, as He bore His people’s sin. He still turned to the Lord God and none other in this time of greatest distress and abandonment. Just as Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him,” (13:15) so Christ did. Will we trust our Father even if He “slays” us?

“When Jesus had cried with a loud voice,
he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:
and having said thus, he gave up the ghost”
{Luke 23:46}

Note the submissive dignity of Jesus even in His excruciating death! He did not whine or gripe about the mission God had given Him to do throughout the hours leading up to His crucifixion. In the Garden He submissively prayed, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). He was powerful and victorious, uncomplaining and submissive, to the very end. Christ Jesus the Savior voluntarily offered His life for our sins; He was not a martyr. He decided when He would die (Luke 23:46). He died in dignity; His enemies did not have the satisfaction of seeing Him suffer for days of progressive weakness, unconsciousness, and weakness. For in dignified manner at the end, His was a loud cry – the cry of a man dying in strength, not weakness; the cry of power and trusting in God; the cry of a man tasting victory — “It is finished!”

A sermon by David Carmichael really blessed me as I pondered the powerful life of my Savior. Here is what he says about Christ’s victory cry — “It is finished.”

[After Christ drank the vinegar], He was ready for His last moments on earth. Raising Himself up, He gave breath to another piercing cry… It was His sixth cry: “It is finished.” In the Greek test, there is but one word–tetelestai. It was not a word spoken in defeat or weakness, as though He were bearing testimony to the fact that He had been beaten by the forces that had assailed Him and nailed Him to the cross, mocked Him, and watched Him die. No, His point was not that He had finished by His enemies–not remotely! The truth is that His cry knew much spiritual vigor and vitality as He gave loud and clear testimony to the fact that His mission was finished. Even more than that, it was successfully finished. And despite all the signs to the contrary, He was far from being in the depths of the experience of defeat. Rather His was the cry of an exultant man standing on the elevated heights of the dramatic reality of victory won over the powers of darkness, whose determination it had been to break Him and turn Him against God.

He did not say, “I am finished.” He said, “It is finished.” He was declaring that He had accomplished, without failure, all that the Father had given Him to do and all He had come to do. Nothing left undone, nothing at all. Finished! He had come from glory, commissioned by God to do a great work–the work of salvation. It was a work that only He could accomplish, and it knew His complete commitment, even from the earliest years…

Tetelestai, in its fullest sense, means “It is finished, it stands finished, and it always will be finished.” You cannot add to the finished work of Jesus… The work of salvation belonged to Jesus and He finished it. Hence His cry of victory: “Telelestai!”

We cannot add to the 100% perfect life and death of Christ which was offered as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. He is the only perfect and approved sacrifice by God for man’s sins. Though He felt that soul-destroying desertion at Calvary that no one has ever before felt, it was the moment He came to conquer. And He did.

“The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion;
slow to anger, and of great mercy.”
{Psalm 145:8} 

Are you covered by Christ’s all-sufficient blood? Has He secured your eternal salvation? He is your only hope of salvation. Repent and run to Him and His finished work on the cross (Romans 10:13). For the penalty has been fully paid – it is finished.

If you have been redeemed by His victorious sacrifice, may your life fully echo praise to Him throughout eternity —

Lifted up was He to die
“It is finished” was His cry–
Now in Heaven exalted High,
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Rejoicing in His Victory,
Sarah Lee Bryant
{Editor of The King’s Blooming Rose Magazine}

Monthly Desktop Wallpaper