It Is Finished

‘It is finished.’ According to John’s passion story, the last words that Jesus said on the cross before He bowed his head and gave up the spirit was ‘It is Finished.’

An Orthodox priest in the Ukraine once reminded me of the original Greek word that Jesus spoke. He explained that it was just one word; ‘tetelestai,’ or to be accurate to the Greek letter 'τετέλεσται.'

Several years ago biblical scholars gained considerable more insight when archaeologists excavated in the Holy Land, a tax collector's office that was almost completely intact, with all the tax records and notations.

There were two stacks of records. One of them had the word, ‘τετέλεσται’ on the top. In other words, ‘paid in full.’ These people no longer owe anything.

So, when Jesus said, ‘It is finished,’ He is saying that the debt we owe God by our sins has been paid in full.

The Jews of Jesus' time saw sin as a debt that was owed to God - a debt that must somehow be repaid. Jesus used that kind of language and often spoke of sin as debt and forgiveness as a cancellation of debt.

He told the parable of the unforgiving servant. The servant owed a debt to his master. But his master forgave the debt because he knew his servant had no way to repay him. But the servant who had just received such a kind and compassionate act from his master, refused to share the same kindness with one of his fellow servants who owed him a small debt. Rather than forgiving the debt as his master had done, the servant demanded that his fellow servant repay the debt, despite the hardship it caused.

This is how we’ve learned that when we’re forgiven by God we must, in turn, forgive our neighbour. He taught us to pray ‘Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us’ which simply means ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ Jesus clearly used the language of commerce to speak of the spiritual relationship between God and us and between us and our neighbour. So on the cross He says ‘tetelestai’ - ‘It is paid in full.’ Our sins have been completely forgiven. It is finished.

As we focus our eyes upon the cross today, may we be reminded of the incalculable debt Christ paid for our sins.
Christ our Lord, we adore You and we praise You; because by Your Holy Spirit You have redeemed the world. Amen
Írásos Bill atya gyűjteményéből. Imádkozunk az egészsége. LR

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