(John 19:30) “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
Some people believe in a doctrine called “The Harrowing of Hell.” This term comes from the Latin phrase Descensus Christi ad Inferos (“the descent of Christ into hell). During the Reformation, in Protestant churches it came to mean that Christ took on our sins and then suffered our eternal punishment in Hell after He died. But did this really happen or is it a misunderstanding that was solidified by medieval writers and repetitive recitation of the Apostle’s Creed in liturgical worship? “It is finished” is where we find the answer.
The Greek word captured in the phrase “It is finished” is teleo. It literally means “to end, complete, execute, conclude.” Those around the cross looked on the broken, battered, and bloody man hanging there assuming His words meant that His life was finished. Little did they know those words carried far more meaning for them than they could ever hope. We hear in those words the hope for the condemned in Israel who were indicted by the prophets long ago. We hear in those words the hope for us as our souls balanced in eternity as He suffered under the weight of our sins on the cross.
[typography font="Give You Glory" size="18" size_format="px"]1. The means of reconciliation was accomplished on Calvary:[/typography]
(Colossians 1:20) “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
(Ephesians 2:13) “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
[typography font="Give You Glory" size="18" size_format="px"]2. Redemption and the means of forgiveness were accomplished on Calvary:[/typography]
(Colossians 1:14) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
[typography font="Give You Glory" size="18" size_format="px"]3. The burden of the Law was removed on Calvary:[/typography]
(Colossians 2:14) “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”
If all of this was accomplished on the cross, then there is no doubt the punishment and wrath of God were poured on the Lord Jesus Christ while He hung there. Those hours of agony were far more than the torture of the beatings and piercings. He literally suffered an eternity for all humanity at that time. He literally became the sin, sacrifice and scapegoat. There are no other verses in the Bible that indicate His suffering continued in Hell. In fact we are given information that He preached during the three days and nights in that place.
- “It is finished” literally meant the punishment for your sins and my sins were accomplished. There was nothing else that could be done and nothing else that you or I can do.
- “It is finished” is the declaration the payment is complete.
- “It is finished” means we can live righteously today because He fulfilled all righteousness.
- “It is finished” means we can live without guilt.
- “It is finished” means we can live without self-condemnation.
- “It is finished” means we can die to self.
- “It is finished” means the greatest battle ever fought was won.
[box]Renewed Thought – Christ’s work is accomplished. Now go live today a life that He paid for you to live.[/box]