Jesus’ last words on the cross give us one of the most clear understandings of God’s interaction with man. “It is finished” summarizes the whole of the Bible and shows us how man is made right with God.
The Old Covenant
From the beginning of time God had an arrangement with man: keep His Law and receive blessings and life; break His Law and receive cursings and death. This covenant was codified on Mt. Sinai and is commonly referred to as the Old Covenant, Covenant of Law, or Covenant of Works. The problem with this covenant is that no man can keep God’s Law and earn His blessings. We all stand under a curse deserving death.
The prophesied Messiah
After Adam’s disobedience God foretold of a coming One Who would save and restore Adam’s race. This One became known as the Messiah or Christ. He would come and deliver His people. He alone would secure the blessings of God, blessings that can only be secured through complete obedience to God’s Law.
A Substitute sacrifice
Many stories like the Passover, the Day of Atonement, Abraham and Isaac, etc. all pointed to one truth, a coming One Who would die in our place. The Day of Atonement offered perhaps the clearest idea of a substitute sacrifice. The Ark of the Covenant contained the terms of God’s Covenant with man and the Law we are to keep. Over this box was the Mercy Seat or Covering. Upon this covering the blood of an animal would be sprinkled. This showed that when God looked down from heaven at the terms of the Covenant, He would no longer see the Law we had broken but see that the curse and death had already been paid. However, all the animal sacrifices had to be repeated showing that they could not truly cover sin. The payment for sin was never completed or finished.
It is finished
Jesus’ final words before His death were, “It is finished.” Jesus was here declaring the terms of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is an agreement among the Trinity to do everything necessary for the salvation of God’s people. Jesus is the Messiah Who fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the Old Covenant for His people. He finished what was required accomplishing once and for all the salvation of His people. With His death He took away the curse and brought down the blessing of God for His people.
Salvation can only be by faith
Jesus has finished the work. There is literally nothing left for you to do. Because the New Covenant is the Covenant of Grace, your works, good or bad, do not matter. However, not everyone will be saved by the death of Jesus Christ. This salvation is only for those who believe. It is finished, accomplished, over. There is nothing left for you to do. Do you believe this?
Do you believe that it is finished?