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.


What Jesus meant when He said, “It is finished.”


I.       Three little words.  They mean little, if said under different circumstances; but when Jesus said them, they mean much.

A.    Many things had been completed on the cross.

1.      It was the end of the personal ministry of Christ, it was the end of the perfect life He had lived.

a.      Phil. 2:5 - Christ could now return to His “God” position, leaving the position as servant.

b.      Christ will ever be the Saviour, but He no longer must live in a fleshly body.

2.      He said, it is finished; that is,

a.      the whole will of God; as that he should be incarnate, be exposed to shame and reproach, and suffer much, and die;

b.      the whole work his Father gave him to do, which was to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and obtain eternal salvation for his people, all which were now done, or as good as done;

c.      the whole righteousness of the law was fulfilled, an holy nature assumed, perfect obedience yielded to it, and the penalty of death endured;

d.      a perfect righteousness was finished agreeably to the law, which was magnified and made honourable by it, and redemption from its curse and condemnation secured;

e.      sin was made an end of, full atonement and satisfaction for it were given;

f.       complete pardon procured, peace made, and redemption from all iniquity obtained;

g.      all enemies were conquered;

h.      all types, promises, and prophecies were fulfilled, and his own course of life ended

3.      the reason of his saying so was, because all this was near being done, just upon finishing, and was as good as done; and was sure and certain, and so complete, that nothing need, or could be added to it; and it was done entirely without the help of man, and cannot be undone;

a.      all which since has more clearly appeared by Christ's resurrection from the dead, his entrance into heaven, his session at God's right hand, the declaration of the Gospel, and the application of salvation to particular persons:[1]

b.      There were some things concerning the gospel that would soon be fulfilled.  His burial and resurrection.  These things will be done, just as surely as Christ came from heaven to seek and save the lost.[2]

4.      It was the competition of the work of the plan of salvation.

a.      There was no more to be done, and there is no more for us to do toward our salvation, all we need to do to be saved is to accept the finished work of Christ on the cross.

b.      All we need to do is to trust in the shed blood of Christ for remission of our sins.

5.      Jesus Christ had lived a perfect life, He had died a perfect death, everything had been done and had been done to perfection, and now He says, "It is finished".

B.    Why did Christ say, “It is finished” now?

1.      He could just have truly said, “It is finished” before the foundations of the earth.

2.      God’s promises are just that sure.

3.      Christ says it now because men can now see that He is the King of kings and the God of gods.  The thief on the cross was saved, showing the power of Christ.

4.      Men can see that He is the Saviour.

5.      Matt. 27:54 - The centurion declared, “Truly, this was the Son of God.”


II.    We need to notice also that Christ didn't die helpless and out of strength.

A.    The death of Christ on the cross, was not like the death of any other person, as Christ still had strength left when He gave up His spirit to God.

1.      When a man dies, he dies because all strength has left his body.

2.      A man has no other choice except to die, but Christ gave up His spirit to His Father.

B.    Notice in John 19:30, Jesus said, "It is finished", and then bowed his head and gave up the ghost.

1.      Jesus didn't allow His head to loll helplessly or to drop, out of control.

2.      Jesus had plenty of strength left.

3.      His head had to be upright in order for Him to bow it and then give up the ghost.

C.    Also notice that Jesus did not give up the ghost and then bow His head, but that He bowed His head and then gave up the host.

1.      Does this not show that Christ was still in complete control of His entire body?

2.      Jesus did not die powerless, but full of power.

D.    This is the Jesus that can save your soul.  He's not a weak puny Saviour.


III.  When Christ uttered the words, "It is finished", He meant that all of the prophecies concerning His life and death had been fulfilled.

A.    He was born of a woman's seed, a virgin, of the seed of Abraham, a literal descendent of David.

B.    He was named before He was born.

C.    He was born in Bethlehem of Judea.

D.    He went down to Egypt.

E.     He had a forerunner; John the Baptist.

F.     He spoke in parables.

G.    He died upon the cross.

H.    He was despised and rejected of men.

I.       He shed His life's blood for the salvation of sinners.


What God did to prove that He accepted what Christ did


IV. There are at least four proofs that God considered the work of Christ on the cross to be finished.

A.    In Matt. 27:51, we find the vail of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom.

1.      The vail separated the Holy of Holiest from the Holy Place.

2.      The Holy of Holiest was a place where the High Priest went one time every year, and gave an animal sacrifice for the sins of the people.

3.      This animal sacrifice was a type of the sacrifice that Christ gave on the cross.

4.      This vail was torn into by the hand of God, that we might know that God doesn't want those kind of offerings again.

5.      Now His Son has died, and that is the offering He wants.

B.    God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

1.      In Hebrews 9:23-25, we find that Christ took His blood into heaven to offer it to His Father, just like the High Priest had to do in times past.

2.      God would not have raised His Son from the dead, if the sacrifice had not been acceptable.

C.    Jesus Christ went into heaven and sat down on the right hand of His Father.

1.      Mark 16:19, Eph. 1:20, I Peter 3:22.

2.      Would God have exalted Christ to this extent, if the work of Christ had not been finished?

D.    God sent the Holy Spirit to the earth as a comforter to the church, that the church might be helped in its every endeavor for Christ.

1.      Remember that the church was established by Christ while He was here on the earth and God sanctioned every work of Christ when He sent the Holy Spirit to the church, that the church might have the help that was needed from God.

2.      John 14:26 - The Comforter will come.

3.      John 16:7 - The Comforter will not come until Christ goes away.


IV. We also see the end of our sins in this passage of scripture.

A.    Christ has cast our sins in the sea of forgetfulness, and will remember them no more, and all because Jesus Christ paid all of our sins on the cross of Calvary.

B.    We have a most wonderful Saviour!


[1] John Gill on John 19:30

[2] Wayne Reynolds