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Last Words

August 9, 2020

August 9, 2020 • Emily Tenter • READ: JOHN 19

If you search “famous last words,” you’ll read the final thoughts of a variety of people throughout history—thoughts that range from sad to crass to funny to hopeful. Jesus has seven recorded statements from the cross, but His final statement summarizes His saving work: with His final breath, Jesus announces, “It is finished” (John 19:30). It is a startling end to the life of the greatest man who ever trod the planet. And yet, on the surface, the three-word sentence seems rather basic. But picture Leonardo DaVinci painting the Mona Lisa. He has spent many days perfecting his painting. There’s the blend of colors, the smile, the eyes, the shading. Finally, after completing his masterpiece, DaVinci puts down his brush, sits back in his chair, and announces, “It is finished.” That’s the sense of Jesus’ words. He had come down from heaven, become a human, lived a perfect life to fulfill the requirements of the law. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He declared that there was nothing more for Him to do to make sinful people righteous before a holy Father. When we put our faith in Him, we are His masterpiece—the work is already done (Ephesians 2:8-10). The implications of this are huge. There is nothing left to do, nothing left undone. Jesus completed the task—dying on the cross and then rising from the grave—so there is nothing left for us to earn. Jesus’ righteousness (or sinlessness) covers those who put their faith in Him (Romans 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Virtually every other religion offers salvation through works, but Christianity relies on Christ’s work to enable salvation from sin and death. Jesus removed all doubt with His final words on the cross: “It is finished.” • Mike Hurley • Read Romans 8. When Jesus died and rose again, what work did he finish? What can we add to His work? • Why is Jesus the only One who can finish the work of salvation in us (Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5)? • To learn more about Jesus and His work, check out our "Know Jesus" page. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (CSB)