Resting in the Promise of Pardon which has been Paid for by Jesus Alone
30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. [Jhn 19:30 NASB]
The Messiah Jesus on the cross said tetelestai” – τετέλεσται. This is His last word before HIS death.
What is the meaning of this word?
The Greek word can be used to mean to finish something. With this meaning we see the word used to speak about, to perform, execute, complete, and fulfill, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.).
Clearly one idea here is that the Messiah Jesus had completed and fulfilled the will of the Father by His death on the cross (Philippians 2:1-10). In HIS suffering on the cross Jesus had completed HIS mission of salvation.
But as Moulton and Milligan in their classic lexicon point out “tetelestai” is used on receipts found in Egypt dating all the way back to the 2nd Century in which the meaning is clearly “paid in full”. Used in the framework of business the point of this word was that a debt had been fully satisfied.
So how did the Messiah Jesus complete the purpose of the Heavenly Father for sending HIM to earth?
Christ fulfilled the will of the Father of heaven by fully paying for the moral transgressions of HIS people upon the cross. By doing this God provided a just basis for the pardon of our sins and the promise of forgiveness. This is what the Apostle Paul teaches in Romans:
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. [Rom 3:25-26 NASB]
God would cover the cost of our moral failures by the suffering of Messiah Jesus in our place. The Lord Jesus would experience the just anger of God for our failure to love as we should love and for the many ungodly, selfish and abusive deeds that have dominated and filled our lifestyles. This substitution frees us of our moral debt that we owed to the just standards of God’s justice.
So today let me rest and find refuge in this truth. My moral debt is paid in full! Jesus my Lord has paid it all and all to HIM I owe. I am free of God’s just condemnation for my failures to love and living a selfish life. By the unselfish and loving sacrifice of Messiah Jesus in my place all my sins are pardoned by God. God promises me acceptance and adoption into HIS forever family based on the suffering of Messiah Jesus plus nothing else. This is amazing grace.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. [Tit 2:11-14 NASB]