Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 10:45am
Sermon Series: 
Bible Reference: 
John 19:28-30


JOHN 19:28-30

Someone has said, “We can live forty days without food, eight days without water, four minutes without air, but only a few seconds without hope.” 

        You and I need hope.  Hope is the catalyst enabling us to live through times of discouragement and despair, through times of anguish and pain, through times of conflict and injustice.   

        This morning we will look at the sixth statement Jesus made from the Cross.  In this statement we find a reason for hope.  Also, this morning we will celebrate Communion, the Lord’s Supper.  In the Lord’s Supper we have the announcement of hope.  The celebration of the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection is the rich soil in which hope blossoms. 

Look with me at the sixth statement Jesus pronounced from the Cross found in John 19:28-30.


JOHN 19:28-30   

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." 
29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. 
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


        When Jesus died on the cross, the disciples thought all their dreams died with Him.  They thought their lives were finished.  They were ready to give up.  The Roman authorities thought they had executed a political insurrectionist.  They thought the rebellion was finished.  The Jewish leaders thought they had gotten rid of a trouble maker.  They thought their competition was finished.  Satan thought he had killed the Son of God.   He thought the Kingdom was finished.

        But when Jesus said, “It is finished”, He was not saying “I am finished”.  Three days later He showed everyone just how unfinished He was.  Three days later He came out of the grave as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who had conquered sin, hell and the grave. 

        When Jesus said, “It is finished” He was saying the work that God sent Him to do was finished.  And when the work was finished, salvation was secured and hope was made available.  And today we celebrate this finished work.   Through the Lord’s Supper, we remember all that Jesus did which gives us hope. 


        The phrase, “It is finished” is three words in English, but only one word in Greek.  It is the Greek word “tetelestai”.  Isn’t that a beautiful word.  It is a multifaceted word.

        For example, as an artist completed a painting, they would say, “Tetelestai,” It is finished, meaning the picture was complete and perfect!” When Jesus was dying on the cross, He was saying, “I’ve painted the last stroke.  Every detail of this picture is perfect.  It is finished.  There is nothing more to add. ” 

When a servant would come in and report they had finished all their duties, they would say, “tetelestai”.  Their way of saying, “The work had been completed.  I finished the job.  There is nothing more to do.”  That’s what Jesus meant, “I’ve completed the work that the Father gave me to do.  There is nothing more to be done.  The work of Salvation is finished.” 

This morning, as we prepare to receive the Lord’s Supper, I want to unpack this word and show you what Jesus accomplished for you by dying on the cross and rising on the Third Day.  When you understand all Jesus did for you, you will see reasons for hope. 


        The word “Tetelestia” was a term used in a court of law.  When a prisoner had served his time, a judge would announce, “tetelestia”, the sentence is finished.  The debt has been paid.  The law has been satisfied. 

        When Jesus said, “It is finished”, He announced that God’s justice had been met, the law had been satisfied, sin’s penalty had been paid.

Romans 8:3  The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  NLT


        Nobody has ever been saved by keeping the Ten Commandments.  Keeping the law will never save you because it cannot deal with your sinful nature.  It cannot change your heart.  You have to be born again and the law cannot birth you anew.

        Without Jesus we have no hope because we are guilty.  But with Jesus, we have great hope because God has declared us innocent.


Col. 2:14  He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.


        When Jesus said, “It is finished” He was saying “I have completely and totally fulfilled all the law on your behalf.”  What we couldn’t do for ourselves, He did for us.  He took the indictment and rendered it void by nailing it to the tree.  God’s requirements are satisfied and we have hope for eternal life in heaven and abundant life on earth. 



        Tetelestai was also as a banking term, an accounting term.  When a debt was paid, the accountant would write, “tetelistai” on the bill. 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,…


          The payment we owe for our sin is death…immediate spiritual death being separated from a holy God and eventually physical death as our bodies break down.  Because of our sin, you and I owe this debt.  Problem is, we can’t pay it. 

        Jesus made this payment for us.  On the cross, He suffered spiritual and physical death for us.  He suffered the spiritual death being separated from God and He suffered physical death giving up His spirit and letting His body die.  He paid sin’s penalty for us.  He was the sacrifice offered on our behalf.


Col. 1:13-14  He (God the Father) has delivered (rescued) us from the power of darkness and conveyed (delivered) us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.


        In Jesus we have been ransomed out of sin.  We were being held hostage and Jesus paid the ransom with His own life.  He paid our penalty for sin with His blood.  The debt is completely paid.  It is finished.  There is nothing more to do.  There is a reason for hope.  There is the reason we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. 



        Tetelestai was also used as a military term.  It was the pronouncement of victory.  When Jesus cried out, tetelestai, He was proclaiming victory. 


Romans 5:17  For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.


Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we have victory over sin.  We have victory over its penalty, its presence, its power.  Because of Jesus we have won.  The victory is ours.  Sin no longer rules us.  We now have the power in the presence of the Holy Spirit to say no to the sin that dominates and rules us.  You don’t have to give into sin anymore.  You don’t have to indulge the habit. 


Col 2:13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins.


        You have been made alive to a living hope because of what Jesus did on the cross.  You can’t add to it, all you can do is accept it.  Jesus did all the work.  The job is done.  Finished.  Completed.  And in this finished work of Jesus Christ, you and I can find hope. 



JOHN 19:28-30


The Greek word “tetelestai”  -  it is finished




Romans 8:3 


Col. 2:14 




Romans 6:23


Col. 1:13-14 




Romans 5:17 


Col 2:13  


In this finished work of Jesus Christ, you and I can find hope.