“It is finished” (John 19:30).
This was NOT the cry of a victim, but the exclamation of a Victor! Yes, His suffering was about to its conclusion. He had been betrayed, mocked, tried in a kangaroo court, condemned, beaten and crucified. He had hung naked and bloodied before the throngs for six awful hours. Soon He would make His seventh and final utterance from the cross: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46, ESV). “It is finished” was certainly NOT code for: “Finally, this ordeal is over... finally, light at the end of the tunnel... finally I’ve done it!”
It was only when the soldiers offered Him a taste of “sour wine” that Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). This was a direct fulfillment of Psalm 69:21: “For my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.” Here, He fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.
He fulfilled other Messianic prophecies! He was born in David’s lineage (II Samuel 7:12-13, Luke 1:32). He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Luke 2:4-7). His family fled to Egypt (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:14-15). He was proceeded by a forerunner, John the Baptist (Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi 3:1, Matthew 3:1-3). He was rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3, John 1:11). He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9, Mark 11:7-11). He was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13, Matthew 26:14-15). At His trial, He was silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7, Mark 15:4-5). He was spat upon and beaten (Isaiah 50:6, Matthew 26:67). He died in the company of criminals (Isaiah 53:12, Mark 15:27-28). His hands and feet were pierced (Zechariah 12:10, John 19:34). He prayed for His enemies (Psalm 109:4, Luke 23:34). The soldiers gambled for His coat (Psalm 22:18, Matthew 27:35) and none of His bones were broken (Psalm 34:20, John 19:32-33).
There’s more, but I think I’ve made the point. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. But when Jesus said, “It is finished,” He was NOT saying, “I’ve done it. By tasting the sour wine, I’ve fulfilled them all! Check! Check! Check!”
Jesus WAS saying that He had paid the full price, He had performed the sacrifice, He had successfully and sufficiently completed His mission of redemption. Jesus had “cancelled the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands” (Colossians 2:14, ESV). Jesus left heaven to “seek and save the lost” ... He had done it! (Luke 19:11, I Timothy 1:15). It was finished! Our salvation is bought and paid for! “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy” (Titus 3:4-5, ESV).
Jesus WAS also saying, “It is finished!” The Enemy no longer has the right to condemn (Romans 8:1), or to attack with feelings of guilt or shame. Jesus won! The Devil was defeated! Our foe was vanquished!
On the Day of Atonement, (Yom Kippur, Leviticus 16-17) two goats were sacrificed. The first goat was killed, its blood paying the price of atonement. Onto the second goat, the sins of the nation were symbolically transferred, and then released into the wilderness to carry away the guilt forever. On the cross Jesus said, “It is finished! I’ve paid the price, and I’ve carried away the shame and guilt!”
After the previous evening’s prayer meeting in Gethsemane ... after the arrest by the High Priest’s thugs ... after the abuse of heavy-handed Roman soldiers ... and after six hours upon the cross ... Jesus powerfully, triumphantly proclaimed, “It is finished!”