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Christ's cry 'It is finished' a shout of victory for us all

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Clay Perkins

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By Clay Perkins
Columnist

Saturday, April 20, 2019

“It is finished.” — John 19:30 (The Bible, New International Version)

Why do you keep doing that? Why are you carrying shame? Guilt? Why are you so discouraged? Brokenhearted? Do you not know the message of Easter? Have you not heard? Do you not understand?

We celebrate Easter once again. The resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Before the resurrection of Jesus happened, he endured the cruel cross. Jesus’ death on the cross was a divine appointment, not an accident of circumstance. The crucifixion on the cross was a premeditated act of obedience. Of all the words spoken by Jesus of Nazareth while he was on the cross suffering for all of mankind, the ones that should remove shame and guilt, despair and regret, are these: “It is finished.”

Finished. What does that mean? I think of several meanings. While I served as a college president, I had the privilege of awarding degrees at the end of each academic year and declaring the academic year to be over. When my artist son finished his first jazz album, “Looking Forward,” it was over. When I made my last car payment, the bank marked it paid in full. When the workers on my deck were done, they brought the work at my house to an end. The workers would not be returning. They were done. When my sister and I finished the half marathon, we shouted for joy that it was over. “It is finished” means many things in our lives.

When Jesus said “it is finished,” it was not a whimper of desperation, but a shout of completion. The task was done. Mark 15:37 clarifies that Jesus said it in a loud voice. It was a loud cry of victory. Why?

There would be no more sacrifices for the sins of the people (Hebrews 9:12-15). The price of depravity had been paid once and for all. The lamb of God, Jesus, was the complete ransom for mankind. That’s worth a triumphant shout.

No longer would the consequences of sin hold man down. Sin had been nailed to the cross. Our wickedness, depravity, immorality, iniquity — all of our evil — would no longer have any sway on us. Indeed, all had been forgiven (Colossians 2:13f). No more carrying the guilt and shame of past wrongdoings. That is amazing: to have the weight of sin behind us!

Not only that, but the evil one, our enemy, has been made a public spectacle (Colossians 2:15f). He lost. He has no more influence on the emotional baggage of your past or grip on your future decisions. Since he is defeated, you are free. We can boldly declare to the evil one, “Get behind me. You have no more power over my life.”

So, stop it. Stop the guilt and the shame. Stop the discouragement and broken heartedness. God has completed the task through Jesus Christ. The job is done. The debt has been paid. The song is complete. The race has been won. Jesus has paid your debt in full. You are free because your Lord and Savior died on the cross for your sins, for all sins. His victory shout “It is finished” was made complete three days later when He rose from the grave. That’s the good news of Easter, Resurrection Sunday. It is finished.

Stay focused.

Clay Perkins is an adjunct faculty member at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. 

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