It is finished - As if he had said: "I have executed the great designs of the Almighty - I have satisfied the demands of his justice - I have accomplished all that was written in the prophets, and suffered the utmost malice of my enemies; and now the way to the holy of holies is made manifest through my blood." An awful, yet a glorious finish. Through this tragical death God is reconciled to man, and the kingdom of heaven opened to every believing soul.
"Shout heaven and earth, this Sum of good to Man!"
See the note on Matthew 27:50.
The prodigies which happened at our Lord's death, and which are mentioned by the other three evangelists, are omitted by John, because he found the others had sufficiently stated them, and it appears he had nothing new to add.
See the notes at Matthew 27:46-50.
That the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst - See Psalm 69:21. Thirst was one of the most distressing circumstances attending the crucifixion. The wounds were highly inflamed, and a raging fever was caused, usually, by the sufferings on the cross, and this was accompanied by insupportable thirst. See the notes at Matthew 27:35. A Mameluke, or Turkish officer, was crucified, it is said in an Arabic manuscript recently translated, on the banks of the Barada River, under the castle of Damascus. He was nailed to the cross on Friday, and remained until Sunday noon, when he died. After giving an account of the crucifixion, the narrator proceeds: “I have heard this from one who witnessed it; and he thus remained until he died, patient and silent, without wailing, but looking around him to the right and the left, upon the people. But he begged for water, and none was given him; and the hearts of the people were melted with compassion for him, and with pity on one of God‘s creatures, who, yet a boy, was suffering under so grievous a trial. In the meantime the water was flowing around him, and he gazed upon it, and longed for one drop of it; and he complained of thirst all the first day, after which he was silent, for God gave him strength” - Wiseman‘s Lectures, pp. 164,165, ed.
It is finished - The sufferings and agonies in redeeming man are over. The work long contemplated, long promised, long expected by prophets and saints, is done. The toils in the ministry, the persecutions and mockeries, and the pangs of the garden and the cross, are ended, and man is redeemed. What a wonderful declaration was this! How full of consolation to man! And how should this dying declaration of the Saviour reach every heart and affect every soul!
As Jesus hung upon the cross, some who passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads as if bowing to a king, and said to Him, “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Satan used the same words to Christ in the wilderness—“If Thou be the Son of God.” The chief priests, elders, and scribes mockingly said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” The angels who hovered over the scene of Christ's crucifixion were moved to indignation as the rulers derided Him and said, “If He be the Son of God, let Him deliver Himself”. They wished there to come to the rescue of Jesus and deliver Him, but they were not suffered to do so. The object of His mission was not yet accomplished. EW 177.1
As Jesus hung upon the cross during those long hours of agony, He did not forget His mother. She had returned to the terrible scene, for she could not longer remain away from her Son. The last lesson of Jesus was one of compassion and humanity. He looked upon the grief-stricken face of His mother, and then upon His beloved disciple John. He said to His mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then He said to John, “Behold thy mother!” And from that hour John took her to his own house. EW 177.2
Jesus thirsted in His agony, and they gave Him vinegar and gall to drink; but when He tasted it, He refused it. The angels had viewed the agony of their loved Commander until they could behold no longer, and they veiled their faces from the sight. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Jesus cried with a loud voice, which struck terror to the hearts of His murderers, “It is finished.” Then the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, the earth shook, and the rocks rent. Great darkness was upon the face of the earth. The last hope of the disciples seemed swept away as Jesus died. Many of His followers witnessed the scene of His sufferings and death, and their cup of sorrow was full. EW 177.3Read in context »
Notwithstanding the disciples had been disappointed in their hopes concerning Jesus, they yet loved Him and desired to give His body an honored burial, but knew not how to obtain it. Joseph of Arimathaea, a wealthy and influential councilor of the Jews and a true disciple of Jesus, went privately yet boldly to Pilate and begged from him the Saviour's body. He dared not go openly, because of the hatred of the Jews. The disciples feared that an effort would be made by them to prevent the body of Christ from having an honored resting place. Pilate granted the request, and the disciples took the lifeless form down from the cross, while in deep anguish they mourned over their blighted hopes. Carefully the body was wrapped in fine linen, and laid in Joseph's new sepulcher. EW 180.1
The women who had been Christ's humble followers while He lived, would not leave Him until they saw Him laid in the tomb and a stone of great weight placed before the door, lest His enemies should seek to obtain His body. But they need not have feared; for I saw that the angelic host watched with untold interest in the resting place of Jesus, earnestly waiting for the command to act their part in liberating the King of glory from His prison house. EW 180.2
Christ's murderers feared that He might yet come to life and escape them. They therefore asked of Pilate a watch to guard the sepulcher until the third day. This was granted, and the stone at the door was sealed, lest His disciples should steal Him away and say that He had risen from the dead. EW 181.1Read in context »
Christ did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and with His parting breath He exclaimed, “It is finished.” John 19:30. The battle had been won. His right hand and His holy arm had gotten Him the victory. As a Conqueror He planted His banner on the eternal heights. Was there not joy among the angels? All heaven triumphed in the Saviour's victory. Satan was defeated, and knew that his kingdom was lost. DA 758.1
To the angels and the unfallen worlds the cry, “It is finished,” had a deep significance. It was for them as well as for us that the great work of redemption had been accomplished. They with us share the fruits of Christ's victory. DA 758.2Read in context »
Everything worn by the priest was to be whole and without blemish. By those beautiful official garments was represented the character of the great antitype, Jesus Christ. Nothing but perfection, in dress and attitude, in word and spirit, could be acceptable to God. He is holy, and His glory and perfection must be represented by the earthly service. Nothing but perfection could properly represent the sacredness of the heavenly service. Finite man might rend his own heart by showing a contrite and humble spirit. This God would discern. But no rent must be made in the priestly robes, for this would mar the representation of heavenly things. The high priest who dared to appear in holy office, and engage in the service of the sanctuary, with a rent robe, was looked upon as having severed himself from God. By rending his garment he cut himself off from being a representative character. He was no longer accepted by God as an officiating priest. This course of action, as exhibited by Caiaphas, showed human passion, human imperfection. DA 709.1
By rending his garments, Caiaphas made of no effect the law of God, to follow the tradition of men. A man-made law provided that in case of blasphemy a priest might rend his garments in horror at the sin, and be guiltless. Thus the law of God was made void by the laws of men. DA 709.2
Each action of the high priest was watched with interest by the people; and Caiaphas thought for effect to display his piety. But in this act, designed as an accusation against Christ, he was reviling the One of whom God had said, “My name is in Him.” Exodus 23:21. He himself was committing blasphemy. Standing under the condemnation of God, he pronounced sentence upon Christ as a blasphemer. DA 709.3
When Caiaphas rent his garment, his act was significant of the place that the Jewish nation as a nation would thereafter occupy toward God. The once favored people of God were separating themselves from Him, and were fast becoming a people disowned by Jehovah. When Christ upon the cross cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and the veil of the temple was rent in twain, the Holy Watcher declared that the Jewish people had rejected Him who was the antitype of all their types, the substance of all their shadows. Israel was divorced from God. Well might Caiaphas then rend his official robes, which signified that he claimed to be a representative of the great High Priest; for no longer had they any meaning for him or for the people. Well might the high priest rend his robes in horror for himself and for the nation. DA 709.4Read in context »