LAST WORDS FOREVER: IT IS FINISHED!
“When He had finished the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit.” (John 19:30)
All that Jesus said in his ministry in context is leading to this moment and this statement. Jesus spoke into the life of his mother and disciples and crowds, even into his enemies and now he is speaking into the lives of others at the cross, to his mother, to John, to a thief on the cross… for this purpose, to reveal God to man, and bring them to God. These words explain the necessity of the cross, and that the cross is the key principle of salvation.
These words viewed objectively: the significance of this statement in history. There was a Time magazine list of men who changed the world? Hardly. Jesus changed the world forever.
Four descriptions of Jesus’ words:
- The statement was described as a loud cry.
- Not necessarily the tone, but surely it was not a moan or a sigh. Not “I am finished” but “IT is finished.” Perhaps the vinegar gave him the ability to speak these words through a parched thought.
- It was a statement of pronouncement, an announcement.
- The statement was built on the analogy of payment for a debt.
- The word, to complete, debt payment, paid in full.
- Psalm 49:15 – God will ransom me…
- Mark 10:45 – I am your ransom…
- 1 Corinthians 6:19 – you are bought with a price…
- Romans 5:9 – we are saved and justified, saved from the wrath of God.
- The statement was a literal audible announcement.
- Not assumed, but literally, “it is finished” was heard by those present.
- What is IT in this statement? Everything God required to bring you into a right relationship with himself
- 2 Corinthians 5:19 – God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.
- The statement referenced that which pleases God.
- The impact of satisfaction in God’s pleasure.
- John Stott – I would have never believed if it were not for the cross.
Khmer Rouge in Cambodia – in a village, people about to be executed, crying out to the spirits, but one woman remembered the God who hung on a tree, the one who knew suffering. They prayed and then looked up to find the executioners were gone!
These words viewed subjectively: the significance of this statement for me personally.
Four results of Jesus’ words:
- We are loved more deeply than we could ever imagine.
- You are loved more than you can ever imagine. 1 John 4:10
- Romans 6:23 – wages of sin is death… a real-world transaction of work and wages.
- You are never asked to earn his love. It is about grace.
- The way to God is cleared.
- Matthew 20:28 – Jesus came not to be served but a ransom for many.
- It is about an exchange. Jesus was the payment that set us free.
- There is no change without the exchange.
- We do not have to live under the weight of guilt and shame.
- As you come to faith in Christ, accept the fact that Jesus has forgiven your sin.
- Romans 8:1 – There is now no condemnation for sin.
- Guilt – I have done bad
- Shame – I am bad
- We have purpose and hope through eternal life.
- John 10:10 – Jesus promises abundant life
- We are made right with God forever.
- We have a hollow faith when we don’t realize that Jesus has paid it all.
- This new standing is not a business transaction, it is a relationship.
Imagine a time when your kids call you and not want anything from you, but only to talk for a while.
Ken closed with a great story: The war is over – on a Philippine island there was a soldier, who was told not to surrender even if Japan does. He believed he was still at war for over 30 years. Seriously, “It is Finished.”
LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
For September 19, 2018
Welcome – Greeting / Get Going
- Go around the room and introduce ourselves and mention one thing that few people know about you.
- As a child, what is something that you proudly finished or regretfully left unfinished?
- What is one project of yours that is still unfinished?
- In what way would you like to be remembered after you die? What legacy are you leaving? Are you satisfied with the legacy you are leaving?
Worship – Prayer / Praise
- Read aloud John 19:28-30
- Pray the Scripture Back to God – Father, we know that as Jesus hung on the cross, he said, “I am thirsty.” May we pray those words back to you as a declaration of how much we thirst for your presence. Father, make us thirsty. In the quietness of this moment, pray in your spirit, “I am thirsty.” In this passage we also know that Jesus declared, “It is finished.” May we surrender to your will, may we stop fighting against you, may we bow our heads and give our spirit totally to you. Pray these words in your spirit, “It is finished. I surrender, as I think about my priorities, habits, and goals in my life.” Amen.
Word – Digging Deeper
- The Statement was a Loud Cry: In what circumstances do people live for today? In what circumstances do people live for tomorrow?
- Do people ever live in the reality that we will all one day die? How does a believer with terminal cancer live differently than a believer who thinks we have plenty of time?
- Jesus cried out this final proclamation, “It is finished,” which sealed his life of action. Which do you believe speaks louder, actions or words? Explain.
- The Statement was Payment for a Debt: We owe money on the things that are important to us (house, car), and these turn into priorities that are worth paying for. We work hard to pay off these debts, but what changes with a gift of grace (getting that which you don’t deserve), since the debt of sin has been paid?
- What is significant in the fact that grace is free? Why are people suspicious of free things? Why do people feel the need to pay (or compensate) for the stuff they receive as a gift?
- Who has a story about how your church activities once fell into the category of works? What are the dangers of a works-based salvation?
- The Statement was Literal and Audible: What do our word choices say about us? What effects do our words have on others?
- If “you are what you eat” is true, is it also possible, “you are what you say”? Do your actions match your words?
- The Statement Referenced That Which Pleases God: In what ways do you strive to please God?
- What are some things in life that people tend to put ahead of God?
- When we experience hardship, what are some ways that we can use them to motivate others?
- We Are Loved More Deeply Than we can Imagine: How do people show love for one another?
- How does God’s definition of love differ from the human definition of love?
- How do Christians let love for self get in the way of love for others?
- Is it possible to give love without first experiencing God’s sacrificial love? Explain.
- The Way to God is Cleared: What obstacles can get in the way that keep us separated from God?
- Bob Dylon used to sing, “You gotta serve somebody.” How is it politically incorrect to say that we are all slaves to someone or something?
- What does it mean that God has bought us? How does this relate to freedom in Christ?
- Ken said, “there is no change without the exchange.” In what ways are Jesus followers living the exchanged life?
- Name a few tools in our arsenal that help us to grow in faith and knowledge. (Bible reading, accountability, worship, small groups, devotional time, prayer…)
- We Don’t Live Under the Weight of Guilt and Shame: How does guilt hold us back? Why does guilt hold us back when we have been forgiven?
- How do you know when you are under conviction of the Holy Spirit? When is guilt a positive thing?
- We have Purpose and Hope Through Christ: What becomes our purpose once we are saved?
- How has God gifted you, and how can this gifting be used for God’s glory and advancement of his kingdom?
- Our second key value at KGBC is Faith, or you may have seen M2, which is represented by the word MINISTER. In what ways are you a minister of the gospel? How are you serving others? We step out in FAITH in order to discover our places of service or ministry.
- If not involved in serving others, what prevents you from getting involved in active service at KGBC?
Work – Ministry / Missions / Motivation
- How can you change the world in which you live? Who has an example of a small thing that you did that made a huge impact on someone else.
- What are a few practical ways that we can show love to others?
- Who can help you to live the exchanged life?
- Who is an example of what a Christian looks like?
- What will it take for you to get involved in serving others at KGBC?
Witness – His Story / My Story
- Whose testimony persuaded you to follow Christ?
- How has your testimony influenced others to follow Jesus?