Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that 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.
One of the most epic and memorable war speeches comes from a 13th century Scottish warrior, William Wallace, who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. Wallace’s final battle cry was this “They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” Although losing the battle, this epic war speech from Wallace caused many people in Scotland to believe that they could win their freedom from England, and 1314 it had become their reality. Although this was an epic war speech, there is one cry even greater: the one on the rugged cross at Calvary!
Jesus ended His ministry, suffering and death on the cross when He cried out these final words “It is finished”.
Many who witnessed Jesus’ final hour on the cross would have probably thought that these were words of painful defeat but actually they were words of victory and completion because He had accomplished all that His Father sent Him to do. Jesus was declaring a fact, a truth so wonderful that Satan has been trying to stop and hide it from the minds of people for centuries – Jesus’ triumphant victory over sin and death!
When Jesus died, He shared in what all of us must experience, God’s righteous punishment for sins. But far beyond that, He did what none of us can do – He paid the price for our sins so that we can be forgiven and have eternal life through faith in Him.
“It is finished!” was Jesus’ cry of victory because now, through Him, we can escape the power of sin and death; we can live and be free. And it’s because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us that we call the day of His death, Good Friday.