By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

“When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished’, and He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.” John 19:30

When Jesus cried out, “It is finished!,” what did He mean? He was talking about all that His death accomplished for those given Him by His Father. When the Bible says that Jesus “became sin for us,” it is saying Jesus bore all our sins in his death on the cross. He actually carried “our sins far away,” as far as the East is from the West, placing them in the deepest part of the sea, meaning, out of the sight of Him who sees all. 

God gave the Son those believers from the era of time before Christ, from the foundation of the earth; and He gave Him all those in the era after Christ, all the way to His Second Coming; each one of those from all eras who are drawn by God’s amazing grace to acknowledge Jesus, God’s sacrificial Lamb, as their LORD. Their salvation was won on the cross, and that sacrifice confirmed with His resurrection.

He took away the sting of death, and delivered life in its place. When He walked out of that tomb on Sunday morning, His crucifixion’s finished work was victorious. God was fully satisfied as His just and righteous wrath against poisonous, destroying sin is now removed from believers and replaced with the righteousness of Jesus. 

We now wear His righteousness and are seen by the Father as free from the sin which promises you nothing but death; free from sin’s result in the first death and eternal death. The first and second death’s power and its horrendous result is totally removed from all those who are in Christ. 

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) is our teacher as to the result to be expected in our death in Christ and in a death separate from Him. The rich man was in terrible anguish immediately upon his death; but Lazarus was in glory. 

And what is more and very decisive, a great chasm has been fixed between Hades, where the rich man was immediately upon his death and Heaven, where Lazarus quickly goes when he dies. Death is final as far as how long a decision can be made; the rich man cannot go where Lazarus is, and Lazarus cannot go where the rich man is, to even deliver a drop of water to assuage his terrible thirst. 

This parable told by Jesus holds nothing back. Why should Jesus not tell the truth to those who must hear and act in this life to believe Jesus and thus be found in Him before they die? Plenty of warning is given to those prior to their death, even those who close their ears to the truth. These are without excuse. 

The resurrection of Jesus was the proof that what He accomplished on the cross was completed and was victorious. Yours and my sin was put away forever.



“Yet doth the world disdain Thee, still passing by the cross; LORD, may our hearts retain Thee; all else we count but loss. Ah, LORD, our sins arraigned Thee, and nailed Thee to the tree: our pride, our LORD, disdained Thee; yet deign our hope to be.”
(2nd verse of Arthur Russell’s hymn, “O Jesus, We Adore Thee,” 1851)

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