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Christ’s Finished Work

MMG-04   NR1-27   NR6-34   WWJ-19

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When Jesus reached the last evening He would share with His beloved disciples, He celebrated Passover with them and transformed it into a special memorial to the FINISHED WORK of His death. He inaugurated the Lord’s Supper as the fulfillment of all Passovers. Communion is for His church to celebrate until He returns. In this memorial ceremony Christ’s work of salvation is celebrated as FINISHED!

Mark 14:24 records that in the midst of the supper Jesus said, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.” What is the new testament or covenant in His blood? Look at Jesus’ words in Acts 26:17b-18 as He sent Paul to the Gentiles:

…I now send you to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.

How does God forgive us when we are all guilty and deserving of punishment? Jesus gave Himself for us, and when He did so, He FINISHED all that needed to be done to pay for sins.

Charles Wesley, in his hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise,” expresses the joy and wonder of the heart which realizes this great truth:

Arise, my soul, arise,
Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice,
In my behalf appears;
Before the throne my surety stand,
My name is written on His hands.

My God is reconciled,
His pardoning voice I hear,
He owns me for His child,
I can no longer fear;
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And Father, Abba Father, cry.
Look at Jesus’ declaration of the FINISHED WORK in John 19:30:

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Our Lord spoke seven times from the cross. Three of these communications were to mankind; four were to God:

  • Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  He showed His pity toward sinful humanity and gave a word of forgiveness.
  • Luke 23:43: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  He gave a word of assurance to the thief, thus showing His power toward sinners who believe.
  • John 19:26-27: “[to His mother] Woman, behold your son…[to the disciple John] Behold your mother!”  He spoke a word of devotion and showed His provision.
  • Mark 15:34: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  He showed His spiritual anguish and separation from God.
  • John 19:28: “I thirst.”  He showed His physical agony.
  • John 19:30 “It is finished!” This is the word of triumph.
  • Luke 23:46: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

The sixth words Jesus spoke were the best; they were the words of forgiveness. Christ’s entire ministry culminated at this moment; all His work was done! He had finished His mission. He spoke just the one word: tetelestai, which means finished.

When you partake of the Lord’s Supper, Communion, remember one truth that can carry you confidently to the grave and beyond: IT IS FINISHED. Jesus finished all that needs to be done to get you to Heaven. All you need is to believe and receive Him.

Trace the truth of this with me through just a few portions of Matthew:

Matthew 1:21: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Save people from sins            Finished

Matthew 2:11: “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

Object of human worship        Finished

Matthew 3:15: “But Jesus answered and said to [John the Baptist about baptizing Him], ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him.”

Fulfill all righteousness            Finished

Matthew 4:10: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” ’ ”

Victory over Satan                Finished

Matthew 5-7:     [the Sermon on the Mount]

Power to live                Finished

Matthew 8:3:    “Then Jesus put out His hand and touched [the leper], saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

Power to cleanse                Finished

Matthew 9:5-7: “For which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.

Power to forgive                Finished

Matthew 10:28: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Authority to judge                Finished

Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Comfort to the burdened            Finished

Matthew 12:40: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

 The Ultimate sign to seekers        Finished

Matthew 13:30: “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn’ ”

Power to redeem from hell         Finished

Matthew 14:30: “But when [Peter] saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’”

Power to save eternally            Finished

As F. W. Krummacher said, “At these words “you hear fetters burst and prison walls falling down; barriers as high as heaven are overthrown and gates which had been closed for thousands of years again move on their hinges.”


Wonder of wonders! On the cross He dies!

Man of the ages, David’s mighty Son,
The Eternal Word who spake and it was done,
What time, of old, He formed the earth and skies.

Abashed be all the wisdom of the wise!
Let the wide earth through all her kingdoms know
The promise of the Lamb of God, whose blood should flow—
For human guilt the grand sole sacrifice.

No more need altar smoke, nor victim bleed:
‘Tis finished! The great mystery of love.
Ye sin condemned, by this blood, ‘tis decreed.
Ye stand absolved; behold the curse removed!
O Christ! Thy deadly wounds, Thy mortal strife
Crush death and hell and give immortal life.

“Tis finished all: the veil is rent,
The welcome sure, the access free:
Now then we leave our banishment,
O Father, to return to Thee!

Horatius Bonar

Christ’s FINISHED WORK is the central theme of all the Scriptures.  We can see it from cover to cover:

GENESIS 3:15: The One who was promised to crush the serpent was FINISHED!
EXODUS 33:17: The Deliverer greater than Moses was FINISHED!
LEVITICUS 1:2:  The ultimate Sacrifice to take away sin was FINISHED!
NUMBERS 21:9:  The One lifted up on the pole for the people’s sin, unlike the temporary brazen serpent, was FINISHED!
DEUTERONOMY 5:29:
  The Power to keep the covenant was FINISHED!
JOSHUA 5:14:  Led by our Great Captain, the way into the eternally promised land was FINISHED!
JUDGES 21:25:  The righteous and true Judge was FINISHED!
RUTH 2:12:  The ultimate Kinsman Redeemer, under whose wings we trust, was FINISHED!
I & II SAMUEL:  The perfect King was FINISHED!
I & II    KINGS:  The perfect Prophet was FINISHED!
I & II CHRONICLES:  The perfect Priest was FINISHED!
EZRA:  The perfect Scribe, who was the Word, was FINISHED!
NEHEMIAH:
  The ultimate Rebuilder was FINISHED!
ESTHER:  The perfect Deliverer of His people was FINISHED!
JOB:  The One who is enough for His people was FINISHED!
PSALMS:  He who is the object of all our worship was FINISHED!
PROVERBS:  He who is the incarnation of all wisdom was FINISHED!
ECCLESIASTES:  The only Hope to escape the brevity of earthly life was FINISHED!
SONG OF SOLOMON:  The One whom our soul loves, our Beloved was FINISHED!
ISAIAH:  The Prince who paid for our peace was FINISHED!
JEREMIAH:  The eternal New Covenant Maker was FINISHED!
LAMENTATIONS:
  The Great-Is-Thy-Faithfulness God was FINISHED!
EZEKIEL:  The Giver of new hearts (30:26) was FINISHED!
DANIEL:  The Most High who rules heaven and earth (4:25) was FINISHED!
HOSEA:  The ultimate Forgiver (3:1) was FINISHED!
JOEL:  Our Saviour who keeps His word (2:11) was FINISHED!
AMOS:  Our Creator (5:8) was FINISHED!
OBADIAH:  The One who rescues us from God’s wrath in the Day of the Lord (v. 15) was FINISHED!
JONAH:  The One who came to lie three days in a grave as our Son of Man (1:17) was FINISHED!
MICAH:  The Babe of Bethlehem, who was from Eternity, was FINISHED!
NAHUM:  Our Lord who is slow to anger (1:3) was FINISHED!
HABAKKUK:  Our Holy One (1:12) was FINISHED!
ZEPHANIAH:  The Seeker of the humble (2:3) was FINISHED!
HAGGAI:  The One promised to be with us (1:13) was FINISHED!
ZECHARIAH:  The One who gives His Spirit (4:6), and laid the heaven and the earth’s foundations (12:1) was FINISHED!
MALACHI:  The One who writes the Book of Remembrances (3:16-17) was FINISHED!

So Christ’s work was FINISHED on the Cross. He is still answering and forgiving sinners like you and me and then inviting us to remember that FINISHED WORK at the Communion table. Matthew 26:28 records that on the night when He initiated this remembrance ceremony, Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (NIV). We celebrate the cup of forgiveness because His body was broken for us and His blood poured out TO FINISH the work of salvation!

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When Jesus reached the last evening He would share with His beloved disciples, He celebrated Passover with them and transformed it into a special memorial to the FINISHED WORK of His death. He inaugurated the Lord’s Supper as the fulfillment of all Passovers. Communion is for His church to celebrate until He returns. In this memorial ceremony Christ’s work of salvation is celebrated as FINISHED!

Mark 14:24 records that in the midst of the supper Jesus said, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.” What is the new testament or covenant in His blood? Look at Jesus’ words in Acts 26:17b-18 as He sent Paul to the Gentiles:

…I now send you to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.

How does God forgive us when we are all guilty and deserving of punishment? Jesus gave Himself for us, and when He did so, He FINISHED all that needed to be done to pay for sins.

Charles Wesley, in his hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise,” expresses the joy and wonder of the heart which realizes this great truth:

Arise, my soul, arise,
Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice,
In my behalf appears;
Before the throne my surety stand,
My name is written on His hands.

My God is reconciled,
His pardoning voice I hear,
He owns me for His child,
I can no longer fear;
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And Father, Abba Father, cry.
Look at Jesus’ declaration of the FINISHED WORK in John 19:30:

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Our Lord spoke seven times from the cross. Three of these communications were to mankind; four were to God:

  • Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  He showed His pity toward sinful humanity and gave a word of forgiveness.
  • Luke 23:43: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  He gave a word of assurance to the thief, thus showing His power toward sinners who believe.
  • John 19:26-27: “[to His mother] Woman, behold your son…[to the disciple John] Behold your mother!”  He spoke a word of devotion and showed His provision.
  • Mark 15:34: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  He showed His spiritual anguish and separation from God.
  • John 19:28: “I thirst.”  He showed His physical agony.
  • John 19:30 “It is finished!” This is the word of triumph.
  • Luke 23:46: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

The sixth words Jesus spoke were the best; they were the words of forgiveness. Christ’s entire ministry culminated at this moment; all His work was done! He had finished His mission. He spoke just the one word: tetelestai, which means finished.

When you partake of the Lord’s Supper, Communion, remember one truth that can carry you confidently to the grave and beyond: IT IS FINISHED. Jesus finished all that needs to be done to get you to Heaven. All you need is to believe and receive Him.

Trace the truth of this with me through just a few portions of Matthew:

Matthew 1:21: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Save people from sins            Finished

Matthew 2:11: “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

Object of human worship        Finished

Matthew 3:15: “But Jesus answered and said to [John the Baptist about baptizing Him], ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him.”

Fulfill all righteousness            Finished

Matthew 4:10: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” ’ ”

Victory over Satan                Finished

Matthew 5-7:     [the Sermon on the Mount]

Power to live                Finished

Matthew 8:3:    “Then Jesus put out His hand and touched [the leper], saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

Power to cleanse                Finished

Matthew 9:5-7: “For which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.

Power to forgive                Finished

Matthew 10:28: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Authority to judge                Finished

Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Comfort to the burdened            Finished

Matthew 12:40: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

 The Ultimate sign to seekers        Finished

Matthew 13:30: “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn’ ”

Power to redeem from hell         Finished

Matthew 14:30: “But when [Peter] saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’”

Power to save eternally            Finished

As F. W. Krummacher said, “At these words “you hear fetters burst and prison walls falling down; barriers as high as heaven are overthrown and gates which had been closed for thousands of years again move on their hinges.”


Wonder of wonders! On the cross He dies!

Man of the ages, David’s mighty Son,
The Eternal Word who spake and it was done,
What time, of old, He formed the earth and skies.

Abashed be all the wisdom of the wise!
Let the wide earth through all her kingdoms know
The promise of the Lamb of God, whose blood should flow—
For human guilt the grand sole sacrifice.

No more need altar smoke, nor victim bleed:
‘Tis finished! The great mystery of love.
Ye sin condemned, by this blood, ‘tis decreed.
Ye stand absolved; behold the curse removed!
O Christ! Thy deadly wounds, Thy mortal strife
Crush death and hell and give immortal life.

“Tis finished all: the veil is rent,
The welcome sure, the access free:
Now then we leave our banishment,
O Father, to return to Thee!

Horatius Bonar

Christ’s FINISHED WORK is the central theme of all the Scriptures.  We can see it from cover to cover:

GENESIS 3:15: The One who was promised to crush the serpent was FINISHED!
EXODUS 33:17: The Deliverer greater than Moses was FINISHED!
LEVITICUS 1:2:  The ultimate Sacrifice to take away sin was FINISHED!
NUMBERS 21:9:  The One lifted up on the pole for the people’s sin, unlike the temporary brazen serpent, was FINISHED!
DEUTERONOMY 5:29:
  The Power to keep the covenant was FINISHED!
JOSHUA 5:14:  Led by our Great Captain, the way into the eternally promised land was FINISHED!
JUDGES 21:25:  The righteous and true Judge was FINISHED!
RUTH 2:12:  The ultimate Kinsman Redeemer, under whose wings we trust, was FINISHED!
I & II SAMUEL:  The perfect King was FINISHED!
I & II    KINGS:  The perfect Prophet was FINISHED!
I & II CHRONICLES:  The perfect Priest was FINISHED!
EZRA:  The perfect Scribe, who was the Word, was FINISHED!
NEHEMIAH:
  The ultimate Rebuilder was FINISHED!
ESTHER:  The perfect Deliverer of His people was FINISHED!
JOB:  The One who is enough for His people was FINISHED!
PSALMS:  He who is the object of all our worship was FINISHED!
PROVERBS:  He who is the incarnation of all wisdom was FINISHED!
ECCLESIASTES:  The only Hope to escape the brevity of earthly life was FINISHED!
SONG OF SOLOMON:  The One whom our soul loves, our Beloved was FINISHED!
ISAIAH:  The Prince who paid for our peace was FINISHED!
JEREMIAH:  The eternal New Covenant Maker was FINISHED!
LAMENTATIONS:
  The Great-Is-Thy-Faithfulness God was FINISHED!
EZEKIEL:  The Giver of new hearts (30:26) was FINISHED!
DANIEL:  The Most High who rules heaven and earth (4:25) was FINISHED!
HOSEA:  The ultimate Forgiver (3:1) was FINISHED!
JOEL:  Our Saviour who keeps His word (2:11) was FINISHED!
AMOS:  Our Creator (5:8) was FINISHED!
OBADIAH:  The One who rescues us from God’s wrath in the Day of the Lord (v. 15) was FINISHED!
JONAH:  The One who came to lie three days in a grave as our Son of Man (1:17) was FINISHED!
MICAH:  The Babe of Bethlehem, who was from Eternity, was FINISHED!
NAHUM:  Our Lord who is slow to anger (1:3) was FINISHED!
HABAKKUK:  Our Holy One (1:12) was FINISHED!
ZEPHANIAH:  The Seeker of the humble (2:3) was FINISHED!
HAGGAI:  The One promised to be with us (1:13) was FINISHED!
ZECHARIAH:  The One who gives His Spirit (4:6), and laid the heaven and the earth’s foundations (12:1) was FINISHED!
MALACHI:  The One who writes the Book of Remembrances (3:16-17) was FINISHED!

So Christ’s work was FINISHED on the Cross. He is still answering and forgiving sinners like you and me and then inviting us to remember that FINISHED WORK at the Communion table. Matthew 26:28 records that on the night when He initiated this remembrance ceremony, Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (NIV). We celebrate the cup of forgiveness because His body was broken for us and His blood poured out TO FINISH the work of salvation!

 
 
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