Today we remember Christ’s death upon the cross. Most communion tables in most churches used to have the words from the New Testament engraved upon themsay, “This do in remembrance of Me.”
The climactic end of Christ’s redemption as the Lamb of God was captured by John as he stood at the foot of the Cross. Looking up through the darkness he heard and recorded Christ’s one word.
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.
In English we say “it is finished”; but in Greek those words are summed up in the single word that John heard Christ gasp on the cross—tetelestai.
Tetelestai was Jesus declaring to God His Father that the price of salvation was paid; and the debt of the sin of the world was paid; and the work of redemption was complete.
Again this word was a word that was very familiar to those of the New Testament times. This word tetelestai should burn into our hearts and minds because it was exactly the same word that a Roman judge would write on a criminals certificate of debt when he was released from prison—tetelestai, you debt to the Roman law is paid in full.
It is the same word that would be written on the certificate of a slave who had been enslaved to pay off a debt—tetelestai, your debt is paid in full, you may now go forth as a free man!
Paid in Full
Paid in full is what Jesus cried from the cross of His redemption as the work of salvation was once and for all time completed.
Paid in full is what He declares each time we come to Him confessing our sins.
Paid in full is what Jesus our advocate says while standing before God the Father as Satan the Accuser points out yet another time we have sinned.
Paid in full is the reality of Christ’s payment of our redemption.
Redemption involves the blood of Jesus shed as He died on the Cross to pay the purchase price of our salvation. So redemption sums up Christ’s death, His blood shed, His life given as a substitutionary sacrifice. So if any portion of salvation can be ranked as any more vital than any other—redemption would be at the top of the list.
Remember the illustration of the “Big Three Doctrines” from youth ministry many years ago? The big three we need to always understand are: redemption, justification, and sanctification.
- We started life on earth as dead in our trespasses and sin (pictured by my pen laying on the palm of my hand); redemption is when Jesus reached down and bought us out of the slave market of sin (that is my hand grasping the pen);
- justificationis Jesus lifting me to be seated with Him already in Heaven, we are completely freed from the penalty and record of our sin;
- sanctificationis God forever binding our souls into His grasp and pulling us closer and closer to Him until at the end of our earthly life, He safely lands us into His Presence for ever.
 Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 11:24-25.