Finished. Completed. Fulfilled. Done. Over. Concluded. Finalized. The word finished and its synonyms all convey the idea of completion, of something being taken care of forever.

“It is finished,” the final words Jesus spoke on the cross, was not merely a declaration at the conclusion of a life lived in service and sacrifice but a profound announcement concerning the nature and fate of sin.

To grasp the magnitude of “It is finished,” we must understand what was finished. Jesus’ mission was multifaceted, involving teaching, healing, and ultimately, the atonement for sin. This atonement, this payment of a debt we could never hope to repay, was the crux of His mission. In saying “It is finished,” Jesus was declaring the full, once-for-all payment for sin. The power of sin, its grip on humanity, and its penalty were all broken in that moment. The reign of sin was finished.

But do we truly see sin as finished? Do we really believe that Jesus has conquered sin the way we say we do? Do we truly believe “it is finished?”

The implications of this statement on the cross are profound for us today. It suggests a radical realignment of how we perceive sin in our lives and the lives of those around us.

So often, followers of Christ become preoccupied with categorizing sins, weighing them, and measuring our spiritual health by our perceived ability or inability to overcome specific sins. Sometimes we harp on one sin like it is the worst thing in the world, and other times we demand that people acknowledge specific sins they struggle with instead of acknowledging the work Christ did in forgiving all sins collectively. This mindset, while perhaps well-intentioned, misses the heart of Jesus’ declaration.

Jesus’ accomplishment on the cross transcends the particulars of individual sins. Whether we struggle with pride, greed, gluttony, inhospitality or any other sin, the fundamental truth remains: sin’s penalty has been paid, its power broken, and its ultimate fate sealed.

This does not mean that sin is now inconsequential in our lives—far from it. Sin still has the capacity to harm, to corrupt, and to separate us from the fullness of life that Jesus offers. What it does mean, however, is that sin no longer defines us. It no longer holds ultimate sway over our destiny. Jesus has completed the payment for our sin.

It is finished.

In practical terms, understanding that “It is finished” invites us to live in the freedom and grace of this complete work. We are called not to a life of anxious self-examination and moral accounting but to a life of faith, trust, and following Jesus. When we stumble, fail, or miss the mark as we inevitably will, the response is not despair but turning once again to the one who has finished the work of redemption.

It is finished.

This truth also reshapes our interactions with others. Knowing that sin’s power is broken, we are free to approach others with grace and compassion rather than judgment. Our role becomes one of pointing others to the freedom found in Jesus, not cataloging their failures.

“It is finished” is an invitation—a call to rest in the completed work of Jesus. It is an assurance that sin, in all its forms and manifestations, has been decisively dealt with. As we reflect on this, let us walk in the freedom and joy of those for whom the greatest work has been completed, for whom sin is truly finished.


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