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Tetelestai- It Is Finished

Updated on May 12, 2018
Michael Adams1959 profile image

Pastor Michael has been in the ministry for 10 years. He currently is pursuing his Master's from Andersonville Theological Seminary.


Jesus said the words from the cross known as His seven last words. I have cherished these sayings from the cross my entire Christian life. I now would like to expound on one for a moment, hopefully you, the reader, gain a little from this work.

The sayings of Jesus on the cross were in this wise;

1. Father forgive them for they know not what they do, Luke 23:34

2. Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise, Luke 23:43

3. Woman behold thy son, behold thy mother, John 19:26,27

4. My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me, Matt.27:48

5. I thirst, John 19:28

6. It is finished John 19:30

7. Father into thy hands I commend my spirit, Luke 23:46

I wish to look at and try to explain a little on the sixth of these sayings,"It is finished."

Our background goes back to the imprisoned debtor. Once thrown in prison for whatever charge a tablet of parchment was put on their jail cell containing the debt against them. This could be from actual debts or from crimes they had committed. The tablet had every offense listed on it showing the prisoners guilt. I must take a moment here to say these crimes were ones not calling for a death penalty. On this tablet or parchment the sentence (time) was also inscribed that would eventually clear the prisoner. So for example let's use my name. The writing could say ~~~ Michael of Galilee, guilty of spitting on sidewalk, kicking neighbors cat, and vandalizing laundry hanging on clothes line. Guilty on all accounts! Sentenced until family pays his debt or 3 years.

Once that debt is paid or time is served the Romans take the parchment and write on it Tetelestai~~ Paid In Full! The word used in John says finished, Jesus said,"It is finished." The literal translation in those days was paid in full. That is what Jesus was truly saying on the cross," Paid in Full."

What was paid in full? What did Jesus have to pay? Was He not perfect? Was He not the Son of God wrongly accused? The answer is yes to the last two questions, He IS the Son of God and IS pure and true and holy - perfect.


You see my friends there was another parchment tablet there, it had my name on it. It read, Michael, son of Don and Martha from Ohio, GUILTY of, lies, murderer at heart (Jesus said he that hates his brother in his heart is guilty of murder in his heart), thief, blasphemer, adulterer in heart (Jesus said he that looks upon a woman with lust in his heart is an adulterer at heart), idolater (anything put before God is idolatry). And He that knew no sin became sin for us. He took that writing against me and nailed it to HIS cross, He bore my sin, anguish, shame and all that I had done. He took that parchment and on that cross my life was of sin was erased as He hung and died.

I told Him," Don't you know I have the power to release you or crucify you?" I took Him and stripping His outer garments I used catonine tailed whip to put forty lashes save one on His back and sides. I then put a cross about Him and made Him carry it outside the city where common criminals were hung to die for their evil deeds. I then took nails and a hammer and nailed His feet and hands to that cross, mocking Him all along the way.

I gave Him gall to drink when He cried from thirst. I cast lots for His clothing. I took a spear and drove it through his side. But, just before that He cried,"Tetelestai," paid in full. I thought He was out of His mind, delirious from the agony of the cross. Yet He said those words for me. He was telling God the Father, Michael's debts are," paid in full."

The decision is now yours. Are your debts paid in full? Have you accepted the saying tetelestai? Have you accepted Christ as Saviour?

Romans says these things,

1.There is none righteous no not one

2. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God

3. The wages of sin is death, eternal separation from God.

4. Romans 5:8 But, God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

In John I know nearly everyone knows the third chapter and verse 16. But do you know verse 17? Jesus said," For the Son of Man is not come into the world to condemn the world, but that, the world through Him might be saved." He did not want to cast anyone off, He came for us to be saved not condemned. He said, "He that comes to me I will in no wise cast out." That means you my friend. Come lay your burdens at the cross of Jesus, let Him heal your brokenness and hear those words, paid in full~~ TETELESTAI.


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