There are three words I want you to take away and consider in connection with the word of victory, It is finished.

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1 The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross THE WORD OF VICTORY John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. On a number of occasions I have been at the bedside of folk about to slip into eternity. Of course, it goes without saying, that these occasions are always sad and there can be many other emotions too. When the person is unsaved and shows no interest in changing their spiritual state it s a horrendous feeling watching someone reject Christ as they are just about to slip over the precipice and fall into a lost eternity with no more opportunities to be saved. Despite how weak their illness has made them they remain as hard as concrete, - and harder - against the grace and love of God. On the other hand, it s a joy and a privilege to be with a believer who knows that the moment they leave their earthly body they enter the immediate presence of God. Death is transformed when Jesus is the Focus of the dying, Ps. 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. On the cross the death of the Lord Jesus showed different emotions When He cried, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? it was His cry of desolation. When He called out, I thirst, it was His cry of lamentation. There was yet another different cry when the Saviour uttered the immortal words, It is finished That was the cry of jubilation. Spurgeon wrote, where misery was concentrated mercy reigned. It is the same sentiment of the hymn writer, William Newell, Mercy there was great, and grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me; There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary. Where we have three words in the English language (It is finished), the Aramaic Jesus spoke used only one word and yet such a powerful word! When Jesus spoke it every believer since, looks back to the cross and sees the cross as the place in time where God accomplished the victory over their sin. All His judgement required was paid in full as Jesus announced, It is finished. There was quite an eccentric evangelist named Alexander Wooten. A young man approached and asked him flippantly, What must I do to be saved? Wooten replied, - almost in a dismissive way, - It s too late and he kept on doing what he was doing. The young man became alarmed, Do you mean, Mr. Wooten, it is too late for me to be saved?! Is there nothing I can do? Too late, came the reply, It s already been done! The only thing you must do now is believe. There are three words I want you to take away and consider in connection with the word of victory, It is finished. The first word is

2 D.G. 2 COMPLETION In Gen. 3:15 God said to the serpent who had succeeded in tempting Adam, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Jesus of Nazareth became the Fulfilment of this prophecy, - He was its completion. He became the seed of the woman, - the seed God prophesied in the Garden of Eden and on the cross the devil bruised His heel. The devil wounded Jesus at Calvary. In Is. 7:14 another prophecy was announced, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. The Gospel of Matthew tells us this was literally fulfilled in Bethlehem when the Saviour was born (Mt. 1:23). The Old Testament prophet was referring specifically, uniquely, and literally to Jesus. Similarly, Micah 5:2 specifically foretold Jesus would be born in Bethlehem of Judea. In Gen. 22:18 God told Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed That particular mention of the seed is not referring to the sons of Abraham, - the Jewish race, - although God had promised Abram earlier (Gen. 12:2) that his descendants (the Hebrews, Jews) will be a blessing. But, in Gen. 22:18 the reference is specifically to be fulfilled in thy seed (i.e. singular). Paul explains what that means [i.e. let Scripture interpret Scripture], Gal. 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. This promise, therefore, related to and came to pass ultimately in the Lord Jesus. And that is the reason the western world has been so blessed, down through the years, in comparison with other nations. In general, the western nations have responded positively, - and historically, - to the message of the Lord Jesus through the Gospel. There are many other Old Testament promises about Jesus and every one of them was fulfilled. For example, Ps. 41:9 prophesied the betrayal by Judas Iscariot, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. On the cross Isaiah described meticulously how the Saviour would be despised and rejected (Is. 53:3), and hated without a cause (Ps. 69:4). And even before any of it came to pass the Lord Jesus was Rev. 13:8 the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. All these promises from the beginning of the Bible to its conclusion confirm that absolutely nothing took place outside of God s plan. Christ was not the Victim of circumstances Who unknowingly stumbled against man s ignorance and rejection. The Scriptures assure us that for His own reasons (some of them higher than our capability to understand) He planned it all.

3 D.G. 3 He knew everything that was going to happen long before it ever did and He described it down to the minute detail. For the first coming of His Son He literally fulfilled everything He said He would. What confidence then we can also have when He speaks in His Word about the Second Coming of His Son! He has all His descriptions and words and pictures carefully measured and everything will take place as He has said it will. When Jesus died on the cross of Calvary the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in their entirety... all the promises nothing left out! Nothing changed. Nothing symbolised. Everything completed literally in accordance with the eternal decree of God. And there is also another way we can see the completion of the work We can see it in REDEMPTION In the redemption of God s people. He left nothing to chance, - He had everything worked out: where Jesus would die, how He would die, the loneliness with which He would die, the agony He would suffer. Jesus told His disciples He would lose none of those for whom He would become their sacrifice for atonement. He told the crowds, Jn. 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day :9 Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. This was the purpose He was on the cross for He came to die as a ransom for many. He told the crowds who wanted to kill Him, Jn. 5:36 the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do. Despite the efforts of the enemy, Jesus would accomplish every instruction He entered this world to complete. There would be no plan of the devil that would succeed over God s plans. None of the minions Satan had provoked against Jesus and none of the schemes he had so maliciously orchestrated would prosper And here on the cross the work of redemption was coming to its conclusion. The blood was draining from the body of the Saviour The pain had taken its toll. The death of the Son of God was brief moments away. The difficult work had been done to the satisfaction of His Father. The task of dying for the sins of His people was almost over. That for which He had left Heaven s Glory was soon to be completed. Nothing remained to be added. The goal of His coming to this earth was reached.

4 D.G. 4 When He said, It is finished, the devil trembled. The devil has no resting-place for he is wandering around seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8) but he is afraid of Jesus! He does not have free range to do what he likes for Jesus defeated him at the cross. At the cross, the devil bruised the heel of the Saviour but also at the cross, the Lord Jesus dealt him an irreparable blow that bruised his head (Gen. 3:15). The sin with which he had held so many captive had been taken and dealt with vicariously and victoriously by Jesus Christ on the cross as He suffered the punishment of God s wrath on our behalf, Is. 53:6 the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all and the devil has lost all the redeemed forever! That s because Christ died for us, His sacrifice on Calvary paid the penalty for our sin, and His blood has washed us clean forever. It can never be emphasised enough what He did for us on the cross! The devil can say to David Greenaway, I remember what you did when you knew you shouldn t have done it. Look, I heard you saying things you shouldn t have said. You think you ve got away from me! I can turn round to the devil and tell him without any hesitation or doubt, Look, all I need to say to you is that my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ took my sins (all of them) at Calvary and by His grace He has set me free and I belong to Him! The devil is defeated. He continues to fight, but he has lost the battle. He keeps on fighting but every soul for whom Christ died is beyond his eternal grasp. There is coming a day, - and he knows it is approaching fast, - when he will be laid hold of and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years (Rev. 20:3). After that he will be released and he will have one more go at Christ and His people but on that second occasion, he will be finally vanquished, and he will be taken and cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where he will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev. 20:10). Surely since Jesus fulfilled the passages of the Old Testament relating to His first coming literally, He will also fulfil literally the passages that speak about His second coming! You see, redemption, - what Christ achieved for His people at Calvary, - means He paid, - for time and eternity, - the price it cost to save the sinner... Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; He washed it white as snow. The cross of Christ became the grave for our sins, - that was where they were buried They have never again had to be dealt with. They were finished and forgotten at Calvary. And so, the word of victory (It is finished) shows us in the death of Christ we have completion and redemption and finally

5 D.G. 5 SATISFACTION Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 19:10); He came into the world to save sinners (I Tim. 1:15). He came to redeem them that were under the law (Gal. 4:4). He was manifested to take away our sins (I Jn. 3:5). But the work could only be done by the shedding of the precious blood of Jesus. Our sin made Calvary necessary! God s grace answered man s need, and God was satisfied. The law-court of Heaven had sat in session. No less than the Son of the Judge took the place of the condemned, and He listened as the sentence for our sin damned Him as the guilty One as He became the sinners Substitute. Why was it that the anger of God required to be satisfied to such a degree? It was because God s justice needed to be met for sin deserves punishment and sin demands punishment. The holy God cannot allow sin to go unpunished. He cannot ignore it. That is why He created hell, - to punish sin. There is no sin in Heaven He won t allow it! And so Christ dealt with our sin so that we would fulfil the requirements to enter Heaven. Hell has not always been. There was no hell when God existed alone, for there was no need for Hell. Heaven, though, is eternal, - it has no beginning and no end but Hell had a beginning, Jesus described it as a place prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt. 25:41) when their pride cast them out of Heaven. Such is the severity of that punishment for sin that it lasts out into eternity and it has no means of exit once entered, - that was what Abraham said to the rich man in Hell, Lk. 16:26 neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. God condemns sin harshly because He judges sin by His standards and by His demand for righteousness, - absolute and perfect holiness. He cannot afford to ignore the smallest sin because small sins grow into large sins and all sin is a transgression against God s holy law. God could not look at Hitler or Nero and welcome them into Heaven and neither can He look upon sin in any shape, size or form in whatever way it is dressed up. God s justice upholds His holiness, and His justice is established by His holiness and if God did not judge sin in righteousness He would be violating His own justice and His own holiness and He would become no different from us. Therefore, if God is to remain just and holy, He must punish sin. Since everyone has sinned, how can anyone be forgiven? The only answer is that someone else has taken this punishment for us and that Someone else is the Lord Jesus Christ. He died in our place to cancel the penalty and debt we ought rightly to have paid. He wiped the slate clean!

6 D.G. 6 No other religion upholds justice in the solution it gives to the human problem of sin. All other religions either deny that sin is as serious as we all know it is, or they deny that sin is evil at all, or they provide forgiveness in such a fickle manner that is an insult to God s justice and His holiness. At the centre of the whole theme of the love of God is Christ, and how He won the victory at Calvary by dying the most awful death for all who would believe in Him. Catch a hold of what the Bible says, and don t let it go God is holy and sin is unholy, and that makes God the utter contradiction of sin. Therefore, He is opposed to sin because it is contrary to His nature. It follows, then, that He must express that opposition in the world as He has done since the Fall, for if God did not punish sin, He would be contradicting His holiness and as a consequence He would be denying His own nature. You see, God s glory is of infinite and eternal value and worth and He must maintain and uphold the righteousness and the honour of His glory. Sin is an attack on God s glory. It dishonours His infinite worth and if sin is treated lightly it means also that God s Glory is treated lightly. Therefore, once again, we must realise He is compelled by His holiness to punish sin in order to uphold His honour, for if He did not, He would be denying His own worth and He would then be committing unrighteousness. If you have been listening closely you will have noticed that I have said the same thing two or three different ways but I want to get across the seriousness and the significance and the importance with which Christ s work on the cross of Calvary is held in Heaven. The vastness of God s honour escapes the mind of the sinner but it nailed Jesus to the cross. He died for the sins of His people but even more than that, He died at Calvary to testify to God s holiness and righteousness. CONCLUSION. It is finished that is the message from the cross. Nothing more needing to be done! What Jesus did requires no additions and no adjustments and no amendments. The work of the cross has been completed. Jesus has accomplished our redemption all the requirements of God has been met and He is satisfied, as the prophet said He would be, Is. 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. This is the word of victory It is finished. To God be the glory, great things He hath done! Amen.

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