Pastor Jon Mroos of Elk Grove Bible Church (www.elkgrovebiblechurch.org) shares an extraordinary insight into Christ’s final words:
” “Finished.” “Accomplished.” “Completed.” Jesus’ last words sum it all up. These words from John 19:30 have layers of meaning, each one displaying the fulfillment of God’s rescue of His creation which He loves so dearly. What did Jesus mean when he cried out, “It is finished” and how does this impact us today?
Part of its meaning is no doubt a picture of a debt of death that humanity owed God’s justice. Much like writing, “Paid off!” when a car is finally paid in full and you are released from the debt, Jesus Christ released us from our sin debt by declaring that God’s justice had been satisfied through the propitiation of the cross. But I believe there is another layer to these words that help us to see just how amazing God’s plan of rescue truly was.
When God the Creator made this amazing world, He finished it on the sixth day. He completed his work. On the seventh day after God had finished His creation, He rested and enjoyed fellowship with it. At the center of it all were humans that He loved. That creation was ruined under the weight of the fall and God’s justice. It was no longer finished in splendor. It was wrecked in sin and fellowship was wasted away. God could not rest in pleasure and fellowship with the creation that He so loved. How would God work this mess out? Through the promise given to Eve, that God would create a new creation in the middle of an already broken creation. A new humanity would break into the broken humanity as a type of second creation account.
When Jesus Christ said, “It is finished” he was speaking a creation language. Just as the Genesis creation story ended in triumph as God created a new humanity on the sixth day, so Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross likewise created a new humanity. God rested from His great work of creation on the seventh day enjoying His creation, and Jesus Christ on the seventh day, rested in the tomb. Jesus Christ rested from his completed labor of creating a new humanity just as God rested on the seventh day when he completed the first humanity.
This new creation, this new people that Christ created on the cross is the church. We are a new creation, a second Genesis account in the midst of the original creation, which has been so badly shattered. The finished work of the cross is how God came into our chaos to be there with us in the middle of it and to create something new on the cross. This is where it was all going; this is what it was all about. We are a second creation created in Christ Jesus to put on display a true humanity. We are to live in such a way as to reflect the character of God back into a badly shattered creation showing that there is a new hope for the world. That impacts my motives and decisions every day. That shapes the way I live in this world.”