Victory Through Our Lord Jesus Christ

Victory Through Our Lord Jesus Christ


This coming Friday is called Good Friday because on April 1, A.D. 33, Jesus Christ completed His mission. The gospels tell us that just before Jesus died He uttered one single Greek word, telestai, and then died. The root word is teleo.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (NASB)

That single Greek word is translated in our English Bibles as “It is finished!” So what did He finish? Was it that He finally died? Was it that He had lived a righteous life? Perhaps it was that He had successfully pleased the Father throughout His ministry? What did He mean?

First, teleo basically means “to bring to an end.” That is, something was finally accomplished. The word helps us understand that the prophesies about Christ’s death were completed (Acts 13:29). They had finally come to an end. So, “It is finished” includes the fulfillment of such prophecies as those in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

Second, “It is finished” includes Christ’s completed work for our salvation. The Father had sent Him to earth in human flesh and blood to teach us about the Father and to give us spiritual truth. He came to train twelve disciples who would carry out His Great Commission. He came to bear our sins in His body so that our sins can be forgiven (1 Peter 2:24). As a result, He is the vicarious sacrifice for our sins.

Third, “It is finished” includes His payment to redeem us from the Law and sin (Galatians 3:13; 4:5). In the ancient papyri, teleo was written on receipts to indicate that taxes were paid. Payment was made in full. The word simply meant paid in full (Romans 13:6). So, 1 Peter 1:18 says,

Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18 (NASB)

This little Greek word teleo is wonderful for it reveals Jesus does not need to do anything else in order for believers to be saved from their sins (Hebrews 10:12-14, 19). Arthur Pink summarizes the message in his commentary on John as,

Putting these together we learn the scope of the Saviour’s sixth cross-utterance, “It is finished.” He cried: it is “made an end of; it is “paid”; it is “performed”; it is “accomplished”. What was made an end of? Our sins and their guilt. What was paid? The price of our redemption. What was performed? The utmost requirements of the law. What was accomplished? The work which the Father had given him to do. What was finished? The making of atonement.1

Someone has defined atonement as “at-one-ment.” That is, as a result of Christ’s once for all sacrifice for our sins, believers are at peace with God the Father. We are “at one.” So, believers should rejoice that all their sins are forgiven and they will live forever in heaven. Read 1 Peter 1:3-9 and notice that believers are told they already have a reservation in heaven. Their inheritance will not fade away.

We should shout “hallelujah” that Jesus said, teleo, moments before He died. He rescued us from sin and we are on the spiritual train that is bound for heaven.

We have a wonderful Savior who suffered for our sins. We have a great reason to rejoice on Good Friday. “It is finished” communicated the all-inclusive culmination of the Father’s plan for our salvation. Christ became our atonement for sin. That is why we can sing and rejoice on Friday. It is more than Good Friday. It is the Glorious Friday for 1 Corinthians 15:57 says that we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, we can sing these lyrics from the song “It Is Finished” written by Bill Gaither.

Yet in my heart, the battle was raging.
Not all prisoners of war had come home.
These were battlefields of my own making.
I didn’t know that the war had been won.

Then I heard the king of the ages
Had fought all the battles for me,
And that victory was mine for the claiming,
And now praise his name, I am free.

It is finished, the battle is over.
It is finished, there’ll be no more war.
It is finished, the end of the conflict,
It is finished and, Jesus is Lord!



1. Arthur Pink. Exposition of the Gospel of John. Zondervan Publishing House. 1974. p. 246

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