Tetelestai – “It is finished”

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Repentance, Scripture, Seasonal

Tetelestai – the sixth word from Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. The tense in the Greek (perfect) is difficult in English, but it refers to an event in the past that is complete in full but has implications in the present. It was a common word in Roman times. As an accounting term it was used to mark a debt that had been paid in full. As a slave term it was used to show that a slave had fulfilled his obligations to his master and was no longer in bondage to him. As a military term it was shouted as full and final victory over the enemy was accomplished. That is what tetelestai means for us as well. “It is finished” means that our sin debt has been paid in full. “It is finished” m that we have been delivers from the bondage of sin. “It is finished” means that Satan, sin, and finally death have been conquered forever. “It is finished!”

The power of forgiveness is something that we continue to learn as we grow in Christ and as we are more conformed to his image. The truth that when we repent, when we confess our sin, then we are cleansed of all unrighteousness is marvelous grace indeed. Tetelestai (it is finished) for us means in part to be delivered from the bondage of the law and the bondage of sin – we are no longer under law or under sin – neither has any power over us or in us. GRACE!

And yet, we might often remain in bondage, not to the sin itself, but to the guilt from which we have also been set free – PAID IN FULL means redemption is complete. When we allow the guilt and/or shame to burden us, we might be in a state where we know that God forgives us but we are slow to forgive ourselves. We condemn ourselves where He has promised no condemnation. We place ourselves back into the courtroom when the verdict has already been declared. And the verdict is not based on our performance, but Christ’s. So, if we truly receive Christ and His performance, His finished work of atonement for us, then we must receive the forgiveness else we are not receiving Him and the work of Calvary is diminished. Remember today – TETELESTAI – “It is finished.” Sin is buried with Christ, the verdict is in, and we have risen in newness of life to walk with Him. Forgiveness is amazing – IT IS FINISHED!


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