John 19:30 - It Is Finished!
John 19:30 (KJV) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar,
he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the
This is the sixth of seven utterances of Jesus as He hung upon
the cross, sometimes called the Seven Words. No gospel writer
mentions more than three, nor less than one, of these utterances.
Arranged in point of time the seven "utterances" are as follows:
1. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (v. 34).
2. "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in
paradise" (v. 43).
3. "Woman, behold thy son! ... Behold thy mother!" (see on John
4. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46;
5. "I thirst" (John 19:28).
6. "It is finished" (see on John 19:30).
7. "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (see on Luke
23:46). [SDA Commentary]
The Gospels report seven utterances by Jesus as He hung on the
cross. Three of these can be assigned to the first three hours, between
9 a.m. and 12 noon. Four can be assigned to the next three hours,
12-3 p.m., during which the scene was shrouded in darkness.
It is traditional during Good Friday services to meditate on
these seven utterances. Surely there is much here for us to ponder.
[Victor Bible Background Commentary]
"It is finished" was the shout of victory. [Scofield SB]
This final, glorious proclamation is pregnant with meaning.
According to the Greek, the expression can also mean, "It is
accomplished," "It is fulfilled," or even, "It is paid in full." His death
accomplished redemption--paid in full; and his death fulfilled all the OT
prophecies. [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]
The sixth word or saying that Jesus spoke from the cross was the
single Greek work
 which means It is finished. Papyri receipts for taxes have been
recovered with the word
 written across them, meaning "paid in full." This word on
lips was significant. When He said, "It is finished" (not "I am
finished"), He meant His redemptive work was completed. He had been made sin
for people (2 Cor. 5:21) and had suffered the penalty of God's
justice which sin deserved. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]
What did Jesus finish? The underlying word means "paid in full."
Jesus on the cross finished the work he was sent to do (4:21-24; 17:4)
and fully paid for our sin (1 Peter 3:18). In the greatest act of
love in history, and in fulfillment of a complicated, centuries-old
system of sacrifices he became the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God (see
1:29; Hebrews 8:1-10:18). The miracle of the Resurrection (20:1-9)
confirmed that Jesus is the Savior who can bring forgiveness, new life,
and recovery to all of us. [Life Recovery SB]
"It is finished!" is one word in the Greek text--tetelestai. The
word was a common one and was used by merchants to mean "The price is
all paid!" Shepherds and priests used it when they found a perfect
sheep, ready for sacrifice; and Christ died as the perfect lamb of God.
Servants, when their work was completed, would use this word when
reporting to their masters. Christ, the obedient Servant, had finished the
work the Father gave Him to do. Christ willingly and deliberately
gave up His life; He laid down His life for His friends. [Wiersbe
"It is finished" (Jn 19:30). It is finished is in English three
words; but in Greek it is one--Tetelestai (5055-GSN)--as it would also
be in Aramaic. And tetelestai (5055-GSN) is the victor's shout; it
is the cry of the man who has completed his task; it is the cry of
the man who has won through the struggle; it is the cry of the man
who has come out of the dark into the glory of the light, and who
has grasped the crown. So, then, Jesus died a victor with a shout of
triumph on his lips.
Here is the precious thing. Jesus passed through the uttermost
abyss, and then the light broke. If we too cling to God, even when
there seems to be no God, desperately and invincibly clutching the
remnants of our faith, quite certainly the dawn will break and we will
win through. The victor is the man who refuses to believe that God
has forgotten him, even when every fibre of his being feels that he
is forsaken. The victor is the man who will never let go his faith,
even when he feels that its last grounds are gone. The victor is the
man who has been beaten to the depths and still holds on to God, for
that is what Jesus did. [Barclay Commentary re Mat.27:45-50]
Until this time, a complicated system of sacrifices had atoned
for sins. Sin separates people from God, and only through the
sacrifice of an animal, a substitute, could people be forgiven and become
clean before God. But people sin continually, so frequent sacrifices
were required. Jesus, however, became the final and ultimate
sacrifice for sin. The word finished is the same as "paid in full." Jesus
came to finish God's work of salvation (4:34; 17:4), to pay the full
penalty for our sins. With his death, the complex sacrificial system
ended because Jesus took all sin upon himself. Now we can freely
approach God because of what Jesus did for us. Those who believe in
Jesus' death and resurrection can live eternally with God and escape
the penalty that comes from sin. [Life Application SB]
When Christ spoke these words, He addressed His Father. Christ
was not alone in making this great sacrifice. It was the fulfillment
of the covenant made between the Father and the Son before the
foundation of the earth was laid. With clasped hands they entered into the
solemn pledge that Christ would become the substitute and surety for
the human race if they were overcome by Satan's sophistry. The
compact was now being fully consummated. The climax was reached. Christ
had the consciousness that He had fulfilled to the letter the pledge
He had made. In death He was more than conqueror. The redemption
price has been paid. 5BC1149-50
When Christ cried out, "It is finished," all heaven triumphed.
The controversy between Christ and Satan in regard to the execution
of the plan of salvation was ended. The spirit of Satan and his
works had taken deep root in the affections of the children of men.
For Satan to have come into power would have been death to the
world. The implacable hatred he felt toward the Son of God was revealed
in his manner of treating Him while He was in the world. Christ's
betrayal, trial, and crucifixion were all planned by the fallen foe. His
hatred, carried out in the death of the Son of God, placed Satan where
his true diabolical character was revealed to all created
intelligences that had not fallen through sin. The holy angels were
horror-stricken that one who had been of their number could fall
so far as to be
capable of such cruelty. Every sentiment of sympathy or pity which they
had ever felt for Satan in his exile, was quenched in their hearts.
That his envy should be exercised in such a revenge upon an innocent
person was enough to strip him of his assumed robe of celestial light,
and to reveal the hideous deformity beneath; but to manifest such
malignity toward the divine Son of God, who had, with unprecedented
self-denial, and love for the creatures formed in His image, come from heaven
and assumed their fallen nature, was such a heinous crime against
Heaven that it caused the angels to shudder with horror, and severed
forever the last tie of sympathy existing between Satan and the heavenly
God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers as easily as
one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this.
Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only
under Satan's government. The Lord's principles are not of this order.
His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the
presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God's government is
moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power. DA758