Two thousand years ago, Jesus gave humanity the cure for the “sin-pandemic,”...
Hesham Shehab: Mission Accomplished, Against the Sin-pandemic
A message from Rev. Hesham Shehab of Salam Christian Fellowship
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
John 19:30 (ESV)
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Nowadays, the whole world is suffering from the Coronavirus (COVID-19). People are dying in the hundreds and some places in the thousands. No doubt, like other pandemics in human history, a cure will be discovered, and people will be saved.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus gave humanity the cure for the “sin-pandemic,” that leads to eternal death, but few have opened their hearts to Him, and took that cure that leads to eternal life.
This week, we meditate on Jesus’ Grace and His eternal gift for humanity, in order to cure that sin-pandemic of all times, not only the 21st century.
When Jesus said “It is finished,” it was not an admission of defeat on the cross of Calvary. It was not an exhausted sigh of relief. Rather, it is a triumphant shout of victory! Notice what happened just before Jesus said this word from the cross: “Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’” And then: “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’”
Jesus knew that “all was now finished.” The Greek word here is the same as the one when he says, “It is finished.” Knowing that all he came to do for us was now accomplished, Jesus was ready to announce the completion of his saving mission. In a loud voice, Jesus gives the victory shout: “It is finished!” With that, he gives up his spirit, saying, “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.”
Now we can hear the words, “It is finished,” as they really are. They are the most glorious words we could hear! Actually, in the biblical text, “It is finished,” is said with just one word. Maybe you’ve heard it before, it’s the Greek word, “Tetelestai.” “Tetelestai” means that the “telos,” the goal, has been reached. “Mission accomplished,” we might say. “Tetelestai” means that it is finished, completed, accomplished, and that it continues to stand as a completed and accomplished fact, still good today.
In the ancient world, “Tetelestai” was the word you would write across a bill after the last payment has been turned in, much like we would write the words, “Paid in full.” So Jesus has written a giant “PAID IN FULL” over the debt of our sins! He paid the entire bill for us. “Tetelestai.” With that one word, Jesus shouts his victory over sin, Satan, and death. “Tetelestai.” “Paid in full.” “It is finished.” “It stands accomplished.”
“It is finished.” And so what is finished now for us? Thankfully, we are finished with any idea that we somehow have to earn our way into heaven. That’s a good thing, because we couldn’t do it anyway. We’re finished with rationalizing our sin and excusing it away. Instead, we can repent, confess our sins, receive God’s forgiveness, and seek God’s help to do better. Instead, we can serve our neighbor in love. We’re finished with keeping track of our good works. Since Christ has finished the work for us; there’s nothing to add to it. Salvation is a free gift, accomplished on the cross of Calvary. So, in this Holy Week, and every good day in the Lord, simply trust in Jesus Christ, your Savior, and in his finished work of redemption.
“It is finished.” Jesus dies with the cry of the victor on his lips. This is not the mournful moan of the defeated. This is not a weary sigh of relief. Rather, it is Jesus’ triumphant cry that now he has fully accomplished the work he came to do. Jesus came to do the Father’s will, and he did it by dying on the cross for the world’s salvation. This mighty work has now reached its conclusion. “It is finished.” The goal has been reached. With these words, Jesus shouts his victory over sin, death, and the devil. Christ’s victory–and with it, our victory–now stands accomplished forever as a most glorious fact.
“It is finished.” But it is not over, not by a long shot. No, this is just the beginning. The beginning of a whole new life opening up, as we’ll see when that tomb opens up on Sunday morning.
Jesus came and gave the cure to the sin-pandemic of all time. Shall we open our hearts to Him and be healed?!
Rev. Hesham Shehab
This message will be given at Zion Lutheran Church this Good Friday (April 10, 2020) at noon.
Read more opinion of Hesaham Shehab… https://xpian.news/?s=hesham&submit=Search…
Adjunct Faculty at College of DuPage, Formerly Adjunct Faculty at American University of Beirut and Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church Lombard, IL Name pronounciation: HI-shahm SHI-hab Hebrews 12: 4 & Philippians 1: 29