Kids Talk About God
When Jesus died on the Cross, why did he say, “It is finished”?
By Carey Kinsolving and friends
“God knows,” says Mia, 5.
Yes, we know that God knows why Jesus said, “It is finished,” but the question is do you know?
The last words before death often serve as a window to the soul. Jesus not only uttered the words, “It is finished,” he shouted them. The Apostle John gives us Jesus’ last words (John 19:30), but Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us Jesus cried with a loud voice (Matt. 27:50; Mark 15:37 and Luke 23:46).
Jesus also said, “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Whether this followed or preceded “It is finished” is hard to tell.
We also learn from John that Jesus said, “I thirst” before drinking sour wine from a sponge offered on a hyssop branch by a soldier.
When your throat is parched, it’s difficult to talk and even harder to shout. Before his crucifixion, Jesus refused sour wine (Mark 15:23). He wanted to be fully alert for the work he came to finish.
Concerning Jesus’ thirst, commentator Michael Cocoris wrote: “He died thirsting that we might drink of the water of life and never thirst again.”
“Jesus is never going to be finished with us because he loves us,” says Ethan, 6.
There are certain aspects of our relationship with God that will never be finished. Finite creatures will never exhaust the wisdom, mystery and riches that rest in an infinite God. Throughout the eternal ages, we’ll be exploring the depth of God’s grace and love. However, the focus here is on what is finished.
“I think Jesus said ‘It is finished’ because he paid the price for our sins, which is death,” says Matthew, 11.
“It is finished,” is Jesus’ victory cry and a final report to his Father. Jesus accomplished his mission. In some mysterious way that no one can comprehend, Jesus suffered separation from his Father when he bore our sins in his body on a cruel cross.
The other time Jesus cried out in a loud voice on the cross was when he shouted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
I never cease to be amazed at the answers I receive when I ask people, “Why did Jesus say ‘It is finished’ on the cross?” It’s amazing how many people have never given those words serious consideration.
The logical implication of Jesus’ final words should be clear. If Jesus finished the work of paying for our sins on the cross, how many sins does that leave us to pay for? The answer is a big, fat zero.
The height of arrogance is to think you can do something to add to the finished work of Christ on the cross. In light of the suffering Jesus endured on the cross, any attempt to offer God something in the form of religious penance or good works as a way to atone for your sin is total vanity. We’re so brainwashed with the idea that we have to earn God’s favor.
The ultimate proof of the finality of Jesus’ offering for sins is his glorious resurrection. Happy Easter!
Think about this: “It is finished” in the original Greek of the New Testament was often used in commerce for a bill that was “paid in full.”
Memorize this truth: “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished!’” (John 19:30a).
Ask this question: Have you trusted Jesus’ “paid in full” atonement for your sins or something else that you imagine will impress God?
“Kids Talk About God” is written and distributed by Carey Kinsolving. To access free, online “Kids Color Me Bible” books, “Mission Explorers” videos, a new children’s musical, and all columns in a Bible Lesson Archive, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. To read journey-of-faith feature stories written by Carey Kinsolving, visit www.FaithProfiles.org.