It Wasn't Finished

By David J. Stewart | Click HERE for background music in a new window

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, IT IS FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." — John 19:30

       Throughout my life I've heard some preachers make the horrible mistake of saying that Jesus' work of redemption was "finished" upon the cross — It was not!  Even a small child can reason that Christ's work of redemption could not yet have been completed, because Jesus hadn't even died yet when He made that statement.  Jesus hadn't been buried yet.  Jesus hadn't risen from the dead yet.  How could the Lord's work of redemption have been completed when the Gospel is based upon the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus?  1st Corinthians 15:1-4 state:

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you THE GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ DIED for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was BURIED, and that he ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the scriptures." 1st Corinthians 15:1-4

Clearly, Jesus' work of redeeming mankind was NOT finished on the cross!

John F. MacArthur, an unsaved Modernist who denies the saving power of Jesus' literal liquid blood, has this to say concerning Jesus' statement "it is finished " in John 19:30:

"The entire work of redemption had been brought to completion."

SOURCE: The Revised and Updated edition of The MacArthur Study Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, page 1625

This is untrue.  MacArthur is wrong!  The first part of the Gospel hadn't even finished, for Jesus was still alive. 

What Did Jesus Mean By Saying... "It is Finished"?

So then what did Jesus mean when He stated... "It is finished."  The answer is a couple verses ahead of John 19:30:

"Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst." —John 19:27,28

Let's read verse 28 again, "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst."  Jesus meticulously paid attention to prophetic details, ensuring that everything was done just as Old Testament prophecy had predicted.  This is clearly evidenced by John 19:28.  Jesus said "I thirst" ... "that the Scripture might be fulfilled."  The phrase "It is finished" only had reference to Christ's fulfillment of the prophecies concerning Himself.  All the Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus Christ personally had been fulfilled up to the point of John 19:28, and then Jesus said "I thirst" which was the last thing He was supposed to do to fulfil prophecy.  Now Jesus could confidently say in verse 30... "It is finished." 

So many preachers misquote John 19:30 because they don't read John 19:28.  The term "It is finished" has nothing to do with Jesus' work of redemption being completed!  Jesus hadn't died yet, hadn't been buried yet, nor had He risen from the dead yet.  If Jesus' "entire work of redemption had been brought to completion" on the cross, as John MacArthur foolishly teaches, then Jesus didn't really need to die, be buried, or rise up again for our justification. 

Mr. MacArthur horribly contradicts the Scriptures...

"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain ... And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." —1st Corinthians 15:13,17

"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." —Romans 4:25

So we see that Jesus' resurrection was critically important for our sins to be forgiven.  How could Jesus raise from the dead if He didn't die, and be buried (i.e., the officiating and verification of His death)? 

Christ's work of redemption was still not complete though, for He needed to applied His shed blood to the mercy seat in Heavenly holy place...

"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but BY HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." —Hebrews 9:12

This is why Jesus told Mary in John 20:17...

"Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

Jesus told Mary "touch Me not" because He needed to ascend unto the Father.  Jesus needed to sprinkle His blood upon the heavenly mercy seat to finish His work of redemption, just as the Old Testament highpriest was required to apply the lamb's shed blood annually to the mercy seat in the tabernacle.  We see further evidence of this in Hebrews 9:12 where the Scriptures say Jesus entered into the holy place in Heaven BY HIS OWN BLOOD.  The work of atonement in the Old Testament wasn't finished until the lamb's blood was sprinkled upon the mercy seat in the holy of holies.  Likewise, Jesus' work of redemption wasn't finished until He had applied His precious blood to the heavenly mercy seat in the presence of the Father for us.  What a precious Savior, Jesus Christ!

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

It's The Blood Of Jesus!

Ye Must Be Born Again!

You Need HIS Righteousness!