When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30 NIV
Other ways to translate “It is finished” are “It is fulfilled” or “It is accomplished. Jesus had accomplished his purpose on earth. He had fulfilled the will of the father. The people of the world looked on that cross and thought “It is finished” because they saw death and gloom. The Jews, especially the disciples of Jesus, saw the end of their dreams of Jesus being the anointed king of Israel who would overthrow the Romans and restore the kingdom of Israel to her former glory. Satan thought “it is finished” because he thought that he had defeated the Lord of glory.
But, Jesus meant that his work was done.
He had given himself as the ultimate sacrifice for sin – a perfect sacrifice. A sacrifice that took our punishment, that took our guilt, that took our shame so that we can be reconciled with God. A sacrifice where forgiveness is found and new life is given. A sacrifice that defeated Satan. A sacrifice of love.
When we say the ultimate sacrifice that means that nothing can be added to it. Nothing can improve on it. Nothing else is necessary. It has all been done completely and absolutely by him.
What does this mean for us?
We cannot do anything to earn God’s salvation and favour. Our salvation and favour with God is found only in what He has done for us.
Whenever we give ourselves sacrificially to earn his favour we are falling short of his favour as it cannot be earned in any way. Giving of our time, money or resources, praying more, going to church, giving to the poor, or any other good work done sacrificially cannot earn God’s favour. They are as filthy rags before him. (Isaiah 64:6).
So how do we receive favour from God?
Believe in what he has done and completed on the cross for you.
Faith that leads to repentance. We repent because we believe.
Once we have received favour with God we do good works as a result of what he’s done for us, not to earn it.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV