19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
I used to teach Bible for grades 11 and 12 at Sandy Lake Academy. One of the things I loved about it was that not all my students were Seventh-day Adventists meaning their Biblical understanding was not always the same as "ours".
Some people prefer to surround themselves with people of similar or identical views. A good friend of mind had a saying I loved. He said "Show me two people who agree on everything and think the same and I'll show you at least one person who isn't thinking at all." I highly recommend exposing yourself on a regular basis to view points that are very different from your own. Your mind will never develop if your ideas are never challenged.
In my class I had one student who was priceless because he had two traits that created great discussion. One was that he wasn't an Adventist and the second was that he was not shy to speak his mind.
One day we came across this statement Jesus made just before He died: "It Is Finished". I made the statement to the class that this statement is not to be taken literally and that indeed it is not finished. My outspoken student, (we'll call him Joe) objected. He insisted that indeed it was finished - that Jesus completed everything at the cross.
Loving his enthusiasm I said "Ok Joe, if that's true, how do you explain Revelation 21:6? Do you believe this passage in Revelation refers to a future time? Start reading in verse 1 to get the context and read through to verse 7."
He paused and opened his Bible. Here's what he found:
21 "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done! (finished) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."
To his great credit he didn't argue his position further. Instead he asked "What did Jesus mean then?"
So I asked him another question: "Joe how critical is the resurrection of Jesus to our hope as Christians of life eternal spent with God?"
Joe answered what I knew he would because he knew the Bible. "It is absolutely necessary. Paul said without Christ's resurrection there is no hope for us."
"Joe has Jesus resurrected yet in John 19?"
"So is everything finished?"
"It guess not..."
"Joe did Jesus say everything was finished?"
It was a profound moment in the classroom that day as we realized together that we often see things a certain way because we've been taught to see it that way. Much of the Christian world believes everything was finished at the cross but Revelation disagrees, the news feed disagrees, the ICU disagrees and indeed the mission of Jesus Himself disagrees. His greatest act was walking out of the tomb alive and that hadn't even happened yet.
Jesus said "It is finished", but He never said "everything is finished" so what was He referring to?
Recently I made a gift for my wife. Step one was to figure out what I was going to do and how I was going to do it. I did that. When it was finished I gathered the materials necessary to complete the task. When that was finished I sketched out the pieces I wanted. When that was finished I cut all the pieces out. When that was finished I sanded each piece to remove imperfections and prep for paint. When that was finished I painted each piece.
Do you see how many times I was finished before I was ever finished?
When everything is finished on Jesus' list we'll be living the reality of Revelation 21:1-7
An interesting fact: The Greek word for finished in John 19 simply means completed or 'has come to an end'. The Greek word in Revelation 21:6 is an entirely different word. Here is the definition according to biblehub.com:
1096 (ginomai) means "to become, and signifies a change of condition, state or place" (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 109).
Jesus was a Man on a mission. He remains a Man on a mission and until we arrive at a change of condition and a change of state and a change of place He is not done.
But He will be... you can count on that!!!smile emoticon