“After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said….It is finished; and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19:28, 30
There are two senses in which the word finished is used in Scripture. The first means simply that a certain thing is completed, as in the case of the tabernacle or the end of a journey. The second way in which it is used is the same as when we speak of a given musical rendition as a finished performance, even if it is Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony.”
When Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished,” He did not merely mean that His life was ended. He meant that He had perfectly completed the work which the Father had given Him to do. Just think of it; for 33 long years He had lived without making a single mistake, once losing His temper, thinking a naughty thought, or making a careless gesture. You and I simply bring our lives to an end; we quit living. But when Jesus died His life was finished, the first and only one in human history.
Genesis tells us that when God concluded the Creation “the heavens and earth were finished,” that is to say, perfect. God examined everything and said it was all very good. “Finished is the glorious work,” sings the chorus of Hayden’s Creation.
By contrast you and I never finish a single thing here upon earth. We just quit. Today we come to the end of another month’s worth of meditations. But as we leave it, it is far from finished. And every saint confesses, the closer he gets to the end of his life, that there is nothing finished about anything he does. That is why he longs with Paul for the perfection of the new life, for the day when he will open his eyes in glory and exclaim, even though he has an eternity of growth ahead of him, “It is all finished. Finally I am finished.”