For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
— John 3:16 (KJV)
A person’s dying words say a lot about who they really are. Many use their last breath to express love, regret or thankfulness. Think about the last words of people you have loved or admired – what was most important to them on their death-bed? And if you had only minutes to live, what would your last words be?
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died on a cross outside the city of Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago. Jesus said in His dying moments, “It is finished!”, and breathed His last (John 19.30).
Why would someone who healed the sick and raised the dead use His last moments to say this? Was He saying that His terrible pain and suffering on the cross was about to end? Or were these the words of someone who had miserably failed in their mission?
No. Jesus was not merely losing his life by dying. He was finishing something. The Lord Jesus finished something on the cross for those who believe in Him. What Jesus finished on the cross was paying the full penalty for the sins of all who trust in Him as their Lord and Saviour.
Jesus was the perfect Son of God. He always loved and obeyed God perfectly. His thoughts, His words and His actions always pleased God. Someone so perfect did not deserve to die (1 Timothy 2.5-6).
But Jesus came from heaven to earth to be born as a Man, and suffered and died on the cross because that is God’s gracious way of saving sinners like you and me. Your sin and mine have to be paid for. We have disobeyed and displeased God (Romans 3.23). Christ was the only sinless person who could pay the price of sin.
Jesus laid down his life for all who turn to him for salvation (Galatians 3.13). We cannot please God with our good deeds or kind actions, and without Christ’s sacrifice – all of us would be finished and left without hope!
Jesus did not stay dead. The Bible says that three days after dying on the cross, Jesus came back to life. Jesus had defeated death. God accepted His sacrifice for sin and Jesus is now in heaven as the victorious King of kings.
Anyone who sees their need of a Saviour, who goes to the Lord God in true repentance of their sins, and seeks forgiveness by the death of Christ, will be received with open arms by Jesus himself (John 3.16). There is no one who is too bad to be saved, no one who is too old or too young to be forgiven. No one will be turned away (Romans 10.13).
But be warned, the curse and judgment of God remains on you because of your failure to love and obey Him perfectly (Ezekiel 18.4). Yet, this punishment can be finished for you, if you believe that Jesus has accomplished everything needed for your salvation at the cross. (Romans 8.1, 33-34).
Indeed, the saying, “It is finished!”, has been described as the greatest words ever spoken by the greatest Man who ever lived. Come to Him and do not delay (Matthew 11.28). In Christ, you can enjoy a fulfilling life on earth, and at death – the promise of eternal life in Heaven. Never say, “another day will do” for turning to Lord Jesus!
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4.12