It is finished! Paid in full!

Easter is a time when we traditionally reflect upon the death, resurrection, ascension into glory (and as Matthew rightly points out, the return!) of Christ.

Here is a meditation on Jesus' last word from the cross.

Most of what Jesus said from the cross, is recorded in Aramaic, the language of the Jews, and were quotes from the Old Testament. However when he cried his last utterance, the New Testament writers switch to the Greek.

The word he uttered was the single Greek word, "Tetelestai." This does indeed mean, as all our Bibles translate it: "It is finished". But there is another significance that is lost on modern readers.

Greek was the common language of the Roman empire, thanks to the rapid conquest and Hellenisation of the world under Alexander the Great. In particular Greek was used for legal transactions. The word "Tetelestai" had such a legal meaning that all the Jews would have been familiar with. Whenever they received a tax demand, they would have to take the money to the authorities, and upon completion of the transaction the word "TETELESTAI" would be written across the tax demand, nullifying the power of the document - it was finished, done, complete. A modern equivalent would be "PAID IN FULL".

When Jesus cried, "It is finished" he was not indicating that he had done all he was ever going to do, and was going into retirement, but that the debt of sin over sinful man had been paid once and for all. The price has been paid. The law of sin and death annulled. God has declared "TETELESTAI" over it - PAID IN FULL - It is finished, annulled, done away with - it has no power anymore!


Steve Hixon said...

I've heard this about "tetelestai" but can you give me your source? thanks,
Steve Hixon

Anonymous said...

few days ago the word tetelestai kept coming to mind over and over for some reason i have heard the word casually tossed around amongst my christitan freinds and i also knew that it ment it is finished but i ended up that day to listen to a old charles spurgeon message and when i heard it WAS AMAZED becuase the message was where jesus cried out it is finished but the title of the message was Gods message for you i had no way of knowing it would be about tetelestai i am quite convinced the lord wanted me to come to a experimental experience regarding this gtg after months of feeling im not worthy for him im not worthy for salvation the message explained no i am not but christ has brought me in becuase of his grace it is finished

Nesa Fite said...

Dear Chris,
Thank you so much for your message on Tetelestai! My husband and I have been struggling financially for two years. We had to drop our health insurance and then I was in the hospital with no insurance this year. I have worried and prayed over a $12,000 hospital bill for 10 months now that we could not pay. Last week the Lord gave me such Grace and favor that the entire $12,000 debt was forgiven and cancelled! It is such a miraculous praise of our amazing, all-sufficient Heavenly Father who is our "Covering" (Psalm91). I am sharing a testimony at church tonight and your message gave the finishing touch to what I will share tonight about this powerful word--Tetelestai!
Thank you for listening to and obeying our Lord!

Chris HH said...

Thanks for your feedback, Nesa. That's a great testimony!