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Completely finished….

Knowing that all was now completed and so that scripture would be fulfilled Jesus said “I am thirsty”…when he had received the drink he said “It is finished”. With that he bowed his head and breathed his last.

John 19.28


No dictionary definition has ever been able to satisfactorily define the difference between “complete” & and “finished”. However, during a recent linguistic conference in London attended by some of the greatest linguists in the world, the chairman was asked to make that very distinction.

The question put to him by a colleague in the erudite audience was this; “some say there is no difference between “complete” and “finished”. Please explain the difference in a way that is easy to understand”.

The chairman’s response was thus:-

“when you marry the right woman you are “complete”.

“If you marry the wrong woman you are “finished”

And, if the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are“completely finished!”

His answer received a five minute standing ovation[1].


Jesus’ last word from the cross is “Telestia” 

Which we have in the English translation as “It is finished”

One word that changed the world

And it was the one word he uttered, as John’s gospel records,

Because Jesus knew all was now completed.


Everything that God wanted to complete was completed at the Cross of Calvary

Sin was punished – sinners set free

Evil was defeated – humanity liberated

Death Destroyed – life eternal once again available

Enemies reconciled – both to God and to each other

The whole of creation restored and renewed


Jesus says “It is Finished” because all this had been completed,

The healing work of the cross was done

The Reconciling power of the cross was released onto a broken world

All of this we begin to see and celebrate at Easter,

New life, new hope

New possibilities

Because everything necessary for our salvation from

The captivity of Satan, the entrapment of a world gone bad

and our own sinful disposition has been dealt with


As St Paul was to come to understand

The events of the cross were a time when

“He [Jesus] died for sin once and for all the righteous for the unrighteous – God made him who had no sin become sin for us so that we in him might become the righteousness of God…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because the Spirit of life has set us free”


As it is finished, all that is left to do, is accept that God in Christ has won your freedom in gratitude and faithfulness to the one who set you free – surely that is worth more than a five minute standing ovation.


A Prayer

Thank you for that one word.

The assurance that all that is necessary, has been done

for the restoration of the world to beauty.

May I behold the beauty of my world through your brokenness and

 in so doing live a life appreciative and mindful of the love that held you on the cross until

all was finished, all complete.


Happy Easter




[1] Quoted from Viva the publication of Six counties Kidney Patients Association Autumn 2014

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