GET ACQUAINTED: What are some great victory statements made in history? Kids: What do you shout after a “win/victory”?
SCRIPTURE: “28After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit …” (John 19:28-30 )
Open your time together with prayer. NOTE: This is only a guide! Feel free to select the points you want to discuss and adapt them to your needs.
OBSERVATION: ‘It is finished!’ are possibly the most important words ever spoken by Jesus. In fact, these words were not simply spoken, Jesus shouted them from the cross! It was not a cry of despair, but one of victory! Note that Jesus did not say, ‘I am finished,’ even though the Romans, His disciples, and even Satan may have thought so. Jesus rose to life three days later to show that it was not He who was finished, but His work on earth in the fulfillment of the scriptures. “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34 )
Jesus’ last words are stated in one Greek/Aramaic word: Tetelestai. This word was used in six distinct ways at the time. Each meaning illustrates perfectly what Jesus was communicating to us in His final words:
- Artistic: an artist may state Tetelestai! when he finishes a painting meaning, “the painting is perfect.”
- Servant: a servant may state Tetelestai! when he is confident the work is done meaning, “I have finished the job assigned to me.”
- Judicial: a judge may state Tetelestai! when he confirms the completion of a prison sentence meaning, “justice has been served.”
- Sacrificial: a priest may state Tetelestai! when he recognizes an unblemished sacrifice for God meaning, “we have found the perfect sacrifice.”
- Merchant: a merchant may state Tetelestai! when he stamps a bill meaning the debt has been paid!
- Military: a soldier may state Tetelestai! as a battle cry meaning,
“you are finished!”
Let’s investigate further as we study how Jesus’ last words show perfectly what He accomplished on the cross.
- Jesus fulfilled the scripture.
“44Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” (Luke 24:44-47 ) According to this passage, what must be fulfilled and about whom?
- Jesus satisfied the law.
“3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4 ) How did God destroy sin’s control over us and why did God do this for us? The law was designed to condemn us and show us that we are not perfect, but separate from God; therefore, how does the destruction of our sin satisfy the Old Testament Law? Why are believers not bound by that law any longer?
- He paid my penalty.
“... by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14 ) What does it mean that God’s Son paid the price to free us? Share how it makes you feel personally to have your sin debt stamped by Jesus, ‘Paid in full!’”
- He conquered sin and death!
“For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17 ) Because of Jesus, we have victory over what two enemies? What “free gift of righteousness” must we receive to triumph over death and sin? How can we receive this ‘free gift of righteousness’?”
- He defeated the devil!
“He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (Colossians 2:15 ) Whose power was taken away through Christ’s triumph at the cross? Explain what you think Paul means “… by triumphing over them in him?”
Prayer: “Our Father, thank You for Your love and the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins. Jesus has saved all of us and has given us great hope. There are those in our lives who don’t know Jesus and what He has done for each of us. Please give us all the strength to reach out to them this week and invite them to church with us. Please open up opportunities for us to share the Good News as much as possible for we recognize the work You have asked us to do. In the name of Jesus, we pray, amen.”