Trusting the Finished Work of Christ

A photo of an illuminated crucifix behind a white pleated curtain symbolizing the finished work of Christ

“It is finished” were the last words that Jesus Christ cried out when He hung on the Cross of Calvary, right before He committed His spirit to His Heavenly Father. But just what is “finished”? Christ was proclaiming that His work of redeeming mankind is complete. It was fulfilled on the Cross of Calvary.

After God finished His one great and perfect work of creation, He entered into His rest. After Christ completed His one great and perfect work of redeeming mankind from sin, He entered into His own rest. Then He cried out, “It is finished”. He told His Heavenly Father, “…I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4). That “work” meant being obedient to God’s will and what He did on Calvary’s Cross. It was also aimed at the destruction of sin, the world, death and the Evil One.   

The Finished Work of Christ in Redemption

The finished work of Christ is so firmly done and complete that nothing can be added to it, and neither man nor devils can undo it. Redeeming and saving His people was “given” or appointed to Christ to accomplish. He didn’t take it upon Himself. It turned out to be difficult, but, to Him, it was a delight. He accomplished it by Himself without help from man. And He never gave up on it until He could declare “It is finished.”

The Finished Work of Christ Was Perfect

When Christ cried “It is finished” on the Cross, He was not only talking about His ministry in Galilee, Judea, Samaria and other areas—He also meant His ministry in us. On the Cross, He perfected His own ministry, and then He drew on the infinite wisdom and power He had to help us complete our own ministry while He continually reassures us that, “My grace is sufficient for thee”.

He was able to accomplish what He went to the Cross to do. There’s no point in trying to add to it by our good works in hope that God will accept us.

Christ “…said, “I came not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. I have come to do the will of the Father, and to finish His work. It is finished!” (John 6:38). In Greek, these words mean much more than something being finished—they mean that it was fully developed until it was perfect.

A silhouette of a man carrying a large cross up a small hill with a red sky, a low setting yellow sun, and many flying birds in the background
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

God’s work of redemption for lost man is a complete work that Christ worked out on the Cross. He was able to accomplish what He went to the Cross to do. There’s no point in trying to add to it by our good works in hope that God will accept us. The finished work of Christ in redemption is also complete. If we will believe, through the simplest act of faith in what He did for us by dying on the Cross on our behalf, we can receive the greatest benefits.

All We Can Do Is to Receive the Finished Work of Christ.

If we make any other attempt on our end to improve on the righteousness God has already assigned to us, it won’t help us because “It is finished!” Our interference will only take away from God’s perfect work.  

The Finished Work of Christ in Atonement

Christ very much wanted to accomplish our redemption, but it wasn’t possible for Him to do so until He had atoned for our sin by dying on the Cross. Then He could freely release His deep love for us, so it could be poured out from the depths of His heart to all lost and guilty souls. Atonement was accomplished for man at the Cross, and this was also where the finished work of Christ in redemption was completed.  

We simply need to yield to what Christ did for us on the Cross, and then to rest on the work He accomplished at Calvary!

The Holy Spirit is a treasure that believers in Christ have within themselves. But He only operates through the finished work of Christ on the Cross. This isn’t a situation which involves our own will. We simply need to yield to what Christ did for us on the Cross, and then to rest on the work He accomplished at Calvary!

“Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My ways: Unto whom I sware in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest” (Psalm 95:10-11). God therefore set forth another, future rest for His people. This referred to the rest that’s eternal which God has provided for us in Christ, and which He had also already urged the Jewish people to participate in.

Photo by just4you on

Christ made an offering of Himself, but not just for the redemption of His people (Israel). He also wanted to save the rest of the world. People who have stopped trying to save themselves have their hearts filled with joy, because they allow themselves to rest completely in a Redeemer and Kinsman Who is even better than Ruth’s kinsman and redeemer, Boaz! He was a type of Christ who has already fulfilled the whole work of redemption.

The Most Important Work of All

The most important work of all is redeeming and saving the ones God has chosen. The Heavenly Father called and sent His Son to carry out this work which He had assigned to Him. And Jesus agreed to do the work so that it would be completed. He said, “It is My meat [food] that I should do the will of Him that sent Me, and finish His work” (John 4:34). What else could be added to this finished work of Christ to make it more perfect? Not a thing!

Jesus Went to the Cross to Atone for All the Sin of Mankind

Do we understand why Jesus Christ had to go to the Cross? When He said, “It is finished!” on the Cross, He was including sin. Jesus went to the cross to atone for all the sin of mankind, whether past, present or future. Then, when He was resurrected from His grave, He demonstrated how perfect His atonement was. The first words of Christ put into writing were: “How is it that ye sought Me? wist Ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). His last words put in writing were “It is finished” (John 19:30). This shows that what He did on the Cross for the sake of His Father and us is an accomplished work!

“…now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”

Hebrews 9:26

Christ came to Earth to put away sin forever. How could He do this? Only by offering Himself to be sacrificed as a Sin-offering on our behalf. “…Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

God’s gift to us is salvation and eternal life, not through works on our part, but through the Person and the finished work of Christ alone. He took our place as our substitute. He suffered as the Just One for the unjust ones so that He could bring man to God. No amount of suffering could turn Him away from fulfilling His purpose of becoming the Sin-offering for the world, even though it despised and rejected Him.

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

We are to be “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). “Set down” means that Christ’s work at the Cross was a “finished work.” And when He sat down at God’s throne, it meant that His Heavenly Father had totally accepted His sacrifice of Himself as the payment for sin for all mankind.

Jesus Christ will carry His own all the way through until the very end, as long as they continue to keep their eyes on Him and on what He did for us on the Cross.

That same mighty voice that cried “finished” from His Cross now proclaims the same from His Throne. Jesus Christ will carry His own all the way through until the very end, as long as they continue to keep their eyes on Him and on what He did for us on the Cross.

Image by José Manuel de Laá from Pixabay

“…almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). On the Cross, Christ could see the blood dripping from His hands and feet and feel it streaming from His face. As He poured out His life unto death,

He Sacrificed All When He Died on the Cross.

Then He was truly able to declare that “It is finished.” When He spoke those last words, He meant that His calling to be a Sacrifice to the world has been completed. “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30).

Jesus Paid It All!

Everything we need has already been paid for! The work of God has been accomplished! It has been made complete! Now we’re able to walk in victory over sin because it is finished!

It Was All Through What Jesus Did, Not What We Can Do.

We have won only because Jesus has won—and now it’s complete! Christ finished His work for us and He’ll also complete it in us until“the day of Christ.” Anything God begins, He will finish! He is offering help to us in accomplishing our work, while He reassures us that “My grace is sufficient for thee.” If Jesus has “finished the work that was given Him to do,” then He is a complete Savior Who didn’t do His work halfway. Let’s therefore put our trust exclusively in the finished work of Christ, and never take our eyes off of the only Author and Finisher of our faith!

[Additional image credits: Featured image (when applicable) by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay; Opening image by Thomas from Pixabay]