Tetelestai

If you read the Bible accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion, you might note that He spoke seven times while He hung on the cross. He asked the Father to forgive those who persecuted and crucified Him (Luke 23:34), reminding us that we must forgive those who hurt us. He told the repentant thief that he would join Jesus in Paradise (Luke 23:42-43), reminding us that heaven is real and it is never too late to turn our hearts to Jesus. He asked His disciple, John, to take care of His mother (John 19:26-27), reminding us to think of others first, no matter what we’re going through. He cried out in anguish to God (Mark 15:34), reminding us that we need to pour out our own hearts to God to find our strength in Him. He noted that He was thirsty (John 19:28), reminding us that those who thirst for Living Water will always be refreshed. He called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46), reminding us that we need to place our lives in God’s hands at all times and in all circumstances.

But is was His words just before He committed His spirit to God that have been swirling tetelestaiin my mind for the past few weeks: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The Greek word tetelestai is here translated to “it is finished,” but it also means “Paid in Full.” In Jesus’ time, this word was often written on the bottom of ledgers  when the debtor had finished repayment.

What a dramatic description of Christ’s work on the cross! He went through all the agony and pain and selflessness and separation from God, so that we wouldn’t have to. He willingly gave His life so that our unpayable debt of sin could be finished, paid in full! God sent His One and Only Son to give His life as a payment for our sin — a free gift of grace! As one of my all-time favorite songs says, “In this world where something’s worth is based on what someone would pay, it’s nice to know I’m worth one Jesus to You” (“Tetelestai” by everybodyduck). And it is so nice to know that you and I are loved more than we will ever know by Someone who died to know us (Romans 5:8).

But do you know what is even better? As Louie Giglio put it, “Jesus’ last word is our first. It is finished. When He died, our life began.” He died and that wasn’t the end of the story! He is risen! And when we choose to turn from our sin and follow Him, we are raised to new life with Him and promised eternal life by His side.

Today we celebrate the reason for our faith (1 Corinthians 15:14-19): the finished work of the cross and the resurrection of our living Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What a glorious day! I pray you have a blessed Easter, rejoicing in the One who died and rose again for you.

 

And just because I think the words are beautiful, here are the lyrics to the second verse, the chorus, and the final refrain of “Tetelestai” by everybodyduck:

I can’t quite understand how one like You could love me

Covered with sin, I know I’m not a pretty sight

Yet I can’t count the times You’ve wrapped Your arms around me

Despite the blackness of my heart You held me tight

You knew alone that I could never buy my freedom

The price for all my sin was more than I could bear

You sent Your Only Son as payment for my burden

A perfect sacrifice for all mankind to share

And when there’s no love

I have You, Lord

Before the earth was formed

Your plan for me You knew

And in this day when something’s worth is based on what someone would pay

It’s nice to know I’m worth one Jesus to You.

It’s nice to know I’m worth one Jesus to You.

So when I feel this life of mine has no real value

And there’s no one who’d care if I should live or die

I remember just how much You gave to have me

You paid so much for something no one else would buy

 

4 thoughts on “Tetelestai

  1. Lauren. Amazing and deep words Of Jesus love for all mankind We miss you and wish you a joyous blessed Easter Day Love Don and Carol See you first of May

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Once again, your words are so profound. You have the unique ability to paint a picture that makes it easier for us to understand. I often remark about how GOD used the number 7 in so many ways…and here it is again. I did not realize until you pointed it out. What a GOD we have. Happy Reserection Day.
    archie and evelyn

    Liked by 1 person

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