“It is Finished”

“It is finished” John 19:30

When Jesus cried out these last words, He gave up His breath, and rested in the tomb on Sabbath. Four thousand years earlier, He had finished creating the world and rested on the Sabbath. Adam and Eve rested too on that very first Sabbath, though I don’t think they were really tired. They were not in need of physical rest. I can imagine God walking them through the garden that first Sabbath and showing them all of His works. They realized on that first Sabbath,

it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves. Psalms 100:3


Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Likewise, when Jesus cried out 4,000 years later from the cross, “It is Finished” He was not only our Creator but also our Redeemer. Not only had He created us, not we ourselves, but He also redeemed us, and not we ourselves. Jesus is the author and finisher of our creation and re-creation.

The Sabbath takes on a special meaning after the cross and makes it dearer and more special than ever before. After His resurrection, Jesus did not indicate that Sunday was a sacred day. Rather when He told Mary not to touch Him because He must ascend to His Father, He was recognizing Sunday as a work day and not a day of rest. He rested on Sabbath and then rose on Sunday because He had to see His Father and get back to work!

Some say we should observe Sunday as a memorial to the resurrection, yet nowhere is that mentioned in the Scriptures. Rather the Scriptures give us a memorial to the resurrection which is baptism.

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Romans 6:3-6 

When we follow Christ’s example of resting on the Seventh-day Sabbath, we are recognizing that Jesus finished all the work in saving and redeeming us. We rest from our works on the Sabbath and rest our faith in Jesus. in Baptism we crucify our own works of flesh when we go down into our water grave. We come up out of the water, taking a new breath and living a new life that God has created and not we ourselves. Jesus is the author and the finisher of our creation and our re-creation.



“It is Finished” — 4 Comments

  1. well said William. It all makes sense!!!why would Jesus create Sabbath at creation then abolish it for a time on this earth and then reinstate It in the new earth? Thank you for taking the time for all your posts.

  2. The question of why we don't celebrate Easter as others do has been on and on for me especially at work. Its is good you pointed it out. We are fully aware of the importance of Jesus' resurrection as part of our salvation, but however we cannot afford to substitute the truth with modern celebrations in the name of celebrating his resurrection. We need to understand the concept of baptism and apply it in our lives daily so as to fully benefit from it. We also need to realize that the law commands us to keep the Sabbath as it was originally but not substituting it to Sunday as a pretext for our salvation.

  3. The "breaking of bread" on the evening following the Sabbath was a tradition that was established in the very early Christian church, and was documented as continuing even into the fifth century, but so also did the keeping of the seventh day Sabbath. At the end of the first century the first day was known as the Lord's Day, but still did not effect Sabbath worship. In 325, in the Council of Nicea, Canon 20 prohibits kneeling on the Lord's Day because it was to be a day of celebration, not a day of solemn worship that was still reserved for the Sabbath.

    • Thanks, Willis, for this interesting reference. I didn't remember reading the Nicene Creed before. Scanning it, I was impressed by the fact that after the mass "conversions" resulting from the enshrining of Christianity in the law of the land by Constantine in 313, it seemed necessary to create such "canons" to maintain a semblance of unity among Christians. The canons demonstrate how far from apostolic Christianity, the new legalized Christianity had already drifted.

      As I understand it, the Sabbath was generally known and kept as such well into the 5th Century. But it gradually fell into disuse because of the dilution of Christianity occasioned by being turned into the state religion. The first day of the week, dubbed the "Lord's Day," was made into a day of celebration, while the Sabbath was made into a day of fasting (which was not biblical). So it is understandable that the first day gained popularity at the expense of the seventh-day Sabbath.

      Can you give us a reference for the establishment of a tradition of "breaking bread" on the evening following the Sabbath? The book of Acts records what appears to be a custom of "breaking bread" daily. (See Acts 2:46)


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