Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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The Work of Calvary
Finished! The Message of Easter
Terry R. Baughman
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:28–30).
The completion of a task brings relief and a sense of accomplishment. Finished! There’s no feeling quite like it. Everything has been wrapped up; all is complete. It is done.
The plan of all time and eternity was God’s desire to provide redemption for sin and the ultimate opportunity of reconnection with humanity. Sin had caused separation from God in the Garden of Eden on the occasion of the first disobedience to God’s instructions. This first sin did not catch God unaware or cause Him to scramble for a solution. God had foreknowledge of the transgression and already had an antidote for the virus of rebellion.
Long before the foundation of the world there was a plan of redemption. This was not a plan B! It was in His plan from the beginning. Jesus Christ was the lamb, “slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). He was just as John the Baptist perceived Him, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
The prophets throughout the centuries proclaimed the Savior of world, the deliverer from oppression, and the healer of brokenness. Every sacrifice offered in the ancient Tabernacle and in Jerusalem’s Temple pointed to the perfect sacrifice to come.
What was ineffective in the continual ritual offerings of symbolic sacrifices was remedied with the precious blood of Christ, “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). The writer goes on to explain the effective offering of Christ’s sacrifice, “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:10–12).
God’s plan was for reconciliation with humanity and He freely gave Himself to be the atoning sacrifice. Not only was He our substitutionary sacrifice, He is also our great High Priest always empathizing with us and providing access to God and His holy presence. The writer of Hebrews said, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:14–15).
God’s purpose was fulfilled and His plan was finished on Calvary. It was this conclusion Jesus saw when He prayed in the Garden, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:4–5). The work is finished … eternal life with Christ is assured!
“… although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:3).