Substitution (1 of 4) by Jonathan McLeod

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Substitution (1 of 4)
Series: Finished
Jonathan McLeod


After suffering on the cross for six hours, Jesus finally shouted, "It is finished!"

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19:30).

"Finished" (tetelestai) - fulfilled, completed, accomplished.

What was finished?



Jesus knew that "all was now completed" (v. 28). Jesus had finished what He was sent to earth to do. "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work" (John 4:34).

When former President George W. Bush was asked about regrets during his presidency, Bush answered that he regrets speaking in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner just weeks after the invasion of Iraq. Bush said, "To some it said, well, Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over, when I didn't think that. But nonetheless, it conveyed the wrong message."

"It is finished!" did not send the wrong message. It was a shout of triumph. (It was apparently the loud cry of Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46.) Christ's mission was accomplished!

John states in 19:31 that the day after the crucifixion was the Sabbath. Just as the Sabbath began after God finished His work of creation, so the Sabbath began after Jesus finished His work on the cross.

In this sermon series, we will examine four of Christ's accomplishments on the cross:

• Substitution
• Redemption
• Propitiation
• Reconciliation


"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45; cf. Matthew 20:28).

"For" (anti) = instead of, in place of.

The view that Christ died as a substitute is sometimes called the theory of vicarious atonement. "A 'vicar' is someone who stands in the place of another or who represents another. Christ's death was therefore 'vicarious' because he stood i ...

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