Oh how we have underestimated the message of the cross and the triumph of the resurrection. No earthly religion like Buddhism, Islam or humanism can accomplish what the cross and resurrection made available to the human race. Since the fall of the first Adam in the Garden of Eden, Adam introduced sin into God’s creation, and it corrupted all forms of life. The curse of sin and death passed on to all of Adam’s progeny. A great chasm existed between God and the human race. The entire creation cried out for a redeemer and a savior who could provide the way to reconcile mankind back to God and restore what the First Adam lost in the Garden. Every effort of man has failed to eradicate the power of sin. Education has failed. Sin’s grip and its curse has brought untold suffering to people around the world. Its cruelty is but a manifestation of Satanic Dominion at work in its destruction of man. The human race has been unable to strike at the root and the cause of sin, sickness and death. Man, lying in the embrace of Satan, cries in agony against this vain struggle which only ends in a hopeless death and doom…He is born to die.Spiritual death, the nature of Satan, is the soil out of which has grown sin, sickness, physical death and every sorrow that has darkened the life of God’s man. Islam has no answer, education has no answer, Buddhism has no answer, science has no answer and the greatest minds on the face of the earth have no answer. Money, fame, position, authority, power, heritage and influence all cower and are hopeless to eradicate the sin problem and the judgment of condemnation that hangs over the earth like a black cloud. Sin and spiritual death brought enormous consequences upon the human race. Every type of suffering, pain, misery, sickness, affliction, torment, and anguish began to grow and flourish upon the earth because of sin and spiritual death. A great separation and barrier now existed between God and men, women, and children. After the fall in the Garden, the human race’s relationship with God was thrown into chaos and confusion. It was like a thick, iron door was shut on a person’s access, communion, and fellowship with God. Adam and Eve had become alienated from the life and presence of God, and their understanding became darkened. They were like blindfolded people wandering aimless in a fog of darkness. The light and spiritual life within them was extinguished, and it left a great void of hunger and need for their loving Creator. Adam had sealed the fate of the human race, and now the great cry was for a Redeemer, a Savior, and a Liberator. No matter how smart, how talented, how strong, how powerful, or how rich a person may be, no one could free themselves from the bondage of their birth nature of sin and their condition of spiritual death. Romans declares all are under sin and guilty before God. No one is good, not even one. We can never understand the greatness of Calvary and the Empty Tomb, and the greatness of our salvation until you deeply realize what you have been rescued from and the deep depravity of your life and the hopelessness of your existence before Christ. There is hope in only one to deliver us from this horrible mess and that is Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is referred to in I Corinthians 15:45-47 as the last Adam. The book of Romans sets forth the importance of this one man, the second Adam, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race for all who believe.
Romans 5:15,17,18 (Amplified Bible):
But God’s free gift is not all to be compared
to the trespass [His grace is out of all
proportion to the fall of man]. For if many
died through one man’s falling away (his
lapse, his offense), much more profusely
did God’s grace and the free gift that comes
through the undeserved favor of the one
Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to
and for the benefit of many.
For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse,
offense) death reigned through that one,
much more surely will those who receive
God’s overflowing grace (unmerited favor)
and the free gift of righteousness [putting
them into right standing with Himself] reign
as kings in life through the one Man Jesus
Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One.)
Well then, as one man’s trespass [one man’s
false step and falling away led] to condemnation
for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness
leads to acquittal and right standing with God
and life for all men.
God revealed His ultimate plan of grace with the Seed of the woman, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, who by His death and resurrection made available the free gift of righteousness leading to acquittal from the penalty of sin and right standing again with God. The court of God legally pronounces the declaration of acquittal when a man or woman confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and believes God raised Jesus from the dead. Sin and death reign in this world because of Adam’s one act of disobedience, but now through the obedience of one man, Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice, we can reign as kings in this life and the one to come.
What Jesus Christ accomplished at Calvary is so magnificent, so awesome and so astounding, that it permanently crippled Satan’s kingdom and one day will obliterate every remnant of it from off the face of the earth. The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important event in all of human history, because he broke the curse of sin and death that hangs over the world like a dark cloud. He regained everything that Adam and Eve had lost on that tragic day in the Garden of Eden and so much more. He paid the price for the complete redemption and salvation of the soul of every person who comes to Him. Through Jesus Christ, righteousness is restored to a person so that they can stand in the presence of God without any sense of fear, shortcoming, guilt, or unworthiness. The ability to have deep fellowship and communion with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ has been recovered and given as a gift to all those who confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Romans 5:10,11 (NASB): For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved [f]by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
The Court of God has wiped our slate clean; we are as white as snow, as our redeemer has paid the ransom and penalty for our sin. We no longer have to live in bondage to sin, fear, worry, sickness, disease, poverty, misery, hatred, selfishness, and ignorance, for we reign as kings in life through the Lord Jesus Christ. We can walk in great power, wreaking havoc in Satan’s kingdom on the earth as we touch people with the great healing love and wholeness available in Jesus Christ. You are a super-conqueror; you are a new creation; you are a glorious son or daughter of God with all the dignity that comes with God’s calling through Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 53:3-7 (KJV):
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of
sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as
it were our faces from him; he was despised, and
we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs (Hebrew choliy-sickness)
and carried our sorrows (Hebrew-makob-pains: both physical and mental): yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was
bruised (Hebrew-shalowm-crushed, broken, shattered)
for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was
upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned
everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on
him the iniquity of us all.
The Word of God proclaims that Jesus bore our sicknesses and carried our pains. God emphasizes this indisputable truth by the word “surely” in verse 4, which means “truly, certainly and absolutely” and indicates its stability, faithfulness, firmness, and truth. God wanted to leave no doubt in your mind as to this firm truth that all of your sicknesses and pains were absolutely and certainly borne on the cross of Christ. The word “borne” in the Hebrew means: to lift up, to be taken away, to be carried off, to be swept away, and to move by bearing. The word “carry” in the Hebrew means: to bear a heavy load or burden. Both words do not just mean suffering, but denote an actual substitution and a complete removal of the thing borne. Jesus took upon himself every sickness, every pain, and every sin known to man, and paid the price for each one, effectively discharging their power and bondage over us. Your sicknesses, your pains, your sins and all of their consequences passed from you to Calvary and salvation, health, deliverance, and peace flowed from Calvary to you. Jesus Christ was our complete substitute for sin and its consequences, which includes sickness, disease, infirmity, depression, anxiety, weakness, oppression, and all bitterness of mind and body.
Three of the most amazing and significant words ever uttered were “IT IS FINISHED”-This is a declaration that all has been accomplished. All that has been lacking has been supplied. The breach has been healed. The debt has been fully satisfied. The word finished tetelestai is an accounting term that has legal and financial connotations. This word does not mean simply that something has ended. It has a far greater implication. The word tetelestai was related to its secular use in the context of payment of debts. When someone had a debt in ancient times and it was paid off, they would write “tetelestai” on the certificate signifying “Paid in Full”. When He gave Himself on the cross, Jesus fully met the righteous demands of a holy law; He paid our debt in full. There is another sense in which tetelestai was used in the ancient world. When a Roman citizen was convicted of a crime, the law of that day slammed him in prison. They prepared a “Certificate of Debt” that listed all the crimes he was convicted of on it, and nailed it to his cell door for all to see. It remained nailed there so all would be assured that he served his full sentence, and “paid in full” the penalty (“debt owed”) for his crimes. When Jesus shouted “Tetelestai” from the cross, it was a very familiar phrase to those within the sound of His voice. It was the same word that would be stamped across the Certificate of Debt after a criminal completed his prison term. It would literally mean “Paid in Full” for all your crimes. Then the criminal was given the certificate. He would be able to produce it to show that his crimes were “paid in full.” He could never become a victim of “double jeopardy” (paying for the same crime twice – compare the result in Rom 8:1- No Condemnation and Rom 8:39- No Separation). This is a beautiful picture of what Christ did on the Cross, Paul recording (quoting the original version of the NLT) “that…(God the Father) canceled the record (Greek verb exaleipho = wiped it away, completely obliterating the evidence) that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.” (Colossians 2:14)
Alan Carr on It is Finished…
I believe that these are the greatest words Jesus Christ ever spoke and I would like to tell you why this morning. For years, liberals and unbelievers have declared that this cry of Jesus from the cross is a cry of defeat. They say that it is the word of a man who has lost everything. However, they are a million miles from the truth of the matter. This English phrase is from a word that is very expressive and filled with meaning.
In fact, it is a word that was used in many areas of society. Some of which were:
1. A Servant’s Word – Used when a task had been completed.
2. A Priest’s Word – Used when a sacrificial animal was found to be worthy.
3. A Farmer’s Word – Used when a perfect specimen had been born into the flock.
4. An Artist’s Word – Used when the final touches had been applied to a masterpiece.
5. A Merchant’s Word – Used when a deal had been struck and all the haggling had ended. Its usage meant that both parties were satisfied.
Therefore, it is plain to see that this word is not the cry of a defeated man, but it is instead, the shout of a victor! This is the exultant cry of one who has just won a great victory. We need to understand that when Jesus Christ said these three little words, He was telling the world that something great had been accomplished. The word was a common one and was used by merchants to mean “The price is all paid!” The debt has been erased. Shepherds and priests used it when they found a perfect sheep, ready for sacrifice; and Christ died as the perfect lamb of God. Servants, when their work was completed, would use this word when reporting to their masters. Christ, the obedient Servant, had finished the work the Father gave Him to do. Christ willingly and deliberately gave up His life; He laid down His life. It means that something is brought to an end, is fully accomplished, has achieved its destined goal or is brought to perfection. . .
I Peter 2:24-25 (The Voice): He took on our sins in His body when He died on the cross so that we, being dead to sin, can live for righteousness. As the Scripture says, “Through His wounds, you were healed.” 25 For there was a time when you were like sheep that wandered from the fold, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your lives.
Genesis 3:15, the first prophecy about the coming Savior, boldly states that this Seed of the woman will crush the head of the seed of the serpent. Colossians elaborates on this head crushing of the serpent by the Seed of the woman, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:14,15 (Message):
When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life,
you were incapable of responding to God. God
brought you alive-right along with Christ! Think
of it! All sins forgive, the slate wiped clean, that
old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s
cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants of the
universe of their sham authority at the Cross and
marched them naked through the streets.
Verse 15 (Phillips):
And having drawn the sting of all powers ranged
against us, he exposed them, shattered, empty
and defeated, in his final glorious triumphant act.
Taking on him our human nature, he stripped off
and cast aside all the powers of evil which clung
to it like a poisonous garment. As a mighty conqueror
he displayed these his fallen enemies to an astonished
world, leading them in triumph on his cross.
And the hostile princes and rulers He shook off from
Himself, and boldly displayed them as His conquests,
when by the cross he triumphed over them.
At Calvary, Jesus Christ stripped and disarmed the power and authority of the devil’s kingdom for every born again believer. No devil spirit in the devil’s kingdom, no matter what its rank, can defeat you when you stand in the strength of the Lord’s redemptive work for you at the cross. The picture Paul is painting is of a triumphant general who has routed the enemy and leads the captive foes and spoils of his victory behind his chariot in a grand public procession through the city.
In the Roman world, this was the highest honor that could be bestowed upon a victorious Roman general. It was called “the triumph.” There must have been at least 5,000 enemy soldiers killed, and there must have been a gain of Roman territory in the conquest. It was an awesome display of the power, strength, and might of the Roman Empire. It was a spectacle that few would forget its images, as the triumph declared to the world that the enemy had been overwhelmed and crushed, now to be publicly humiliated through the streets of the city.
How much greater is the triumph of Christ as the captain of our salvation? What a triumph on the cross! What a victory against the forces of darkness! What a crushing blow to Satan’s kingdom! What a public display of victory to all those who have eyes to see and ears to hear! You become identified and in vital union with this triumph on the cross and all its far-reaching glorious effects when you become a new creation in Christ at the new birth. You are marching right beside Jesus Christ in this magnificent victory march with every wretched captive in chains under your feet. With great freedom, the power of the old sin nature has been stripped off and crippled, and the power of Christ in you flows and energizes every cell of your human body. You are a super conqueror who always triumphs in Christ. Jesus Christ cut away Satan’s firm grip on us and smashed the kingdom of darkness’s authority, control, and rule over our lives. No longer must we be a slave to sin or the bondage of this world. Jesus Christ victoriously led captivity captive for every Christian, according to the book of Ephesians, as he crushed and defeated every form of mental, physical, or spiritual bondage. What a triumph on the cross! What a victory in Christ!
Colossians 1:13 (Phillips): For we must never forget that he rescued us from the power of darkness, and re-established us in the kingdom of his beloved Son, that is, in the kingdom of light. For it is by his Son alone that we have been redeemed and have had our sins forgiven. He rescued us from the power of darkness and gave us full legal rights as a son or daughter of God. The word “power” in Colossians means: the exercised power to do something; liberty of action to do as one pleases; the delegated authority and power to act, and the right to exercise power. The devil and his kingdom no longer have the liberty or power to do what they please in your life when you stand upon the triumph of the cross. The devil no longer has the right to act freely with authority and power over you. We have been set free. He must flee when we stand against him. God has given us the full armor of God to stand firm against the onslaughts of the Evil One.
I John 3:8 (b) (New King James):
For this purpose was the Son of God manifested,
that He might destroy the works of the devil.
The word “destroy” is the Greek word luo, which means: to loose something tied
or bound, to break up that which is compacted together, to dissolve, to sever, to break in pieces, to set free, to melt and to demolish. The word means “a destruction by undoing or dissolving that which forms the bond of cohesion.” Jesus Christ came to loosen people from the works of the devil and set them free. We all had a bond of cohesion to Satan’s kingdom through sin and death, but Jesus Christ dissolved the bond, and we broke free. The word luo is used in the gospels when John the Baptist said that he was not worthy to unloose (luo) the thong or strap of Jesus’ sandals. This gives a great mind picture of Jesus unloosening the works of the devil in people’s lives, like un-strapping a sandal, so that the works can be thrown off of the body, heart, and soul of a person and one can enjoy true freedom.
The fatal wound to the head of the serpent was delivered at Calvary and the empty tomb. The death sentence to both the devil and all his works was shouted out to the human race with three words at Calvary and three words at the empty tomb. Jesus Christ cried out, “It is finished” at Calvary, and the angel proclaimed, “He is risen” at the empty tomb. What a Savior who brought us back to the goodness of God!
Luke 4:18 (Weymouth):
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because
He has anointed me to proclaim Good News
to the poor; He sent me to announce release
to the prisoners of war and recovery of sight
to the blind; to send away free those whose
tyranny has crushed.
We no longer have to be prisoners of war in the spiritual battle that rages with the devil. Jesus Christ opened the prison door of every tyranny of mind, body, heart, and soul and set us free. He crushed every tyrannical work of the devil that had previously broke our heart and spirit. He delivers all those who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity.
The main goal of all of the devil’s works is to separate and keep us from the heart of God. The devil set up many roadblocks and obstructions, beginning with sin and its consequences, that corrupted people’s relationship with God. Jesus Christ unloosed all the obstructions and cleared the pathway to the heart of God. He melted the devil’s work of separation and deception, and widely opened the door of access to our loving Father. Jesus Christ made it available that we might know Him and have full communion and intimacy with Him to such a degree that it overwhelms the heart. The human race feels restless, empty, unfulfilled, useless, valueless, and incomplete without a deep, vibrant, and living relationship with their Creator God Almighty. To know his love, to know his goodness, to know his justice, to know his righteousness, to know his mercy, to know his truth, and to know his faithfulness is the ultimate rush and thrill in life. How exciting to have God as your closest friend, your trusted advisor, your loving parent, and your strong protector. The devil does everything in his power to prevent this. He steals, kills and destroys to keep people from getting to know God on an intimate basis and understand the greatness of his good character.
The first Adam’s disobedience produced a race of mortal people destined to die and to be ravaged by sin and its consequences. The Last Adam, Jesus Christ, through his obedience, death, and resurrection is producing a race of people who will live forever and be victorious over the terrible twins of sin and death and all their consequences. The first Adam produced a race of people born dead in sin and enslaved to the rule of Satan as the god of this world. The Last Adam made it available to all those who believe to be born again to life and to break the power of the devil’s kingdom in their lives. The last Adam is in the process of producing an everlasting race of perfect people who will one day live and reign with him forever upon a perfect earth. As sure as the sun rises every morning, the Last Adam, Jesus Christ, is coming back to establish his kingdom upon the earth. Nothing can stop it.
God’s original plan was to have many sons and daughters living in Paradise forever. The first Adam was supposed to be the father of such a perfect race, but he failed and sentenced the human race to sin and death when he disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. God’s dream, God’s intense desire, God’s ultimate plan after the Fall was to restore His original purpose of having birthed children live with Him forever on a perfect, beautiful, and amazing earth. The entire Bible points to Jesus Christ as being the agent, the mediator, the Savior, and the sacrifice that would bring about this restoration. The Last Adam, Jesus Christ, had to face the fierce enemies of sin, death, and the devil and he overwhelmingly conquered them all. He became the Head and Firstborn of all the redeemed born again believers whom he can rightfully call his brothers and sisters. He is not ashamed to do so, because he knows that they are birthed new creations in Him and sons and daughters of His heavenly Father.
We are new creations in Christ, because he set the pattern of who we become when we are born again in both resurrection life and a new glorious body at the Rapture, along with the power and ability to do his works and to walk like him in thought, deed, heart, and action. We have the mind of Christ, the heart of Christ, the ability of Christ, and the power of Christ born within us at the new birth. We can now touch and reach out to the world with the goodness of God. Our good works are rooted and grounded in Christ, and our new birth transformation. We can deeply affect the lives of so many people, because Jesus Christ lives through us. The goodness of God, the love of God, the mercies of God, the compassion of God, the tenderness of God, and the forgiveness of God are energized in us through Jesus Christ, so that we can go into all the world and preach the good news to every person.
This Easter season, never forget the words that sound out from the Book of the Ephesians that brilliantly illustrate the mighty accomplishments of the Second Adam.
Ephesians 2:11-22 (The Voice):
So never forget how you used to be. Those of you born as outsiders to Israel were outcasts, branded “the uncircumcised” by those who bore the sign of the covenant in their flesh, a sign made with human hands. 12 You had absolutely no connection to the Anointed; you were strangers, separated from God’s people. You were aliens to the covenant they had with God; you were hopelessly stranded without God in a fractured world. 13 But now, because of Jesus the Anointed and His sacrifice, all of that has changed. God gathered you who were so far away and brought you near to Him by the royal blood of the Anointed, our Liberating King.
14 He is the embodiment of our peace, sent once and for all to take down the great barrier of hatred and hostility that has divided us so that we can be one. 15 He offered His body on the sacrificial altar to bring an end to the law’s ordinances and dictations that separated Jews from the outside nations. His desire was to create in His body one new humanity from the two opposing groups, thus creating peace. 16 Effectively the cross becomes God’s means to kill off the hostility once and for all so that He is able to reconcile them both to God in this one new body.
17 The Great Preacher of peace and love came for you, and His voice found those of you who were near and those who were far away. 18 By Him both have access to the Father in one Spirit. 19 And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. 20 You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries[a] with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone. 21 The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.