And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. John 19:17-18
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John19:30
A Good Work, But Not A Finished Work
The work of creation recorded in the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament was a “good” work to God. God uses the phrase “it was good” six times in Genesis chapter 1 to describe His pleasure with His creative acts (vs. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21 & 25). However, the “good” work God started in creation was not His perfected and “finished” work. The work God started in Genesis would take another 4,000 years to reach perfection.
From the beginning, it was in God’s original blueprint to reveal His true identity and person to His creation. The true revelation of God has been an unsolved quandary since the beginning of time.
To Adam and Eve this mysterious God was simply a “voice” in the garden (Gen 3:8). To the prophet-servant Moses, He was manifested not only audibly, but also somewhat spectacularly in the visual dimension as a burning bush. To the Hebrew high priest and later to King Solomon, God was a mysterious cloud of glory that permeated the holy place and the temple.
There are many other instances in the Bible where God has elected to reveal Himself in spectacular ways. Unfortunately, God’s power and majesty throughout the ages has not impressed humanity.
In spite of supernatural acts (e.g., seas parted, armies mysteriously destroyed, miraculous healing, earthquakes, lives raised from the dead) and given the wondrous displays of nature herself – there is still a sea of unbelieving onlookers occupying God’s earthly landscape.
According to the Bible, the end of time will culminate in the most profound and spectacular event since the beginning of time: the true physical revelation of the person of God.
At this time the curtain will be raised, the blinders of the unbelieving will be removed and God will step out from behind His cloak of invisibility.
Who or what will we see? An all-consuming inferno? Billows of ascending smoke? Blinding white luminescence?
No. God chose another path to reveal His majesty. A path understood by believers of Jesus Christ, but one to prove shocking to the unbelieving.
The shocking revelation will be that at the end of time God will express the nature of his true person in a way never before revealed. It will not be in a manner that heaven’s angels are accustomed to – His glory, His power, His magnificence, His might, His invincibility and His extraordinary splendor.
No. God will reveal Himself in a way that embraces the full expression of His person, as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world:
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Revelation 5:6
God’s Love Is Unfathomable
In His unimaginable weakness God allowed his life to be put at the mercy of his creation – we literally see God in the hands of man at the cross of Jesus Christ!
One writer has put it this way: “God’s involvement with shame has spun a web of mystery too intriguing for the human mind to let alone”.
Why would God put Himself in this position of weakness, vulnerability, shame, disgrace, humility, and suffering?
The question can be answered simply by two of the most powerful words ever penned: God’s love
It is God’s love that gives us hope.
It is God’s love that gives us purpose.
It is God’s love that gives us peace.
It is God’s love that gives us joy.
It is God’s love that gives us healing.
It is God’s love that gives us strength.
It is God’s love that gives us freedom over the power of sin.
It is God’s love that gives us a reason to exist.
It is God’s love that gives us eternal life.
For believers, this will confirm what we have always believed – God was manifested in the flesh as the God-man, Jesus Christ:
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. Revelation 1:12-13
The mystery surrounding God’s holy nature will now be physically revealed and displayed in all its fulness :
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1Timothy 3:16
Is It Finished?
What does this all mean to us today? There is a powerful scripture that weaves together the physical processes of physical creation in Genesis with the spiritual work of believers in God’s church:
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6
We have already discussed the topic of a “good work” back in the Book of Genesis. But, what about the word “perform” in the above N.T. verse? What is the original Greek word used here? Yes, you guessed it – epiteleō – “to fulfill further”, to “finish”!
God directs one’s spiritual development to follow the same pattern He used to orchestrate the natural, creative process – from a good work to a finished work. God has promised that the good work he started in His people will be finished through Jesus Christ.
What began at Creation with man in the hands of God was perfected 4,000 years later with God in the hands of man. When Jesus cried at Calvary “It is finished”, it was God literally saying that His creative work was now accomplished. The work now finished, the plan now perfected, and the circle now completed.
It is the Lord’s will and desire for us is to grow from a “good” work and on to a “finished” work for His glory.
It Is Finished