It is finished.

Would this be an accurate description of what it means?

“What was finished? The work necessary to pay for all your sins, His death was sufficient enough to wash all your sins away, ONCE for All. One sacrifice , All sins.”

This was written by non-Catholic Christian friend. I’m not sure if his interpretation of it is accurate.

Thank you for all your help lately :slight_smile: I’ve been asking many questions :o

The sacrifices of the Old Testament were for atonement of sin. Christ was the perfect sacrifice and his death was therefor the perfect atonement. Christ reconciled mankind to God.

Jesus’ sacrifice was expiation for our sins. The word expiate means to make obsolete, or to make ammends, or to remove the guilt incurred by sin.

*My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2)

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)*

Christ’s sacrifice was once, and it was for all, but we were not alive 2000 years ago in Palestine. The sacrament of reconcilliation is the way in which we are reconciled to God. The sacrament of reconcilliation is the way Christ’s atonement for our sins, his expiation for our sins, is applied to us forward in time and space.

It’s not some nebulous, spiritual, only-in-your-heart reconcillation, but like Christ’s death, the sacrament of reconcillation is something you can see, hear, feel and experience. The sacrament of reconcillation is how we know that we are reconciled to God, just like the Jews in the Old Testament knew that they were reconciled to God through animal sacrifice.

Christ took away authority from the priests, scribes and Pharisees of the Old Testament in part becasue didn’t really care about the people they were ministering to. They were in it only for the money, food, power and prestige.

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. (Matthew 23:1-3)

Christ removed authority from the “Chair of Moses” and established the authority of the “Chair of Peter” in its stead, and to underscore the transition of power, the temple in Jerusalem which was the only place on earth where animal sacrifice was permitted by God was utterly detroyed in 70 AD. It is through the new authority of the “Chair of Peter” that we are reconciled to God.

The sacraments are how we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Below is copied and pasted from some notes stored in my Bible program on my computer.

The Passover meal was part of the covenant from God and men. It required an active participation. In reading Exodus 12:17, we see this was to be done perpetually, for ever.

We know from Jeremiah 31:31, a new covenant was prophesied. This prophesy was brought to mind in the New Testament, in a letter from St. Paul to the Hebrews 8:7 – 12.

The prescription of the Passover meal was detailed and clear from the Lord, as written in Exodus 12.

A lamb without blemish was to be slaughtered at twilight, eaten with unleavened bread, the lamb’s blood was to be sprinkled on the doorposts with hyssop, none of the lamb’s bones were to be broken, and this ordinance was to be celebrated perpetually.

The Jewish Passover meal consisted of:

  1. The Festival Blessing – Drink from the 1st cup of wine.
  2. Passover Narrative and Little Hallel (Psalms 113) – Drink from 2nd cup of wine.
  3. Main Meal: roasted lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs and spices – Drink from 3rd cup of wine.
  4. Great Hallel (Psalms 114 – 118) and the drinking of the 4th cup of wine, and closed when presiding priest or host says the phrase, “TEL TELESTI” which is interpreted as “It is finished” or “It is consummated”.

The Lord’s Supper occurred during the celebration of the Passover, or Seder, meal.

3 of the Gospel authors told us about the Lord’s Supper. Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote about it. All 3 say He gave the cup, of the new covenant, to the Apostles and told them to drink, but it does not tell us that Christ, the High Priest, drank of the cup.

Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25 and Luke 22:18, tells us that, during the Passover meal, Christ announced He would not drink fruit of the vine again, until he drank it in the Kingdom of God.

After making this announcement, Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 tell us, “Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” After singing a hymn, the great Hallel, they went out to the garden, without the High Priest closing the celebration, not only not closing the celebration, but declaring He would not drink fruit of the vine again, until He drank it in the Kingdom of God. He did not say, “It is finished” or “It is consummated”.

When God made the covenant with Moses, Moses asked who to tell had told him of the covenant, Exodus 3:13 – 14. God told Moses, “I am, who I am.”

When Christ was arrested in the garden, He asked who they were looking for and they replied, “Jesus of Nazareth”. In John 18:5, Jesus told them, “I AM he”. When those arresting Him heard this, they went backward and fell to the ground (John 18:6).

Mark 15:22 – 24 told us that Christ was offered wine drugged with myrrh, but He did not drink it.

John 19:28 – 30 explains that Our Lord, aware that everything was now finished, in order that scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst”. Hearing this, they took a sponge and dipped it in common wine, sour wine, fruit of the vine, and held it up to His mouth with hyssop. After taking the wine, our Lord said, “It is finished”, bowed His head and gave up the spirit.

John 19:33 – 38 told us that our Lord’s legs were not broken, so that scripture might be fulfilled.

Mark 15:33 – 34 tells us the time the Lamb of God death, which was twilight, the same time Moses was instructed to slaughter the sacrificial lamb.

Christ came to fulfill the law, and it was fulfilled with the new covenant. A covenant of God and men, that requires participation of those being set free.

There are several levels of meaning, the primary is that His mission of redemption of man, satisfaction for man’s sins against the Father, and the salvation of man, and the founding of his Church were complete, finished, and so was his human life. Some of the stuff below may be a little deep for you, sure is for me.


The “it is finished” is literally “it is consummated” and is in reference to Christ’s Sacrifice as the Lamb of God during the Jewish Passover which began in the Upper Room during the Last Supper.

I highly recommend getting Dr. Scott Hahn’s talk called, “The Fourth Cup”

I would say that it is inaccurate because if someone who does not know much reads it the person can walk away from it thinking that Jesus no longer suffers and that we do not have to make atonement for our sins and actually that we are all saved already. So, no, it is not accurate as it is too general and - in what context would this be presented?

As Bishop Sheen points out in a tape I have of his recordings; Jesus said it is finished but Paul said it is not finished. I just want to bring this to light and let another poster like JRKH possibly explain the rest. I am still trying to understand why it is not finished… See here:

I’m going by the context of John’s gospel here. John portrays Jesus as the divine Logos, who has been with God since the beginning of time and is also God Himself (1:1-5), who came down to earth and became human (1:14) to do what His Father had sent Him to do (4:34; 5:36; 17:4). The completion of Jesus’ work is the fulfilment of Scripture (19:28) and the performance of the Father’s will:

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish teleiōsō] his work.”

“But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish teleiōsō], the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. ”

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished teleiōsas] the work that you gave me to do.”

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished tetelestai], said (to fulfill teleiōthē] the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,tetelestai] and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

I agree with those who said there are multiple levels of meaning. And I want to add that it completed Christ’s “wedding” to his bride, the Church. The term “It is finished” can also be termed “It is consummated,” which speaks to the normative completion of the marriage rite. See Christ, the bridegroom (why a priest must be male). :wink:

Eric, I think your friend’s interpretation is fine, as it is worded, although I’m guessing your friend mistakenly thinks that means there’s no need for the application of the sacrifice in the sacraments or such.

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