Accomplished the Work
August 15, 2022
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do (John 17:4).
As noted before, there were a number of ways in which Jesus glorified the Father on earth. Here, the fullest expression of Jesus’ obedience that glorified the Father on earth was His death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). It was God’s plan from the beginning that Jesus should die a sacrificial, atoning death. Everything about His life culminated in the cross, expressed by His final two words from the cross, (John 19:30) So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” and (Luke 23:46) He said, “Father, ‘Into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.
Salvation’s work was done. Jesus had finished the work the Father sent Him to do. This is substantiated in the fact that on the third day after His crucifixion, God raised Jesus from the dead (Matthew 28:6-7; Philippians 2:9), then forty days later exalted Him into glory where He is at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33; 5:31; Romans 8:34).
The word ‘finished’ is teleiosas. It is in the 1 aorist tense, meaning past completed action. In some versions of the Bible it is translated ‘completed’. The word literally means ‘perfected’. As Jesus faced death, He had no sense of failure as some critics say. Instead, He experienced the fulness of achievement; He went to the cross with confidence that He had perfected all that the Father required of Him and would perfect what yet remained - His atoning death on the cross. Furthermore, Jesus did not die frustrated or disappointed. No. He died the successful messenger (apostle); the one whom the Father sent (apesteilas; John 17:3) to men.
It is to be understood that Jesus is not one of many ways to salvation. He is not one road to heaven among many roads to heaven. Having declared His work ‘finished’ on the cross, and that work was ‘perfected’ in Him, He then is the only provision the Father has made for the salvation of a lost and dying soul. His work is perfected - nothing can be added to it (personal works, church traditions, ceremonies, religious doctrines or dogma), nothing can be subtracted from it (necessitating our works to make up for any of His deficiencies). Again, this is confirmed by the fact the Father raised Him from the dead on the third day after the crucifixion and exalted Him forty days after His resurrection. Salvation has been won through Jesus Christ and was sealed by His death on the cross. Therefore, Jesus could say by the authority of God the Father (John 14:6), I am the way (‘he hodos’: the only way), the truth (‘he alethia’: the only truth), and the life (‘he zoe’: the only life). No one comes to the Father except through Me. Amen.