It Is Finished

Written by Julie

On April 6, 2020

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

John 19:30 (KJV)

It is finished. In Greek, these three powerful words are simply one: tetelestai.

On Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), two goats would be taken to the Temple. One would be sacrificed and its blood would be sprinkled on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies; this symbolized the blood that was shed and paid the price for sin. The high priest would lay his hands on the other goat and confess the people’s sins; symbolically, the goat now carried their sins. This “scapegoat” would be driven into the wilderness, a symbol of guilt being removed “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). When the goat had successfully been driven away, priests stationed along the way would relay the message back to the temple by shouting “Tetelestai! It is finished!”

When Jesus said “It is finished” while hanging on the cross, I think every Jew who heard it knew exactly what He meant. “Your sins have been carried far away and forgiven. The price has been paid in full. It’s completed, done, accomplished.”

I don’t believe that was said quietly, the words sighing out with Jesus’ last breath. No, I believe Jesus took the deepest breath He could and yelled it out. It was a shout of victory, of joy, of… Well, allow me to use someone else’s words. 🙂

Tetelestai…[is] a crucial word because it signifies the successful end to a particular course of action. It’s the word you would use when you climb to the peak of Mt. Everest; it’s the word you would use when you turn in the final copy of your dissertation; it’s the word you would use when you make the final payment on your new car; it’s the word you use when you cross the finish line of your first 10K run. The word means more than just “I survived.” It means “I did exactly what I set out to do.”

from an article on

The Lion of Judah, who was also our Passover Lamb, roared with His dying breath, “It is finished! The price is paid! I did what I came to do!”




Hi, I'm Julie, a 18-year-old lover of books, music, and Jesus. I'm a senior in high school (Abeka Academy) and have been blogging for three years. I also co-publish a digital magazine called Priceless geared toward teen girls. My desire is to use my words to glorify my Saviour and to encourage you in your walk with God. I'd love to hear from you!

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