Lent Devotional | Maundy Thursday

Hope in Doubt

“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30
Jesus’ last words on the Cross model for us a godly example amidst his excruciating physical pain and loneliness. His last words included a deep cry to the Father to forgive those who were hurting him, and providing forgiveness and eternal hope for a criminal. He also fulfilled his earthy responsibility to his mother, and expressed his physical thirst. But the three words, “It is finished” (John 19:30), have a profound meaning for the people of his time and for centuries to come. While these words meant that there was an end to his physical pain, they also completed every bit of suffering for sin that had been ordained by the Father for him (Acts 2:23), and that the greatest and most important physical life on earth had come to an end.

It also meant that Jesus finished fulfilling all the Old Testament prophesies about his life and his sufferings prophesized hundreds of years ago. Jesus had put an end to the ceremonial laws with its many rites and rituals. Most importantly, it meant that Jesus finished his work of redemption, reconciling and justifying us before a Holy God.

The Greek translation of, “it is finished”, is tetelestai. In Bible times when a man had a debt, he wrote on a piece of paper what he owed and gave it to the person he borrowed the money from. When the debt was paid in full, the person holding the piece of paper would write tetelestai across the paper which meant “paid in full”. Then he would nail the paper to the door of the man’s house so everyone could see his debt was paid. When Jesus said, “It is finished”, He was saying that He had paid our debt in full – wiped away completely and forever.

When Jesus cried out, “It is finished”, there was a fountain of grace that opened up. It began gushing down the cross and it touched the heart of the Roman guard who exclaimed, “Surely this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). The risen Christ offers to us that same fountain of grace. Jesus the son has finished the work that the Father had entrusted to him.

Chris Peramulla

Chris Perumulla

Pastor & Professor Emeritus,
University of Toronto


Lord Jesus, thank you for your incredible gift to me. You paid my debt in full, completely freeing me from any further obligation and guilt. As I ponder the cost of such a gift, I lift my heart in response to the cross in gratitude for your sacrifice. It is finished. Thank you Lord Jesus. 

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March 28

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March 29

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March 31