The Cry of Victory

Bible Book: John  19 : 23-27
Subject: It Is Finished; Cry from the Cross; Victory in Jesus; Cross of Christ

John 19:23-37

One of the many great projects in American history was the building of a transcontinental railway line which would unite the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

From the outset the work was fraught with difficulties, not the least of which was lack of funds. At one period the undertaking had to be halted until the promoters could secure the necessary finance to carry on. When the news came through that this hurdle had been overcome there was great rejoicing. Finally the day arrived when the last rail was to be laid. They had reached a point on the border line between New Mexico and Colorado. It was to be an outstanding event. A laurel wood tie and two silver spikes had been ordered from California. The governor of each state had been invited. They were to have the honor of driving a silver spike each into the laurel wood tie. This would complete the work of construction.

Soon trains would be transporting passengers and goods from both coasts binding together the two States. The governors looked at each other, smiled, and then they hammered home the silver spikes into the laurel wood tie. A great shout arose from the vast crowd. From a tapped telegraph wire the news was flashed to the entire country and to the whole world. My …. we know of a day when iron spikes were driven into a rough-hewn wooden cross, through the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Around that cross they stood and watched, scribes and Pharisees, soldiers and rabble, mockers and scoffers, while heaven draped its gates in mourning, and the sun hid its face in shame. But oh, when the last spike was hammered home a great shout rang through the vaulted sky, reverberated through the caverns of the damned, shook hell to its foundations, burst the tombs asunder, broke the chains of death, and opened wide the way into the Father’s presence. My …. do you know what that cry was? “ It is finished,” Now this is the six time that Christ spoke from the cross and its interesting that Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us how the Lord Jesus cried, “ With a loud voice,” (Matt 27:50)

John alone tells us what the Lord Jesus cried, “ Finished.” I wonder did you notice the difference between the 5th and 6th cries from Calvary? In the previous word the Saviour said “ I thirst,” (19:28) calling attention to His Person. In this sixth word He said, “ It is finished,” calling attention to His Work. Here it is not the “ I,” but the “ It.” The Saviour did not say “ I am Finished.” For this was not a cry of defeat it was a shout of victory.

 “ Tetelestai,” Literally it means “ Done,” or “ it is finished. It stands finished, and it always will be finished.” “ It is finished,” this was not the despairing cry of a helpless martyr. “ It is finished,” this was not the last gasp of a worn out life. “ It is finished,” this was a declaration on the part of Christ that all for which he came from heaven to earth to do was now done.

  • “ Finished,” the long list of prophecies.
  • “ Finished,” the types and shadows of the Jewish ritual.
  • “ Finished,” the work which the Father had given Him to do.
  • “ Finished,” the sufferings of the Saviour.
  • “ Finished,” the work of our redemption.

My …. there is nothing now left for you to do but to rest for time and eternity on Christ’s finished work. “ It is finished,” You know these words tell us three tremendous things. They speak of,


Now I use that word “ accomplishment,” deliberately for the same Greek word translated “ accomplished, fulfilled, and finished,” is used three times in the verses before us.

When the Son of God shouts “ finished,” He was saying “ Father Your Word is fulfilled.” The Word here is the Bible, especially of course the Old Testament. Do you recall what the Saviour said? “ Search the Scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me.” (Jn 5:39) My …. the Scriptures speak of Christ. Christ is in all the Scriptures. The Word of God is authentic and everything God says in it is true. Do you want proof? Then look at this cry from the Cross. For when the Lord Jesus cried “ finished,” the prophetic Word was fulfilled. Look at,


This is the immediate thought of the context. (19:28-30) It was not that He was thirsty only, but that “ the scripture might be fulfilled.” My …. Christ’s entire life and death was a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Do you hear the soldiers arguing over the robe or garments of Christ?

“ They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it but cast lots for it.” “ Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” Then John adds “ that the Scripture might be fulfilled which said, they parted my raiment among them and for my vesture they did cast lots.” (19:23-24) Now that is a direct quote from (Ps 22:18) and here it is being fulfilled. I wonder, have you come into this service, unsure if the Bible is the Word of God? Have you doubts concerning God’s Word? Well, come to the cross and see the Word of God being wonderfully fulfilled. (a) Proves this. But,


Proves this. And who is the theme of the centuries? Christ. You see, centuries beforehand the prophets of God had described step by step the humiliation and suffering which the coming Saviour should undergo. One by one these had been fulfilled, wonderfully fulfilled. Accurately fulfilled. Literally fulfilled. Fulfilled to the very letter. Listen, had prophecy declared that Christ should be the woman’s seed? (Gen 3:15) Then He was born of a woman. (Gal 4:4) Had prophecy announced that His

mother should be a Virgin? (Is 7:14) Then was it literally fulfilled. (Matt 1:18) Had prophecy revealed that He should be of the seed of Abraham (Gen 22:18) then mark its fulfillment (Matt 1:1) Had prophecy made it known that He should be a lineal descendant of David (2 Sam 7:12-13) then such He actually was. (Rom 1:3) Had prophecy said that Christ should be named before He was born? (Is 49:1) Then so it came to pass.

(Lk 1:30-31) Had prophecy foretold that He should be born in Bethlehem of Judea? (Micah 5:2) Then mark how, this very village was actually His birthplace. Had prophecy announced that His Person should be despised? (Is 53:3) that He should be Rejected by the Jews?

(Is 8:14) That Christ should be “ hated without a cause?” (Ps 69:4) My …. sad to say such was precisely the case. Had prophecy not painted the whole picture of His degradation and crucifixion? The it was vividly reproduced. His being led as a lamb to the slaughter. The piercing of His hands and feet. His being numbered with the transgressors. All was foretold centuries beforehand. Now the last prophecy of all had been fulfilled (Ps 69:21) and as Christ reviews the entire scope of the Prophetic Word and saw its full realization He cried “ It is finished.”

Do you know something? One of the great ways to know that the Bible is the Word of God is fulfilled prophecy. There is absolutely no way to explain the Word of God not being the Word of God in the light of fulfilled prophecy. My …. when you read these prophecies it reads like someone standing at the foot of the cross describing the death of Christ hundreds of years before it happened and before death by crucifixion was even know of.

(Ps 22:1) My …. is this not proof that this book is inspired of God? (2 Tim 3:16) And the God who fulfilled those prophecies is the God who’s going to fulfil the prophecies concerning the second coming of Christ. My …. don’t write these prophecies off, don’t explain them away, don’t ignore them for Christ’s second coming is going to be as real, as actual, as literal, as minutely fulfilled as was His first coming. “ It is finished,” (1)


You see, this cry, “ It is finished,” three words in English but just one word in Greek. Now tetelestai is certainly not a familiar word to us today, but it was a familiar word in our Lord's time. It was used to describe,


For it was a Servants word. The servants and the slaves used this word. A master would tell his servant to go and do something, and when the servant had completed the task, he would come back and say, “ tetelestai, I have finished the work that you gave me to do.” My .... was the Lord Jesus not God’s suffering servant? In Philippians (Ch 2) Paul tells us that He “ took the form of a servant.” (2:7) He did not come as a Sovereign but as a Servant, not as a Ruler but as a Redeemer. From the highest in heaven to the lowest on earth. From Sovereign of all to servant of all.

Down from His Glory

Ever living story

My God and Saviour came,

And Jesus was His name

The Lord Jesus had a work to do. Speaking in anticipation of the Cross He said, “ I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.” (Jn 17:4) “ Tetelestai,” (a) This word was also used to describe,


For it was a Priest's word. You see, the Jewish people had to bring their sacrifices to the priest to be examined because it was against the law to offer an imperfect sacrifice at the altar of God. (Lev 22:20) So when some devout worshipper brought to the priest “ a lamb without blemish,” (Exod 12:5) the pride of the flock the priest would look admiringly at the animal and say, “ tetelestai it is perfect.” My .... when the Lord Jesus died on the Cross He was God’s perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (Heb 9:14) Did you know that the 3 spheres of the universe alike testify to the sinlessness of Christ? When the Lord Jesus was baptised, God the Father spoke from heaven and said, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:17)

The demons from hell cried, “ I know who Thou art the Holy One of God.” (Mk 1:24) Pilate said, “ I find no fault in this man.” (Lk 23:4) Even Judas said, “ I have betrayed innocent blood.” (Matt 27:4)

My .... Heaven found no fault in Him. Hell found no fault in Him. Earth found no fault in Him, what fault then can you find in Christ? Do you not realise that Christ was the only perfect sacrifice for sins? “ There was none other,”


For this was an Artist's word. When the artist had put the finishing touches to a vivid landscape he would stand back and admire his masterpiece and then he would say, “tetelestai, .... it is finished.” The picture is completed. My .... when the Lord Jesus cried, “Finished,” He completed the picture and turned on the light. That is He put the finishing touches to Old Testament revelation. The Old Testament was God’s picture gallery in the shadows. Through types, shadows, and prophecies we were given a picture of what was yet to come, but my .... the picture was incomplete until Calvary. (Lk 24:25) You see, Calvary completed the picture. “Tetelestai,” it was a servants word, it was a priests word, it was an artist’s word but it was merchants word,


For the Merchants used this word. To them it meant, “the debt is fully paid.” You see, what happened was this. If you had purchased something, the merchant would take your money and then would give you a receipt. That receipt would say, “Tetelestai, it is finished the debt had been fully paid.” My .... do you realise that as a sinner you are in debt before God? (Acts 14:17) Do you recognise that you cannot pay this debt? You have broken God’s Law, you are spiritually bankrupt, and the wages of sin is debt. But thank God, Christ came and paid the debt for us. What a great announcement this was. “It is finished,” “ Tetelestai,” The Task had been finished, the perfect Sacrifice had been offered, the Picture had been completed, and the Debt had been discharged. (1) (2)


Is that a strange word to you? It’s really an Old Testament term appearing 48 times in the book of Leviticus. The Hebrew word means “ to cover.” (Rom 5:11) You see, under the Old Testament system the blood of the sacrifices could not put away sin, it could only cover sin.

But Christ our heavenly Lamb

Takes all our guilt away

A sacrifice of nobler worth

And richer blood than they

My …. Christ satisfied the holiness of God so that He is able to extend grace to lost sinners. How did He do it?

Through, His finished work. “It is finished,” You see,


What tongue or pen can describe the sufferings and wounds of the Saviour? The physical, mental, and spiritual suffering which Christ endured.

The love that Jesus had for me

To suffer on the cruel tree

That I a ransom soul might be

Is more than tongue can tell

Suffering at the hands of men (19:23) Suffering at the hands of Satan (Gen 3:15) Suffering at the hands of God. (Isa 53:10) Here the Lord Jesus as He cries, “ My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.” (Matt 26:38)

My …. the meaning of Christ’s crucifixion did not lie in his physical suffering. No, the greatest torment that Christ experienced on the cross was not caused by the nails driven into His flesh, but in His being “ made sin for us,” and vicariously suffering the righteous punishment of the Father in our place. (1 Jn 4:10) When God pulled a panoply of darkness across the sky and for three hours God dealt with His Son as out of the darkness and depths of Calvary Christ cried, “ My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Mk 15:34) My …. is this not the theology of the cross? “ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us.” (Gal 3:13)

Is this not what made Christ’s death different from every other death? His death was a sacrifice for sin. His death satisfied the righteous claims of God. His death opened a way back to God for sinners. My …. Christ suffered physically, mentally and spiritually. But bless God when He cried “It is finished,” His suffering was over. The cup had been drained. The storm had passed. The darkness had ended. The sword was sheathed. The Cross had been endured and with a loud cry he exclaimed “Finished.” My …. never again shall Christ experience pain. Never again shall He suffer at the hands of men, Satan and God. Never again shall the light of God’s countenance be hidden from Him. Thank God all that is finished.

The head that once was crowned with thorns

Is crowned with glory now

A royal diadem adorns

The mighty victor’s brow


Is this not what John says? “For this was purpose was the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 Jn 3:8) You see, to all human appearances Friday afternoon the 6th April AD 30 looked like the moment of Satan’s greatest triumph. Anyone who had some understanding of the warfare that had been waged between the Son of God and the Serpent of Hell and had been standing that day at Calvary might have thought, “It’s all over Satan wins.” The Son of Man, the Son of God is on the cross dying, dead. “Christ loses Satan wins.” Do you remember your history? Do you recall when the Duke of Wellington set sail for Waterloo to lead the allied army against General Napoleon Bonaparte? All of Europe held its collective breath waiting for weeks to hear word about the outcome of the battle. One foggy morning, the British ships appeared on the horizon off the coast of England. The signalman began sending signals to the shore.

“W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D.” At that point a deep and dark fog rolled in as hearts sank across the British mainland, “Wellington defeated.” As the fog lifted, the signalman continued. “N-A-P-O-L-E-O-N.” There it was, “Wellington defeated Napoleon.” What a difference one word can make.

My …. Calvary looked like the moment of Satan’s greatest triumph but it was in reality the hour of His greatest defeat. For speaking in anticipation of the Cross the Lord Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (Jn 12:31) You see, through death Christ destroyed him that had the power of death. (Heb 2:14) and for the child of God the Devil is a vanquished foe he was defeated by Christ at Calvary (Col 1:13 James 4:7) But tell me, are you a Christian? Is Satan to you a vanquished foe or a ruling tyrant? Have you been delivered from Satan? (Col 1:13 Acts 26:18) Or are you being dominated by Satan? Oh you say, “I am, the master of my own destiny.” No, you are not. My …. you are under a power that is greater than your own power and only the power of Christ can break the power of Satan in your life. (a) (b) But,


For when Christ said, “It is finished,” we read “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”

(Matt 27:51) What did that signify? That, the way to God was open for sinners. And this ….

There is a way back to God

From the dark paths of sin

There is a door that is open

Where you can go in

At Calvary’s cross is where you begin

When you come as a sinner to Jesus

The Book of Hebrew’s explains this completed salvation for there the Lord says, “ this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever sat down on the right hand of God.” (Heb 10:12) Our Lord was buried. He arose from the dead. He returned to Glory, and he sat down because the work was finished. Do you know something?

In the Old Testament tabernacle there were no chairs because the work of the priest was never finished. But Jesus Christ could sit down “ on the right hand of God,” because His work had been finished. Calvary is the sum total of what needs to be done to provide salvation. Calvary has the sacrifice that finishes all sacrifices for sins. My …. something happened at Calvary that never needs to be, that never can be, and that never will be repeated again. My unsaved …. Christ has done everything necessary to accomplish your redemption. The work is finished, the price is paid, the blood is shed, the way is open and all that you have to do is come.

Some years ago there was an eccentric evangelist by the name of Alexander Wooton. One day a man came to him and said rather sarcastically, “What must I do to be saved?” Knowing the man was not serious, Wooton replied, “It’s too late.” The man became alarmed. He said, “No, No, what must I do to be saved?” And Wooton said, “Its too late, its already been done.” My.. the message of the gospel is not “do.” but “done,” and since salvation is a finished work, we dare not add anything to it, take anything from it, or substitute anything for it. There is only one way of salvation, its faith in the finished work of Christ. “It is finished,” Just three words in English but only one in Greek. It means “paid in full.”

“It is finished,” Do you really believe it? Or are you trying to add to it by your church attendance? Your good works? Baptism or confirmation? Your reformed life?

“It is finished,” And God is satisfied with the work of Christ on Calvary for He raised Him from the dead.

“It is finished,” And all you have to do is to accept the pardon that Christ has purchased for you.

Nothing to pay, no not a whit,

Nothing to do, no not a bit,

All that was needed to do or to pay,

Jesus has done in His own blessed way

My …. will you come and trust in His finished work for your soul’s salvation? This is what Hudson Taylor the great missionary did. One Sunday afternoon when His parents were away from home, he as a lad of 15 years of age wandered into his father’s study and having nothing to do he got hold of some tract’s and started to read them just to pass the time away. He knew there would be a story then a moral at the end so he read several always stopping when he came to the moral throwing the tract on one side and beginning another. At last he picked up a tract whose story and moral were all mixed together so that he could not skip the Spiritual bit. In that tract one phrase burnt into his soul “ The finished work of Christ.”

What was finished? Reading on he discovered that the price was paid for his sins and that he had nothing to do or to pay simply to trust in the Saviour, and His finished work. There and then he fell on his knees and received Christ into his life and became a wonderful missionary for him. Will you also come to Christ? Will you too trust in His finished work? Will you rest in His precious blood? “ Lifted up was He to die ….,” The question is. Is Jesus Christ your Saviour?