Share This Episode
Running to Win Erwin Lutzer Logo

A Cry Of Victory Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2023 1:00 am

A Cry Of Victory Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 913 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 4, 2023 1:00 am

At our last breath, will we have finished everything God had wanted us to do? When Jesus cried, “It is finished,” He was declaring the debt of sin “paid in full.” In this message, we consider all that Christ accomplished for us. Jesus’ last words were not of despair but of victory.

This month’s special offer is available for a donation of any amount. Get yours at or call us at 1-888-218-9337. 

Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. It's a great joy to burn a mortgage. The bill is paid in full.

The house is now yours. When Jesus cried out, it is finished. He was declaring the debt of sin paid in full. These are words not of despair but of victory.

Please stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, today we've come to cry number six from the cross. It is finished. In the language of Jesus' day, this was a single word, tetelestai.

Yes, indeed, and it meant paid in full. You know, today I believe that there are thousands upon thousands of people who are listening to this message who need to hear it. They need to listen carefully. They're struggling with issues of guilt, issues regarding the assurance of their salvation, and I believe that this message is going to be a tremendous blessing to them. And I want to remind all who are listening that if you are blessed, it's because other people just like you have invested in this ministry. Together, Running to Win is making a difference all over the world. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts.

Of course, the amount that you choose to give is entirely your discretion. Go to When you're there, you can click on the endurance partner button, or for more info, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thanks in advance for helping us because it is messages just like this that go around the world. You and I were born with an expiration date. Someday we are going to exit this life, ready or not, here we come. And the question is going to be whether we will have done all that God wanted us to do.

I think that many of us will have to say we haven't, will die with regret. There are some things that God wanted us to do that we might leave unfinished and there are some things that we might have finished that really won't last too long. But when Jesus came to die, he could say, it is finished.

He finished everything that God wanted him to do. What a life, what a savior. In a few moments we're going to be continuing our exposition, but I need to remind you that we are on cry number six from the cross.

And cry number six is, it is finished. And I hope that as a result of this message our lives are transformed. If you came here today with a sense of guilt and are seeking forgiveness, this message is for you. If you came with lack of assurance of salvation, you're not sure whether you're going to go to heaven or not, this message is for you.

If you came here today thinking that some calamity has overwhelmed you that is too heavy for you to bear, this message also is for you because our savior made all things possible for us to believe all things possible to live through and to fulfill his own will for us. Now let's take our Bibles and turn to the 19th chapter of the Gospel of John. 19th chapter where we have these words recorded for us. John chapter 19 verse 29. A jar of wine vinegar was there so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant and lifted it up to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, it is finished.

With that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. What I'd like to do is to begin by looking at this word in a preliminary way. It is finished and it is one word in Greek. The word telos means complete. Te tellestai is the perfect tense, which means it is completed. It is finished. What can we say about it?

First of all, the verb itself has no subject. We are not told exactly in this expression what was finished. Now we're going to be filling that out because we have the rest of the New Testament that helps us to understand it. But as a cry as Jesus is hanging on the cross, he says simply, it is finished and we will be supplying the it. Secondly, I want us to realize that this is the son reporting back to the father. After all, the father had sent him to this earth to do a great and mighty work and it began at Bethlehem and now it ends at the cross.

And though Jesus still has to die and be buried and raised again, all of that is a foregone conclusion. What he's saying is, father, whatever it is that you have given to me, I have finished it. And finally, the Bible says that he cried this with a loud voice. Now John does not record that, but if you look at Matthew and Mark, you'll notice that the texts in their gospels say this, that Jesus cried out with a loud voice and then he said, into thy hands I commit my spirit, which is the last word of the cross, which is the one that we will be studying in our message next time.

John does not include that last word. That's why you have to take all of the gospels and put them together to get the coherence, but it only enables us to understand that it was when Jesus was on the cross saying, it is finished, it is that cry that he made with a loud voice. And I want you to know today it's a cry that this world has to hear. It's a cry that we want to make with a loud voice. It's a cry that I want to shout to you.

It's a cry that I want to shout to those who are listening by radio. We say to you today, these are the words of Jesus from the cross and this word is, it is finished. Now, if ever there is proof of the fact that looks can be deceiving, it's right here. Because if you had seen Jesus die on the cross, if you had been there, he really didn't look any different from the thieves that were crucified on either side of him. The Bible says he was crucified in weakness. He was crucified looking as if he was dying in defeat. But I want you to know today that Jesus is reigning from the cross and this cry to Telestai is a cry of great and marvelous victory. What a marvelous opportunity that Jesus Christ gives us as we look at this word to Telestai.

All right, my friend, let's ask the question now. What was finished? What was finished? Well first of all, his sufferings were finished, his sufferings. When Jesus came into this world the Bible says that in the volume of the book you have written, in the volume of the book it becomes very clear as to what I'm to do and it begins at Bethlehem being born in a manger and all throughout his life Jesus was experiencing poverty and rejection. Now it's as if the father had this book and Jesus was living it out in his experience. You remember at the age of 12 he's in Jerusalem and his parents come looking for him and he says to them, did you not know that I should be about my father's business? Later on at the wedding in Cana he says to Mary, his mother, what have I to do with thee?

Mine hour is not yet come. Jesus knew that he had a job to do and an hour in which to do it and so Jesus fulfilled that. Later on it says in Nazareth they tried to push him over the brow of a hill but they couldn't because his hour was not yet come. But here's my point, I want you to realize today that Jesus Christ, his miracles were not always believed, his teachings were not always obeyed, his claims were not always accepted, he experienced all of this rejection and suffering and then we come to the cross. And because we've covered this in other messages we will not go into detail but there he is carrying his own cross and he stumbles beneath it.

There he is being lacerated, there is the crown of thorns, there is the blood, there is the sweat, there is the thirst on the cross and worse than that there is the father who turns aside and the father and the son are no longer in communion as Jesus becomes sin for us. And Jesus is saying father it is finished, the suffering is over. It's interesting that this word tetelestai was sometimes used by servants who were given assignments by their masters.

They'd come to the master and the master would say I want you to do this, this, this, this, the servant would come back a few hours later and say tetelestai, I've done it. Jesus here on the cross is saying father the cup that you have given me I have drunk tetelestai, it is finished. By the way there's some of you who are called to suffering. You're going through physical suffering, spiritual suffering, emotional suffering, God bless you, some of you are going through all three kinds of suffering. And in a sense you are also reporting to the father and someday you'll be taken to heaven and as you die you'll be able to say father it's finished, at last I leave this life with all of its suffering and even those of us who haven't suffered much we still have our suffering in the future but we too shall follow the path of Jesus and say father the suffering is over.

What else is involved in that little word it? It is finished. Well our redemption was finished. You know in the Old Testament you find that sacrifices were always brought. You had lambs and you had sheep, of course lambs, sheep, goats, birds that were brought and the priests were there offering these continually the Bible says.

In fact they were not allowed to sit down because if they sat down it gave the impression that their work was never finished so when they had that eight hour shift they stood the whole time and so constantly you had animals being brought. It was an endless stream because sin is an endless stream and everybody knew that an animal can never substitute for a human being. So these sacrifices were actually symbolic. Oh they cleansed you ceremonially in the sense that you went through certain rituals that made you clean in a ceremonial sense but they didn't touch the conscience.

They didn't get down deep inside. Now in Old Testament times God sometimes did touch the conscience and cleanse people but you remember he did it on credit knowing that Jesus Christ was going to die but I want you to notice the contrast with Christ. We read in the book of Hebrews for Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one. He entered heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again the way the high priest enters the most holy place every year with the blood that is not his own. If Christ did that then he would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world but notice this now folks but now he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

It is finished. The word Tetelestai was not only used by servants reporting to their masters. It was also used in business transactions. As a matter of fact papyri manuscripts have been discovered that have this word on taxes somebody has taxes to pay they pay their taxes and Tetelestai is written across no longer can anything be demanded of you because it was paid and it was paid in full. Jesus took our debt and he covered it with his payment. He paid it in full and if God were to demand any righteousness from me added to what Jesus did God would be unjust because it has been paid.

We sing Jesus paid it all all to him I owe sin has left a crimson stain he washed it white as snow. The demands of the law were met. You and I didn't keep the law but Jesus kept it not only in his death but in his life he fulfilled the law he kept the law perfectly in our behalf. God's justice and holiness was met and the sword of God's holiness can now be put back into its sheath because Jesus met that requirement and the thunder of God's judgment has been silenced because Jesus said paid in full.

Do you realize what this means? Today I'm speaking to some of you women who've had an abortion and you have in the quietness of your soul thought many many times about what all that meant and what happened and you've regretted it and yet perhaps you were pressured into it. I don't know the circumstances you know and God knows and God is saying to you today my dear friend that sin is covered. Some of you have been guilty of immorality and God is saying to you today that sin is covered. Some of you involved in perhaps cheating and lying and the list could go on and on and as you as you give the list of sins it becomes even more terrible because it can be multiplied out in many many different ways and you're going through that sense of shame and guilt and alienation and today Jesus said to Telestai it is finished. Oh you say Pastor Luther you're being too easy on sin because you're letting people off the hook. Let me put it this way when you come to accept Christ as savior your sin is taken from you because it's late on Jesus but there is still in sin inside of you. There's sin in us this morning but on those who believe there is no sin upon them and so when we accept Christ as savior as our sin is taken from us God begins to work within us to bring us to love holiness to love righteousness and if we don't we will be disciplined because it's true he does not put up with these kinds of sins in the lives of those who love him and believe in him but so far as the sin itself is concerned that is in our past Jesus says to us today it is finished and even the sins that we are going to commit God help us may we not but sins that we may commit in the future God says it is finished. I need to preach that because for every person who's going to misuse grace and there's always the possibility of misusing grace there are 10 people who are defeated because they don't understand grace. I'm reminded of the words of Martin Luther. Remember when a friend of his wrote a letter to him and said oh brother Martin I have sinned so much I cannot forgive myself.

The friend's name was Spoloton who was responsible for the library there in Wittenberg, a good friend of Luther's. Spoloton said I cannot forgive myself. He had given some unwise counsel to somebody and because of that trouble erupted and so he says for me there can be no forgiveness. I wish I had before you today the letter that Luther wrote to him which I'm going to have to paraphrase but Luther basically said oh Spoloton you're a great sinner. He said come over to us he said because we are hard-boiled sinners. He said Spoloton you have to get used to the idea that Jesus didn't die for just childish nominal sins. Jesus just didn't die for the pranks that the little kids do from time to time.

Oh no Spoloton. Jesus died for great sins and these are Luther's words now he died for damnable iniquities and come to think of it all iniquities are damnable because they would all send us to hell. So I say to you today my dear friend that when Jesus said it is finished it is finished. What did he mean when he said it is finished? He said the sufferings are finished. He said redemption for us as sinners I'm talking about us now is finished and the defeat of Satan is finished. In Colossians chapter 2 there's a marvelous story of what happened at the cross you know if you had a videotape and you looked at the cross only with human eyes you wouldn't see what was happening because there were all kinds of battles going on in the spiritual world. Satan was opposing Christ and it says in Colossians chapter 2 he forgave us all our sins having canceled the written code with its regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us. He took it away nailing it to the cross having disarmed the powers and the authorities that's the devil. He made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross.

Use your imagination for a moment. I want you to see that when Jesus died what was really happening was this that that loathsome beast the serpent the devil was trying to strike the heel of the seat of the woman and that's all that he could do and the scripture says that the seat of the woman namely Christ was crushing his head so the loathsome beast with all of his fangs and all of his accusations and all of his a poison is trying to undo what Jesus is doing but he cannot and now I want you to see this and I know you can't see my feet because the pulpit is in the way but I'm taking my shoe like this and I am rubbing the heel right into the carpet. I want you to imagine that this heel is being rubbed right into the asphalt taking the head of the serpent and just crushing him and taking out all of his life. That's what Jesus did on the cross.

He disarmed him. My friend this is Pastor Lutzer. Are you blessed as a result of the ministry of Running to Win? Has this sermon spoken to you lifted your spirit and given you hope? I'm reading a letter from someone who listens in West Africa. Depression and discouragement threatened over and over to overwhelm me but as I consistently listen to your enriching messages I'm finding courage and faith. Thank you so much. Running to Win is in 20 different countries, four different languages.

We continue to expand but it's because of people like you. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? Someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course you need more info so go to That's and when you're there you click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Right now you can go to, click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life. The Bible says that Jesus dismissed his spirit when he died on the cross. This has led one of our listeners to ask what is the difference between Jesus willingly giving up his life and a person who commits suicide?

Well I think that there is a big difference. You know it's one thing to die at your own hand deliberately putting yourself to death. It's another thing to submit yourself to someone else who will put you to death if you are submitting for the benefit of someone else.

You know if someone came into your home and you as a mother would be willing to put yourself between the gun and your child so that you take the bullet, you're doing that deliberately but that isn't suicide. You are giving up your life for the benefit of another and that's what Jesus did. What I like about Jesus on the cross, well you know that I love Jesus but what I find very striking is that as he is dying it says into thy hands I commit my spirit. Jesus was in charge till the very end. No he didn't commit suicide but I'm sure glad that he died and that he died for me and that his death was not frivolous.

His death secured the salvation of all who would believe. For that I'm deeply grateful. Thank you Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Running to Win comes to you from the Moody Church in Chicago to help you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Next time, more on what it is finished should mean to you and to me. Thanks for listening. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 05:52:02 / 2023-04-04 06:00:30 / 8

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime