Expectations of Resurrection!
By Hal Lindsey
The execution of Jesus Christ began at 9:00 AM. He died that afternoon at 3. According to John 19:30, just before His final breath, Jesus did something amazing. He cried out, “Tetelestai!”
Most English renditions of the Bible translate “tetelestai” as, “It is finished.” While an accurate translation of the Greek word, it gives some people the wrong impression. They think the Lord was lamenting the end of His life. Nothing could be further from the truth! “Tetelestai” is a not a lamentation of death. It is proclamation of victory!
In the time of Jesus, when a Roman judge released a criminal, he would write “Tetelestai” across that criminal’s certificate of debt. It meant that the penalty had been paid and the criminal set free. He could no longer be punished for the crimes on the certificate. It meant, “Paid in full.”
That’s what Jesus meant when He cried out, “Tetelestai!” The debt was paid, finished—but not His debt. He had none. He proclaimed, “Paid in full!” over your certificate of debt.
Maybe you didn’t know you had a certificate of debt. Colossians 2:13-14 (NASB) says, “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
When we come to Christ, He does more than forgive us. He redeems us. He certifies that He has forever paid our sin-debt to God. We can never again be condemned for those things. And He has freed us from slavery to Satan and to the sin nature.
Not only did Jesus conquer sin, He also defeated death. We live now in perishable bodies. Each one carries an expiration date. But that will not always be so. 1 Corinthians 15 says that, though we now live in perishable bodies, we will one day inhabit imperishable ones. We live in mortal houses now. But we will one day reside in immortal ones.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NASB) goes on to say, “But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus defeated sin on the cross. He proved it when He rose from the dead. His resurrection assures us of our own resurrections. Hebrews 2:15 speaks of people caught in a lifetime of bondage to the fear of death. He alone can deliver us from that fear. We can live in the certain knowledge that because Jesus rose from the dead, He defeated death itself. For those who are in Christ, the Grim Reaper has had his scythe taken away. Death has ceased to be a scary monster waiting at the end of life. It has become instead a doorway into something glorious, and good, and wonderful.
It’s all because of Jesus, His death, and His resurrection. 1 Peter 1:3-5 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God.”
Have glorious Resurrection Day!