What did Jesus Finish?




“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

John 4:34

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”

John 17:4

“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


  1. We believe the Bible when it tells us Jesus Christ glorified God by finishing His assignment on earth.
  2. The words are comforting and informative – and destructive of conditionalism and sacramentalism.
  3. Most of the religious world believes Jesus only made salvation possible, so that it was not finished for anyone in particular, but left wide open for everyone in general, if they will meet the conditions, which leads to the evils of sacramentalism, decisional regeneration, and other salvation heresies.
  4. Put another way, most of the religious world believes that the majority of those Jesus died for end up in hell, and those who end up in heaven get there by their own works, not by His finished work.
  5. Most of the religious world leaves Him quite unhappy now and for eternity, because He came so far short of accomplishing His desire. If He wanted to save all men, why didn’t He? If He wanted to give all men a second chance, why did He give life to so many He knew would reject Him?
  6. Adding anything to the finished work of Jesus Christ destroys the gospel (Ga 2:21; 5:4; I Co 1:30-31).
  7. This study is not exhaustive; it should provoke examination of the scriptures for even more results.
  8. Preparatory reading can include Psalm 22; Isaiah 53; Ephesians 1; Hebrews 2; Revelation 5 and 12.
  9. Nothing in life is completed or finished very well for our comfort, but this glorious finished fact is!
  10. When John 19:30 occurred, He had been up 33 hours, tortured for the last 12, the last 3 in darkness.
  11. He saw His Seed … the generation of children God had given Him by election … and He saved them!
  12. When speaking in general terms, the death, resurrection, ascension, and coronation are all combined.

Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

  1. God promised Satan in the beginning that a male Seed would come to give him a fatal blow.
  2. The first coming of Jesus and His death finished him (John 12:31; Hebrews 2:14; I John 3:8).
  3. He made an open shew of the devil and triumphed over him (Colossians 2:15; Rev 12:9-11).
  4. As we look at prophecies or historical descriptions, we are to remember, “It is finished!”

Daniel 9:24

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

  1. Consider events #2, #3, and #4, which deal with the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross.
  2. God fixed seventy weeks, 490 years, when Messiah was cut off for others in the 70th week.
  3. He finished the great work that Gabriel told Daniel about nearly 500 years before His death.

Isaiah 53:5

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

  1. The suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross was precisely for our sins and iniquities.
  2. He finished the work of securing peace with God and healing us from our transgressions.

Isaiah 53:10-11

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

  1. The Lord bruised Jesus on the cross and put Him to grief, but He saw His seed – you and me!
  2. God saw the travail of Jesus’ soul, and He was satisfied, which justified us fully and forever.

Matthew 1:21

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

  1. As surely as Mary brought forth a son JESUS, so He surely saved His people from their sins.
  2. The work that God ordained Him to do was to save His people from their sins, which He did.
  3. If He shall save His people from their sins, then He finished their salvation once and for all!

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  1. Jesus Christ finished the redemptive work needed to guarantee everlasting life for believers, which was the audience John addressed in his gospel and epistles (Jn 20:30-31; I John 5:13).
  2. God’s love, Christ’s death, and everlasting life is not intended beyond believers (Ac 13:48).
  3. This text is not conditional, but rather declares God’s purpose in sending Christ for believers.

John 6:39

And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

  1. From the same historian that wrote, “It is finished,” we have the will of God clearly defined, which is limited to the elect given by God the Father to Jesus to redeem.
  2. God the Father gave certain sinners to Jesus Christ to save, and He would not lose even one.

John 10:11

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

  1. The blood of the Great Shepherd put the everlasting covenant in force (Hebrews 13:20-21).
  2. His death was for His sheep, not for the goats, as He excluded some Jews in context (10:26).
  3. God the Father gave the sheep to Him, and it is impossible for even one to be lost (10:28-29).

John 11:49-52

And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

  1. While Caiaphas reasoned politically about the Romans, God inspired him to speak of Jesus.
  2. Jesus finished the great redemptive work of uniting all elect Jews and Gentiles into one body.
  3. One Man died and finished the legal transaction with God to save the entire nation of elect, which is a confession of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ uttered by His enemy.

John 17:1-3

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

  1. This prayer was made hours before His crucifixion about finishing the work of redemption.
  2. The great issue was giving eternal life to those God had given Him to save out of all flesh.
  3. The knowledge of God and Jesus Christ is the consequence of eternal life, not the condition.

Romans 5:15-19

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

  1. The death of Jesus finished the great recovery and salvation of sinners by the Second Adam.
  2. This is one of the clearest places in the Bible to see the covenant salvation for the elect only.
  3. There are several comparisons to show the great superiority of salvation to condemnation.

Romans 8:32

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

  1. Jesus Christ finished the condition required for God to freely give us all things of salvation.
  2. For whom did He finish this condition and obtain all spiritual blessings? The elect (8:33)!

I Corinthians 1:30

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

  1. Jesus became our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption by finishing death.
  2. How do you get into Christ Jesus for these blessings? By election (1:26-30; Eph 1:3-12).

II Corinthians 5:18-19

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

  1. Jesus Christ finished the work of reconciliation on the cross, making peace with God for us.
  2. The world in this place is no larger than those who do not have sins imputed to their account.
  3. The ministry of reconciliation is simply preaching the word, or news, of God’s reconciliation.

Galatians 4:4-5

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

  1. The fullness of time led to the finishing of this redemptive and adoptive work of Jesus Christ.
  2. The legal work described here was dependent on His human nature and death on the cross.

Ephesians 1:5-7

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

  1. The purchase price for our adoption as the sons of God was finally paid by Jesus’ death.
  2. This work was by the good pleasure of God’s will and for the praise of His glorious grace.
  3. When Jesus hung on the cross and saw His seed, He finished making us acceptable to God.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

  1. Jesus died on the cross, finishing His work, to make His church totally holy and perfect.
  2. He will present it to Himself one day soon as His Seed and the children God had given Him.

Colossians 2:15

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

  1. The cross brought about His finishing death, which finished the devil (John 12:31; I Jn 3:8)!
  2. The overthrow of Satan by His death was prophesied and designed (Genesis 3:15; Heb 2:14).

Colossians 2:16

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

  1. The Old Testament ceremonial, national, and other laws were done away by Christ’s death.
  2. Jesus finished Ellen G. Harmon and her Sabbath sacred cow by putting away Moses’ Law.

Hebrews 1:3

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

  1. Jesus has been sitting at God’s right hand for near 2000 years with the elects’ sins purged.
  2. All modern Bibles remove the two precious words by himself from this wonderful text.

Hebrews 9:12

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

  1. In contrast to the repetitions of O.T. animal sacrifices, Jesus shed His blood for sins once.
  2. He entered into the presence of God in heaven having obtained eternal redemption for us.
  3. The finished work of redemption – buying us back from sin’s claim against us – was done!

Hebrews 9:15

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

  1. The specific effect of His death is declared – to guarantee an eternal inheritance for the elect.
  2. We believe in salvation by means … means of death, which He finished for us at Calvary.

Hebrews 9:28

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

  1. He was offered by God to be the sacrifice for the sins of the many elect, which He finished.
  2. Those who look for His second coming may have great assurance of salvation without sin.

Hebrews 10:10,14

By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

  1. God’s will was not met with animal sacrifices, so He made a body for Jesus to give (10:1-9).
  2. Jesus Christ’s one offering of His body, which He finished, made us perfectly holy forever.

I Peter 1:2

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

  1. The obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus was not finished until He had died for us.
  2. Our connection to the blood of Jesus Christ depends on having been elected to that blood.

Revelation 5:8

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

  1. Jesus finishing His work on the cross made the three songs in this passage possible (5:8-14).
  2. His death finished redeeming the elect out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation.

Revelation 12:10

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

  1. Satan was cast out of heaven and the brethren freed from his accusations by Christ’s death.
  2. The timing of this declaration indicates that it was a consequence of Jesus dying on the cross.

Revelation 13:8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

  1. What did Jesus finish on the cross? He was slain to save all those written in the Book of Life.
  2. The prepositional phrase from the foundation of the world modifies written, not slain (17:8).


  1. Hebrews 13:20-21 ties the death of our great Shepherd into the duties we owe Him by our lives.
  2. What are you doing to live for this Saviour, Who finished the work of your eternal inheritance?
  3. If you want to assure your heart that He finished redemption for you, believe and be baptized!
  4. Your election can be made sure by diligently adding good works to your faith (II Pet 1:5-11).

For Further Study:

  1. Sermon Outline: Unconditional Salvation
  2. Sermon Outline: Five Phases of Salvation
  3. Sermon Outline: Limited Atonement
  4. Sermon Outline: Does God Love All Men?
  5. Sermon Outline: The Book of Life
  6. Sermon Outline: The Two Adams
  7. Sermon Outline: Isaiah 53