Devotional by Casey Bray | Song by Max Smith, Shelbey MacKay & Stephen Witt
Words are powerful. Words have weight. Words carry meaning. The power of words and what is spoken is confirmed over and over again in Scripture. Solomon even warns us in Proverbs 18 that “life and death are in the power of the tongue,” and those who guard the words that come out of their mouth are actually guarding their soul. Though God has shown us the weight that each of our words have, the weight of everything that has ever been spoken or ever will be spoken was completely eclipsed by the power of three simple words.
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said. “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:28-30 (NKJV)
“It is finished!” With these words, life as we had always understood it, was completely shattered. With these words, the weight of our sin was completely lifted from us. With these words, Jesus changed the world forever. In the original Greek, this phrase is translated as τετέλεσται (tetelestai) and literally means “paid in full”. In the culture that Jesus lived in, if drought came or disaster fell and someone found himself or herself in a serious financial debt, they could actually sell themselves as slave to the owner of that debt. During this time as a slave, they would “work off” the debt that they had accrued to the lender. After they had paid off their debt in hours worked and services done, they would be released free of debt and τετέλεσται would be stamped on the contract for their life signifying that the debt was paid in full and they were free from the weight of that debt.
Jesus quite literally paid the price for our sins. We had an enormous debt to the Father, and the weight of our sins disallowed us access to Heaven. Jesus signed over His life and paid the price that we should have. Jesus fulfilled the necessary requirements for our release. Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to. When Jesus took in His last breath, He understood the significance of His actions and His words. As Jesus muttered out τετέλεσται, it was stamped upon each one of the contracts for our lives. We, because of what Jesus did, are “paid in full”.
Because of what Jesus did, we are free from the grasp of sin and death. Due to the sin that is innate within us, we were like Cain and cast out east of Eden. He was banished and lived with the bitter taste of guilt and the weight of his decisions his entire life, never tasting the sweetness of freedom and of peace. We as humans fell under the banishment of guilt. But when Christ came onto the scene, He not only rescued us from ourselves, but furthermore He banished the guilt from us. We were once under the banishment of guilt, but because of what He did, we now fall under the banishment from guilt. No longer are we defined by guilt nor shame, but we are instead defined by what He has done. Hallelujah!
He paid the price. He made a way. He set us free. What else can we do besides exalt Him as high as we possibly can? Not only in this moment but also in every moment of every day of our lives. Thank you Jesus for what you have done: We crown you King!
(Verse1) One sacrifice was all-sufficient to save my life | There on the cross, Lord, you paid the price You made a way for me | Please hear my cry I’m longing for You to take this life | Show me Your truth open up my eyes I want to see Your heart | All in all I crown You King
(PreChorus) Jesus | in Your presence I’m set free | Jesus | I will serve You, I will serve You!
(Chorus) All in all | You are my Savior | the One true God | the One I live for | You bled for me | poured out your heart and your life for me | Jesus I crown You King
(Verse2) Your hope is here | my faith is found | and You’ve placed my feet on solid ground | and You gave me life | I want to see Your heart | All in all I crown You King
(Bridge) Be seated on the throne of my heart