He hung on that rugged cross that Friday afternoon. His body completely battered, bleeding, bruised and scourged. They laughed, they mocked, they rebelled, and yet, he remained. He chose to remain. Then, he took one final breath and shouted “Tetelestai.” And it was finished.
It was finished. The work on the cross was complete. The plan that began thousands of years ago was accomplished. Death was defeated. He triumphed. And there was victory. Tetelestai.
Of all the things he could have said, this was his final word. This was his final cry. He shouted to a world that had rejected him, a world that continues to reject him. But nonetheless, that same shout echoes to this day. Tetelestai, paid in full.
We will never understand the power of Tetelestai, not this side of heaven anyway. We will never understand it because we have limited understanding to the destructive natures of sin. Our sin separates us from God. Our sin requires a Savior.
Let me break it down, we should have been the ones hanging on the cross. We deserve His wrath. We deserve complete separation from God. We deserve hell.
But even if we did hang on a cross as payment for our sin, we still wouldn’t make it into the heaven. The holiness of God couldn’t permit it. It had to be a perfect, flawless, sinless sacrifice, none of which we are and never could be. Jesus took our place that day. And that is why there is only one way to God, through Jesus Christ.
People must understand the Gospel. We are all sinners. We are born that way. We enter this world already broken and separated from God. Upon our arrival, we immediately inherit a broken nature from the fall of mankind. Sin is in our DNA.
We can’t escape it. We can’t work our way out of that dark reality. And there are no scales weighing out the good and bad deeds of our lives. No, that is what the world tries to do. The world maintains a hierarchy of sin and wrongdoing. And likewise, the world has a social scale for goodness. Good people go to heaven and bad, vile folks, well, they go to hell. Sorry, that is not the Gospel.
But we struggle with this. We simply cannot reconcile in our minds that many good people will go to hell and many bad people will go to heaven. Therefore, it can’t be true. But it is true.
People want to believe that all roads lead to God. They want to believe that all religions get you into heaven. The Bible doesn’t say that. In fact, it says the complete opposite.
But hell? That doesn’t align with the God that has been created in their minds. They want to believe that a loving, compassionate, kind God won’t send a person to hell. Oh my, choosing ignorance to remain blissful is costly.
There are just two roads in this world. One road leads to heaven, and the other leads to hell. The narrow road of Jesus leads to eternal life. Heaven is at the end of this path.
But there is another road out there. It is the broad road. It’s a road of false religions and idols. It is also an enticing road. It’s an attractive road. It is a road that satisfies the urges and desires of our flesh. It’s a road that convinces us we know more. It’s exciting with no boundaries or limits. We are in control. We get to make the rules. We are lord over our life. And that is the road most folks are traveling. That is a dark and dangerous road that leads to hell.
But you don’t have to be on that road. You have a choice. Tetelestai. That is for you too. At any moment, you can leave the road that leads to forever separation from God. It is called repentance. Turn away from that broad path of destruction. Turn away and enter through the narrow gate. The only way that leads to life.
There is a time limit to our stay on earth. We are all on our way out. But we all have eternity. Where you choose to spend yours depends on the road you choose to walk.
Tetelestai is for you. Paid in full. Turn around. Run towards the only One who can save you.