What meant the Savior, then, by this—“It is finished”? He meant, first of all, that all the types, promises and prophecies were now fully accomplished in Him. Those who are acquainted with the original will find that the words—”It is finished,” occur twice within three verses. In the 28th verse we have the word in the Greek. It is translated in our version “accomplished,” but there it stands—”After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, says, ‘I thirst.’ ” And then He afterwards said, “It is finished.” This leads us to see His meaning very clearly that all the Scripture was now fulfilled, that when He said, “It is finished,” the whole Book, from the first to the last, in both the Law and the Prophets, was finished in Him.
There is not a single jewel of promise, from that first emerald which fell on the threshold of Eden, to that last sapphire-stone of Malachi which was not set in the breast-plate of the true High Priest. No, there is not a type, from the red heifer downward to the turtle-dove, from the hyssop upwards to Solomon’s temple itself which was not fulfilled in Him. And not a prophecy, whether spoken on Chebar’s bank, or on the shores of Jordan, not a dream of wise men, whether they had received it in Babylon, or in Samaria, or in Judea which was not now fully worked out in Christ Jesus. And, Brethren, what a wonderful thing it is, that a mass of promises and prophecies and types apparently so heterogeneous, should all be accomplished in one Person!
Take away Christ for one moment and I will give the Old Testament to any wise man living and say to him, “Take this. This is a problem, go home and construct in your imagination an ideal character who shall exactly fit all that which is herein foreshadowed. Remember, He must be a Prophet like unto Moses and yet a champion like Joshua. He must be an Aaron and a Melchisedek. He must be both David and Solomon, Noah and Jonah, Judah and Joseph. No, He must not only be the lamb that was slain and the scapegoat that was not slain, the turtle-dove that was dipped in blood and the priest who slew the bird, but He must be the altar, the tabernacle, the mercy seat and the showbread.”
No, to puzzle this wise man further, we remind him of prophecies so apparently contra- dictory that one would think they never could meet in one man—such as these, “All kings shall fall down before Him and all nations shall serve Him.” And yet, “He is despised and rejected of men.” He must begin by showing a man born of a virgin mother—”A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son.” He must be a man without spot or blemish, but yet one upon whom the Lord does cause to meet the iniquities of us all. He must be a glorious one, a Son of David, but yet a root out of a dry ground. Now I say it boldly—if all the greatest intellects of all the ages could set themselves to work out this problem, to invent another key to the types and prophecies—they could not do it.
I see you, you wise men—you are poring over these hieroglyphs—one suggests one key and it opens two or three of the figures. But you cannot proceed for the next one puts you at a nonplus. Another learned man suggests another clue— but that fails most where it is most needed—and another and another and thus these wondrous hieroglyphs traced of old by Moses in the wilderness must be left unexplained, till one comes forward and pro- claims—”The Cross of Christ and the Son of God incarnate”—then the whole is clear, so that he that runs may read and a child may understand.
Blessed Savior! In You we see everything fulfilled which God spoke of in old by the Prophets. In You we discover everything carried out in substance which God had set before us in the dim mist of sacrificial smoke. Glory be unto Your name! “It is finished”—everything is summed up in YOU!