|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:19-30 Here are some remarkable circumstances of Jesus' death, more fully related than before. Pilate would not gratify the chief priests by allowing the writing to be altered; which was doubtless owing to a secret power of God upon his heart, that this statement of our Lord's character and authority might continue. Many things done by the Roman soldiers were fulfilments of the prophecies of the Old Testament. All things therein written shall be fulfilled. Christ tenderly provided for his mother at his death. Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he raises up another for us, where we looked not for it. Christ's example teaches all men to honour their parents in life and death; to provide for their wants, and to promote their comfort by every means in their power. Especially observe the dying word wherewith Jesus breathed out his soul. It is finished; that is, the counsels of the Father concerning his sufferings were now fulfilled. It is finished; all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished. It is finished; the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away. It is finished; an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness. His sufferings were now finished, both those of his soul, and those of his body. It is finished; the work of man's redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken from him by force, but freely given up.
Verse 30. - (d) "It is finished!" - the great victory of completed sacrifice. When he had received the vinegar, he said (τετέλεσται), It is finished! and he bowed his head and delivered up his spirit. The other evangelists record yet another word of Divine and sublime submission, "Father, into thy hands," etc. John simply adds the climax, and leaves the Divine, inscrutable, mysterious fact in its awful grandeur. The world's debt was paid. The types and symbolism of the old covenant had been adequately fulfilled. The mighty work, undertaken by him who would realize the expectations of the oldest prophets and the unconscious prophecies of heathendom, was done. Every iota and tittle of the Law had been magnified. The reality of which the temple and the sabbath were shadows, the priesthood and the offerings innumerable were figures, had all been realized. Τετέλεσται! Consummatum est! From the ground of human nature, from the heart of the Man in whom all the wants, perils, sins, mysteries of the human race were gathered up, has gone the adequate admission of the righteous judgment of God against that nature in its present condition. Death itself becomes, not his shame, but his veritable glory. The sin of humanity is branded with an eternal curse, more deep than any previous manifestation of the Divine justice could have produced; and yet it loses its sting. God reconciles the world to himself by the death of his Son, by this curse thus falling upon his Only Begotten. The earthly judges are condemned by their Victim. The great and last enemy is itself wounded unto death. The Seed of the woman bruises the serpent's head when that Seed receives the bruise in its own heel. The Paschal Lamb is slain. The Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world. The prince of this world is east out. The reader must turn to the synoptic narrative for the other portents of the Crucifixion - the earthquake, the supernatural darkness, the rending of the temple veil, and the testimony of the Roman centurion. The silence of the Fourth Gospel concerning these events, on the supposition of its late orion, or on the hypothesis of the glorifying myth, or upon the suggestion that this evangelist was a theologizing mystic of the second century, who was merely fashioning the narrative to establish the doctrinal thesis of the Divine incarnation of the Logos, becomes entirely unintelligible. But the hypothesis that this eye-witness was supplementing other well-known narratives with particulars which came forcibly under his own observation, and made a deep impression upon his own mind, is suggested by every line. Dr. Westcott places "the seven words from the cross" in the following order: -
(a) Before the darkness -
(1) "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
(2) "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43).
(3) "Woman, behold thy son:... behold thy mother!" (John 19:26).
(b) During the darkness -
(4) "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).
(c) After the darkness -
(5) "I thirst" (John 19:28).
(6) "It is finished!" (John 19:30).
(7) "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46). It is a question whether the sixth or seventh word is the more triumphant.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar,.... Of the Roman soldiers, who offered it to him, either by way of reproach, or to quench his thirst; and he drank of it, as is very likely:
he said, it is finished; that is, the whole will of God; as that he should be incarnate, be exposed to shame and reproach, and suffer much, and die; the whole work his Father gave him to do, which was to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and obtain eternal salvation for his people, all which were now done, or as good as done; the whole righteousness of the law was fulfilled, an holy nature assumed, perfect obedience yielded to it, and the penalty of death endured; hence a perfect righteousness was finished agreeably to the law, which was magnified and made honourable by it, and redemption from its curse and condemnation secured; sin was made an end of, full atonement and satisfaction for it were given; complete pardon procured, peace made, and redemption from all iniquity obtained; all enemies were conquered; all types, promises, and prophecies were fulfilled, and his own course of life ended: the reason of his saying so was, because all this was near being done, just upon finishing, and was as good as done; and was sure and certain, and so complete, that nothing need, or could be added to it; and it was done entirely without the help of man, and cannot be undone; all which since has more clearly appeared by Christ's resurrection from the dead, his entrance into heaven, his session at God's right hand, the declaration of the Gospel, and the application of salvation to particular persons:
and he bowed his head; as one dying, and freely submitting to his Father's will, and the stroke of death:
and gave up the ghost; his spirit or soul into the hands of his Father; freely laying down that precious life of his which no man could take away from him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. It is finished! and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost—What is finished? The Law is fulfilled as never before, nor since, in His "obedience unto death, even the death of the cross"; Messianic prophecy is accomplished; Redemption is completed; "He hath finished the transgression, and made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness, and sealed up the vision and prophecy, and anointed a holy of holies"; He has inaugurated the kingdom of God and given birth to a new world.
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