It is finished.
Yes, it really did look as if that was the end.
The Jewish priests were satisfied; the Roman soldiers felt their duty had been done; the disciples hung their heads – the adventure with Jesus had come to nothing and the women could think of little but the necessary funeral rites. So much for all Jesus’ preaching and miracles, and all the grand talk about the coming Kingdom of God.
The dream was over – it was back to fishing in Galilee. Dad would be glad to have them back on board if they couldn’t find other employment.
But Jesus saw it differently – he meant his work of salvation was finished!
Certainly his human life was finished, but redemption had been accomplished and God’s long term plan had been fulfilled.
This was the moment that the great curtain in the Temple that kept people out of the inner sanctuary of God’s presence was torn down the middle. The way into the presence of God was open for all, the final great sacrifice had been made. I have in my mind an old picture of a cabinet minister (Ernest Marples) cutting a tape in 1959 to open the first stretch of the MI – it was finished; everybody could then drive along it. The way was open!
When Jesus cried out ‘It is finished.’ it was not a desolate cry but a triumphant one – JOB DONE – the road to heaven was open for all who would believe and follow him.