“Tetelestai” is the most profound verdict there can ever be. It is one of the seven statements Jesus had made on the cross. In English it is translated as “It is finished” but in Greek it is in actual fact one word only. It is filled with theological depth. It gives us a look into the mission Christ took upon Himself to render us blameless before the Father.
My relationship with God was turned upside down (or rather “right side up”) when I first grasped the implications of the finished work of Christ. This was between 2005 and 2007. During this time I have experienced probably the biggest growth curve ever in my spiritual walk with the Lord.
I think you could say that I rediscovered the cross of Christ for myself. Sure, I was a believer before. I clearly understood the fact that Calvary bought my salvation.
But up until then I had been under the impression that I needed to maintain my salvation. I needed to produce good works and do the right stuff. Something in the like of “getting saved was due to Christ. Staying saved is due to myself” kind of thing.
As a pastor, I saw it as my duty to teach people ethical behaviour. I emphasized good morals. I preached on correct conduct. It did not take me long, before I reduced the life of Jesus to nothing more than an example of someone with “good manners”.
By the grace of God, I was lead to a place of terrible discontent with my own shallowness. I was stuck with doubt and questions. So I decided to study the classic works on the cross of Christ. Soon I rediscovered the beautiful doctrine of double imputation, the finished work of Christ and grace. After much reflection, I started to preach these “old truths” in my own words.
The message I was preaching, gradually changed. The focus was no longer on what we needed to do – but on what Christ already did. It was amazing to discover that I was not only saved by grace – but that I can also live by grace.
It was even more mind blowing to extend grace to those around me. Previously I had only extended grace to the people I thought had “deserved” it. How ironic. How tragic!
The miracle is that people respond to grace. In the past couple of years I have witnessed more people being transformed, than when I was still preaching a law inspired message of performance. Where the law convicts you, Grace changes you. The law requires, but Grace provides. Grace is not a doctrine – it is a person: Jesus Christ.
Ever since my deeper encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ – the message of God’s grace – I regard myself as a pastor, bringing a radical message of God’s unmerited favour. I am anchored in the father heart of the Lord, the finished work of Christ and the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And that my friend, is why I blog under the name “tetelestai”.