It's Been Paid For
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was a reality television show in which an entire house was overhauled for a deserving family in one week. It ran on ABC from 2003-2012 and is set to make a return next year on HGTV. While it might have left some families facing obstacles like how to maintain their fancy new home on a small income, the intentions were probably pure; we all hope everyone involved genuinely wanted to help families in need. For instance, sometimes the construction company, the community, or a combination of the two, would come together to pay off the family’s mortgage. It’s overwhelming enough to take in the new house and all the changes, but when the family hears that it’s all been paid for, people drop to their knees in tears for they can barely comprehend the news that this debt of theirs has been paid.
Nowadays there are a slew of videos online of adults surprising their parents with the news that they’ve paid their parents’ mortgages off. Here is one example:
The dialogue is a little hard to hear but the emotion is not easily missed. It’s an incredibly powerful feeling hearing that a debt has been paid off, that something you think you’ll be paying on for the rest of your life has all of a sudden been wiped clean, taken care of, completely paid for. The stress of owing something and knowing that you don’t know how or when you’ll be able to pay it off is suddenly gone and elation and joy take its place. You can see the weight lift off the couple as they are told, “it’s taken care of, it’s paid for.” This is what Jesus said to us from the cross.
“Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:28-30)
The original Greek for “It is finished” is tetelestai. Tetelestai is a phrase found on business documents and receipts in New Testament times indicating that a bill had been paid in full. It would have been lost on no one present what Jesus was saying from the cross: He had paid the debt of our sin.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, when we confess our sins, repent of them, and pursue the nature of the Holy Spirit, Jesus intercedes for us at the right hand of God (Romans 8:34). Our names are written in the Book of Life, and next to our name Jesus has written “tetelestai” for He has paid our debt for us. Such news should cause us to fall to our knees in grateful tears; it should call out worship from our souls and we should go and tell all we can about this free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Thank God Almighty, it’s been paid for!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.