A Remarkable Word: Telelastai

The cross at Dry Creek’s Prayer Garden.

A word from Curt



Today’s post is brief, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t significant.

It concerns what I believe to believe the most important word spoken in history.


I’m no Greek scholar, so I’m not even sure how to pronounce it, but in that language it means, “paid in full.”

It’s the final words of Jesus and is translated in English as “It is finished.”

Jesus has been on the cross for about six hours. The last three have featured an eerie darkness during which Jesus has cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

For the first time in eternity, the perfect bond between the Father and Son has been broken. God has turned away from His Son as the Son has taken on the sins of the world.  We cannot understand the anguish and pain experienced at this moment by both the heart-broken Father and suffering obedient Son.

Just about three 0’clock, Jesus’, sensing his mission of paying for the sins of mankind is nearly complete, calls out, “I’m thirsty.” He is so weak and dehydrated he cannot speak, but He has one final statement to make.

A soldier lifts up a water-soaked sponge, allowing Jesus, in spite of his parched mouth to cry out, “It is finished.”

Telestai. Paid in full.

Then the Gospels tell us that Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit (commend) my spirit.”

He bows his head and gives up that spirit to God.

It’s over. It’s finished.

His life statement of “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many” in Mark 10:45 is fulfilled.

He has paid the ransom. His blood for our sins.


An interesting, and oft-overlooked event, happens nearby in the Jewish temple.  The thick curtain, separating the people from the Holy of Holies where the very presence of God is thought to dwell, splits in two.

From top to bottom.

Scholars inform us that this high (sixty feet) wide (twenty feet) and thick (four inches) curtain* split down the middle beginning at the top.

God split it, symbolically denoting that the barrier between his presence and sinful man had been broken by the finished work of Jesus on the cross.


It is finished.

On this beautiful Spring Good Friday, the curtain is still open to all who will walk through it.  The entrance fee has been paid by Jesus and as he boldly stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the way. No man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6).

Have you walked in faith to God and accepted in your heart that Jesus died for you and in faith turned your life over to Him?

If not, today can be your day of salvation.

Telestai. It is finished.

There’s nothing left to do for you but walk forward and receive this indescribable gift.

If, like me, you made this decision a long time ago, today is a day to simply be grateful for Jesus’ finished work of the Cross.



Postscript: When Jesus stated, “It is finished”, he was referring to his earthly mission. It didn’t mean He was finished. That’s what Easter is about.  You cannot walk through the curtain without believing in the resurrection.

Negating the resurrection of Jesus doubts that He was exactly who He claimed to be: the Son of God sent to pay for our sins, then be raised from the dead.  Denying the resurrection also negates the meaning of “It is finished.”  Jesus’ resurrection proves that he fully paid for our sins.


Paid in full.


* Click here to learn more about the temple curtain.

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You can learn more at www.creekbank.net 

What does this mean? It tells an important story?

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