“When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished (Tetelestai).” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30)
Tetelestai comes from the verb teleo, which means “to bring to an end, to complete, to accomplish.” It’s a crucial word because it signifies the successful end to a particular course of action. It’s the word you would use when you climb to the peak of Mt. Everest; it’s the word you would use when you turn in the final copy of your dissertation; it’s the word you would use when you make the final payment on your new car; it’s the word you use when you cross the finish line of your first 10K run. The word means more than just “I survived.” It means “I did exactly what I set out to do.”
But there’s more here than the verb itself. Tetelestai is in the perfect tense in Greek. That’s significant because the perfect tense speaks of an action which has been completed in the past with results continuing into the present. It’s different from the past tense which looks back to an event and says, “This happened.” The perfect tense adds the idea that “This happened and it is still in effect today.”
When Jesus cried out “It is finished,” he meant “It was finished in the past, it is still finished in the present, and it will remain finished in the future.”
Note one other fact. He did not say, “I am finished,” for that would imply that he died defeated and exhausted. Rather, he cried out “It is finished,” meaning “I successfully completed the work I came to do.”
Tetelestai, then, is the Savior’s final cry of victory. When He died, He left no unfinished business behind. When He said, “It is finished,” He was speaking the Truth.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
To be meek is to be gentle, humble, lowly.
“The meek are the ‘gentle’… those who do not assert themselves over others in order to further their own agendas in their own strength, but who will nonetheless inherit the earth because they trust in God to direct the outcome of events.” ESV Study Bible notes
The first reason we should be meek is because Jesus is.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ 2 Corinthians 10:1
If God, the infinitely great and all-powerful one, is gentle and meek, how much more should we be!
Meekness shapes the way we relate to our Christian brothers and sisters
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
We’re not to fight and scrape, intimidate or pressure our brothers and sisters to get our way. Rather we should relate to one another with complete – “ALL” – humility and gentleness.
Meekness changes our speech
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:4
The way to impart life is with a gentle tongue. Anger won’t produce God’s righteousness (James 1:20). Anger may intimidate others to do what we want, but it won’t change their hearts.
Meekness affects the way we correct opponents
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth 2 Timothy 2:24-25
We can’t persuade anyone by getting in their face. Yelling “murderer!” at a pro-choice person won’t win them to our side. Calling someone who differs with you an idiot won’t persuade them you are right. When we correct opponents, we must realize we can’t change them. Only God can grant repentance. So all we need do is gently submit our correction then trust God to change their heart.
Meekness affects the way we treat people ensnared in sin
We’re tempted to judge those trapped in sin. “How could you possibly do that? I would never do that!” But the Bible tells us we should restore sinners gently:
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1
We are gentle when we help others who fall because we remember our own spiritual bankruptcy and sins. Each of us is capable of any sin. Remembering this will go along way to helping us restore others gently.
The world says the assert yourself. Put yourself forward. Grab. Fight. The Bible says be meek and you will inherit the earth. When we inherit something we don’t work for it but receive it as a gift. God gives the meek everything they need. Those who are meek find deep contentment and joy.
And someday we will inherit the new earth.