There is something inherently satisfying about finishing a task. Whether finishing a renovation on your home, a presentation for your class or business, or finally completing that book you’ve wanted to read for the longest time, being able to mark something off in our brain as “finished” provides us with a feeling of relief and satisfaction. That feeling of satisfaction dramatically increases when the task is time-consuming or has required a lot of our attention and effort.
John 19:1-37 explains that Jesus was sent to earth by the Father to seek and save the lost. Ultimately, that meant Jesus became the perfect Passover lamb to atone for humanity’s sin and provide a means for people to be reconciled to God. For Jesus to be the perfect Passover lamb, He had to live His life in complete obedience to God’s commandments and directions. If Jesus had sinned even once in His life, He would not have been able to serve as God’s perfect sacrifice. After He asked for a drink, Jesus pronounced, “It is finished” (v. 30). His life-long work of living in perfect obedience to His Father so that He could perform His role as the perfect Passover lamb had reached its culmination. Knowing this, Jesus willingly “gave up His spirit” and died.
Note that Jesus’ death was completely voluntary even as He hung on the cross. Jesus did not simply expire as the criminals hanging on either side of Him would. Knowing that He had accomplished the task for which His Father had sent Him, Jesus willingly offered up His life to make it possible for sinful people to be in communion with God. No one took Jesus’ life. He gave it up for you.