(Michael Brown) What did Jesus mean when He uttered the words “It is finished!” in John 19:30? The phrase actually translates one word in Greek, tetelestai, from the root teleō, which means “to finish, fulfill.” Significantly, this specific form of the verb, tetelestai, is only found twice in the entire New Testament, both times in John 19.

In fact, the two occurrences of tetelestai are found within three verses of each other: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ . . . When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:28, 30). Do you see that? Although the verb teleō occurs 28 times in the New Testament, the form tetelestai is found only twice, and those two occurrences are in the same context, right next to each other, making the meaning perfectly clear. READ MORE