Happy Good Friday everyone! Today is one of my favorite days of the year. If you have ever wandered about this photograph on my website I offer a brief story. Many of you may be surprised by this post as my website is traditionally a home for things of the photo/video or chiropractic nature. For those of you that know me, you probably have noticed the large vertical tattoo on my back. I received this tattoo on March 29, 2002 – Which was Good Friday. I had heard the word used the previous summer at Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp in Kingston, OK. The message that night was in reference to Christ’s work on the cross and the minister used this term “tetelestai.” This one Greek work has a lot packaged into it. It was a marketing term used around the time of Christ’s life. When a sale was completed in the marketplace, it was not uncommon for the seller to say the world, “tetelestai” after receiving the money. This word literally mean, “paid in full.” Now obviously, Christ did not speak in Greek, but the New Testament is completely written in Greek. They chose this word because of the significance of what happened on the cross. If we look in John chapter 19 we come to a familiar passage just moments before Jesus died…
“Knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. -John 19:28-30-
In this one moment time was split in half. The son of God who came to save the world from their sins cried out “It is finished” as his redemptive mission was accomplished. The New Testament writers used the word “tetelestai” as the word that represented Christ’s final words. There is a lot of debate within the Christian world about performing good works and their role in salvation. I truly believe that God’s redemptive work was finished at that exact moment. When Christ cried out a word that meant “paid in full” I truly believe that he meant it and that nothing else was required on our part except to believe and put our trust in Him. It is not my point to start some kind of theological or philosophical debate with this blog, but this is simply the viewpoint of mainline Christianity. So why this tattoo? Why on Good Friday? Well my tattoo says “tetelestai” and it only seemed fitting to have it done on Good Friday near 3:00 (the hour Christ died). To me it was a very significant day and the tattoo created a daily reminder of Christ’s redemptive work. By having this tattoo I have had the opportunity to tell hundreds about Jesus. When people see an “Jesus fish” on your arm they typically know what that means, but only the greek typically know what the word “tetelestai” means.
Well that’s my story, I could go on forever about the grace of God and the significance of John 19:30 and the cross but that is not my intention today. My prayer is that you will spend a little time today, even if only a moment, thinking about that redemptive work and how it single handedly changed the world. Even if you do not believe in God or that Jesus Christ was the son of God, the crucifixion of Christ is a historical event and represents one of the primary reasons that the United States of America was created and was instrumental in how it is governed. May you all have a blessed Good Friday…. and Easter Sunday -Barnezy-