well... that is a big and important question! Jesus didn't say
'I am finished' as if announcing his death but 'It is finished'. The
clue to what he meant is in the earlier verse which says:
"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished..."
The 'it' of verse John 19:30 was the fulfilled 'accomplishment' of
verse 28. In other words the 'It' in 'It is finished' was the work and will of the Father
which Jesus came to do that was now complete. Jesus had always said
that He came not to do His own will but that of the Father. He had a
mission and work to do directly from God the Father and that work
lead directly to the cross! Remember earlier Jesus had said:
John 4:34 Jesus said unto them,
My meat is to do the will of him that sent
me, and to finish his work.
Then when Jesus was contemplating the cross He said:
Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man
should be glorified.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the
ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much
fruit... Now is my soul
troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour:
but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Now this work that Jesus had to
complete was the FULL work of redemption. This was even indicated above in the corn
of wheat illustration and many other scriptures. To quote one, Paul
draws upon this work of redemption that Jesus completed when he
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
All this is from God, who through
Christ reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the
world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and
entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are
ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore
you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake
he made him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2Co 5:17-21 ESV)
It is interesting in this regard that the
single word that Jesus spoke (which we translate as 'It is
finished') was 'tetelestai'.
This certainly has the meaning of completion (which is what it primarily
means in the context of John 19:30) but it can also mean 'discharge
a debt' or 'paid in full'. It was common to the Jews and Romans of
that time because it was the word they wrote on a debt that someone
had, once it was paid. So this victory cry of Jesus would have also
meant to His hearers "Paid in full!' I like that!
Now, this work of redemption involved the completion or end of
many other things. So as a secondary application you could say that
'It is finished' applied to the following as well (remember, this is
not the primary meaning of those words in context but is a part of
Jesus' work in dying for our sins...)
'It is finished'
The work of redemption
The Mosaic covenant with it's priesthood, temple and sacrifices
The curse of the law
Sin (in the sense that it was all placed upon Christ - past, present and
The prophecies and types concerning the Messiah's death
The old fallen creation (which was placed 'in Christ'). God's purposes
are now centered on a 'new creation' in Christ.
Satan's dominion and hold over man
The separation of Jew and Gentile
There will be other things that I have missed but I hope this helps.
You could say that that cry of Jesus from the cross is one of the most
important cries ever given! That's why I said it was a good question
to ask! It is important that we understand the depth of those words.
In terms of your second question 'what more does our
redemption avail to us' it avails much to us! I have written a study
on this. Please have a read of it as it is important that a Christian
has a good solid grasp on these matters. Our redemption and all that
that means is the central theme of the Bible. Have a look here:
All the best and may God bless as you study these things.