Castlehold Baptist Church

What is teletestai?

The debt is paid in full. Find out more in John 19: 28-30

Imagine staying at a really fancy hotel. There is really nice pool and a super nice restaurant that serves food from the best chefs in the world. The rooms all have king sized beds with large flat screen TVs and phone that calls anyone, anywhere in the world. Now imagine getting to the end of staying in a place like this and getting the bill. But when you expect to find a large amount owed, it says that it has already been paid in full and that you are free to leave.

Back when Jesus used to walk the earth, there was a word that was often written in Greek that was used on business documents or bills. The word was tetelestai. The word was used to mark that a bill was paid in full and that the transaction had been completed. 

It was also used by those who had come out of prison after they had finished serving the sentence to the crime that they had committed. The Judge would have said that, through the time spent in punishment, they had paid for the crimes that they had committed. As a result, if someone tried to accuse them of not serving the punishment, then they would be able to provide the papers saying that they had in fact paid in full.

Tetelestai is also the last thing that Jesus said in the book of John before He died on the cross, “he said, ‘it is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up His spirit (V.30).” Starting with the fall of Adam and Eve, nothing before had come to bridge the gap between us and God. Humanity had accumulated a debt that prevented us from having life with the father.

But Jesus came so that we may have life (John 10:10) and by dying on the cross He bridged the gap and paid in full all the sins on mankind. No sinful act, word or thought is greater than the sacrifice that Jesus made for the people that love and serve Him. The debt has been paid and we are all free because of it.

So next time you have doubts of your salvation because of what you have done previously, remember that Jesus came and died for your sins, paying the debt in full.

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