The Bookends of Jesus’ Promises

And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.’”—Revelation 21:6 (NKJV)

Picture a steak—the best cut; a bright, cherry-red color with flecks of fat between the muscle. Prime grade meat. Now, picture the steak lifted off the grill, finished to perfection. You had been waiting for this, and now it is done. Now this perfect steak promises the most satisfying meal, and you settle in to enjoy. 

Now, picture Jesus—the best God could give. See Him nailed to the cross, crimson stripes exposing muscle. A man in His prime. Picture Him lifting His head to cry out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Everything the people had been waiting for was placed before them. It was accomplished; yet, unlike the steak, not done.  

Not until Jesus returns in His glory proclaiming what every saint yearns to hear: “It is done!”

You see, in the English language, the words finished and done have the same meaning. So, when a steak is finished cooking, it is done. The Bible; however, was not originally written in English, but translated to Greek. Therefore, “it is finished” is the Greek word tetelestai, meaning to bring to an end or to complete. The word “done,” as used in today’s verse, is the Greek word ginomai, which means to become, to begin to be. It’s the difference between it has happened and it is happening. 

This is significant because when Jesus died on the cross, many things were finished: animal sacrifices and priestly atonement came to an end; prophecies were fulfilled; God’s wrath was satisfied; and sin and spiritual death were conquered through the blood of Christ. But Jesus’ magnificent return is a continuation of what has been accomplished, and it welcomes in unimaginable blessings from God. These gifts flow like fountains to all those who have thirsted and come to the Living Water (Isaiah 55:1).

These two phrases given by Jesus—“it is finished” and “it is done”—stand as bookends, separated by an undetermined time and across generations of people who await His second coming. People who hope and yearn for a new heaven and a new earth will be gathered in to live with God, who only ever wanted to dwell with His people. We will then freely settle in to enjoy perfect satisfaction in Him.  

DIG: Think about what was finished at the cross and consider what Jesus promises will be done at His return. 

DISCOVER: How does the difference in these events leave you feeling?

DISPLAY: Reconcile what was finished with the hope of what’s to come and thank God for both of these free gifts.

About the Author

Lisa Supp

Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.