Course Spotlight: Proselyte

Do you know what the word “Proselyte” means? Take a quick look at the definition, and a peek into our course on the Apostolic Tour if you haven’t already!

COURSE SPOTLIGHT FROM ACTS OF THE APOSTLES: (UNIT 2) APOSTOLIC TOUR

Course Spotlight: Roman Spectacle in Second Temple Jerusalem

Here’s a description of some of Herod’s building works and activities during the early church period…

COURSE SPOTLIGHT FROM ACTS OF THE APOSTLES (UNIT 1) THE CHURCH BEGINS

Course Spotlight: Burial Box of James the Brother of Jesus

Did you know there was a discovery of a burial box that James the brother of Jesus Christ may have been buried in? In the fall of 2002 this discovery incited much scholarly debate over it’s inscription’s authenticity, which stated, “James the son of Joseph the brother of Jesus.” 

Course Spotlight From The General Epistles: (Part 1) The Letters of James and Peter

Digging Deeper: Teach Us to Number Our Days

Author: Mr. Kenneth Frank | Faculty in Theology, Living Education


Estimated reading time: 7 min.

Did you know that Moses composed a prayer asking God to teach him to number the days of his life?

Deep inside, humans know they have limited life spans. Nonetheless, people go about their daily affairs as if there would be no end of days. God inspired a psalm to remind us that, because of sin, human life is limited. He wants believers to make the most of their limited time serving Him. This Digging Deeper challenges its readers to think deeply about the brevity of mortal life while anticipating life eternal.

Our focus verse comes from a psalm that frames Moses’ prayer: Psalm 90:12 KJV throughout: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Moses was not the only man of God to make such a request. David prayed a similar prayer in Psalm 39:4 “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”  By contrast, notice how God views time in Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”

Notice the immediate context of Psalm 90:12 in v. 10: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” The NKJ Study Bible explains this lesson of counting our years: “The point here is not to set a maximum, but to present a context for the brevity of human life. No matter how long people live, it is inevitable that they will fly away to death” (Tecarta Bible App).

Life spans shortened in the wilderness

B.H. Carroll’s An Interpretation of the English Bible provides some background for this psalm: “The author of Psalm 90 is Moses. He wrote this psalm while he was in the wilderness of Arabia. The internal evidence that Moses wrote it at this time is that it bears the stamp of the wilderness period all the way through” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

Henry Morris in his Days of Praise commentary for Psalm 90:10, entitled Threescore Years and Ten, wrote: “When Moses wrote these words near the end of his life, he was 120 years old (Deuteronomy 34:7), but all the rest of the people of Israel (except Caleb and Joshua) who had been over 20 at the beginning of the 40-year wilderness wanderings, had died there (Numbers 14:28-34), and so there were no others over 60 years old…Thus, the normal lifespan by Moses’ time was down to 70 or 80 years, and he prophesied that this would continue. It is remarkable that, with all the increase in medical knowledge, this figure has stayed about the same, and there seems to be little the gerontologists can do to increase it.”

F.B. Meyer in his Through the Bible Day by Day pictures the Israelites’ trauma as they witnessed the older generation dying off because God judged them for refusing to enter the Promised Land as He instructed: “The ceaseless succession of graves was the bitter harvest of Israel’s rebellions. Oh, that we might apply our hearts to wisdom that we may not fail of God’s rest” (e-Sword 13.0.0)! The Treasury of David, by C.H. Spurgeon, elaborates further: “Poor Israel was greatly afflicted. These deaths in the wilderness made her a perpetual mourner, but Moses asks that God will return to his people, cheer and encourage them, and let the few days they have to live be bright with his presence” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

B.H. Carroll’s An Interpretation of the English Bible notes a fascinating correspondence between this psalm and a section of Deuteronomy: “There are several parallels between this and Moses’ Song and Blessing in Deuteronomy 32-33. For example, Psalm 90:1 equals Deuteronomy 33:27 a: Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations (Psalm 90:1). The eternal God is thy dwelling-place, And underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27 a). Psalm 90:12 equals Deuteronomy 32:29: So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12.) Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end, (Deuteronomy 32:29.)” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Moses had properly instructed the people in God’s ways, but their rebellion resulted in multiple graves instead of blessing.

Apply your hearts to wisdom

Even so, there is hope for all sinners. Bob Utley’s You Can Understand the Bible provides broader context for understanding this psalm: “Psalm 90:7-12 This strophe clearly admits that YHWH’s judgment on His people is the direct result of their sin. However, His people trust and hope in the basic character of God—mercy! To me, Psalm 103:8-14 is a sure hope in the character of God (cf. Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 4:31; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 86:15; 145:8)” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Among his final statements, Moses admonishes the repentant to pray: “Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil (Psalm 90:15) “.

In Psalm 90:12 God’s people are counseled to apply their hearts to wisdom. The NET Bible defines heart: “The Hebrew term ‘heart’ here refers to the center of one’s thoughts, volition, and moral character” (e-Sword 13.0.0). The Jamiesson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary describes what wisdom entails in this context: “The ‘wisdom’ meant is that which flows from a right consideration of the brevity of life, and our guiltiness as the cause of God’s, anger against us; and consists in ‘fearing God’ and ‘departing from evil’ (Job 28:28)” (Ibid.). This is the essence of repentance.

The Sermon Bible Commentary, edited by W. Robertson Nicholl, enhances the meaning of wisdom: “Wisdom is a great word, because the idea it symbolizes is great. Wisdom represents that finer power, that higher characteristic of mind, which suggests the proper application of facts, the right use of knowledge, the correct direction of our faculties. He whose heart is applied to wisdom has put himself in such a position that he can think divinely—think as God would think in his place” (e-Sword 13.0.0). The Expository Notes by Dr. Constable then summarizes wisdom: “A heart of wisdom refers to discernment of Yahweh’s purposes” (Ibid.). Bible study and prayer reveal the mind of God to the faithful.

The Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon illuminates true spiritual wisdom: “That is the great matter, after all, to get the heart applied to wisdom, to learn what is the right way, and to walk in it in the practical actions of daily life. It is of little use for us to learn to number our days if it merely enables us to sit down in self-confidence and carnal security; but if our hearts be applied to true wisdom, the Lord’s teaching has been effectual” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

W. Robertson Nicholl’s The Expositor’s Dictionary of Texts elaborates with practical steps: “It means to gauge and test our own career in the light of its moral and spiritual issues. And as God teaches us this we understand the secret of true wisdom. For wisdom lies in a just estimate of the real values of things. T. H. Darlow, The Upward Calling, p. 436” (e-Sword 13.0.0). God’s wisdom teaches His adherents the things that really matter to prepare them for service in His eternal Kingdom.

Seeking eternity in a short life

Daniel Whedon’s Commentary specifies what God is trying to accomplish: “This looks to the end of all divine judgment. Lamentations 3:39-40. God’s displeasure is manifested to awaken a salutary fear of him, which shall turn men from sin, and lead to the practice of wisdom. So long as men treat sin as a trifle they will treat God with irreverence and themselves with abuse. Revelation 15:4” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

The Sermon Bible Commentary, edited by W. Robertson Nicholl, presses upon devotees the right use of their limited time: “A short life should be wisely spent. We have not enough time at our disposal to justify us in misspending a single quarter of an hour. Neither are we sure of enough of life to justify us in procrastinating for a moment. If we were wise in heart we should see this, but mere head wisdom will not guide us aright” (e-Sword 13.0.0). God gives Christians limited time – use it wisely!

Henry Morris’ Defender’s Study Bible makes an impressive comparison: “Compare Deuteronomy 32:29 in Moses’ valedictory address to the children of Israel. A person has only about eighteen thousand days in which he could apply his life to eternal values, so it is vitally important to be ‘redeeming the time’ (Ephesians 5:16)” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Bob Utley’s You Can Understand the Bible provides reassuring words to begin to bring this brief study to a close: “Once we realize our frailty and His permanence, then and only then, can we live a life of joy, peace, and trust. Our hope is completely in Him. Our service to Him brings meaning to life” (e-Sword 13.0.0)! The time that God does provide believers should be expended in His service. The NKJ Study Bible pinpoints the central lesson of Psalm 90:12: “This is more than just having a sense of mortality; it means valuing the time we do have by using it for eternal purposes” (Tecarta Bible App).

Kenneth Frank headshot

Kenneth Frank was born and raised in New Jersey, USA and attended Ambassador College, graduating in 1973. He served in the Canadian ministry from 1973-1999, after which he returned to the USA to pastor churches in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina for 15 years. Having earned a BA degree from Ambassador College he later earned a MA degree from Grand Canyon University before being assigned to the Charlotte office to teach at Living University, now Living Education. Currently, he teaches the Survey of the Bible course to the on-campus students and writes the Digging Deeper column for our online Bible study program. He is married, has four children, and seven grandchildren.

Course Spotlight: Healing

The subject of divine healing is a greatly neglected part of most people’s Christianity. It is rarely even discussed in “mainstream” churches.

Why? The primary reason for this neglect is that a very real Satan the Devil has blinded the vast majority of humanity—including most professing Christians!

Course Spotlight From The Life, Ministry, and Teachings of Jesus Christ: (Unit 2) The Galilean Ministry

Course Spotlight: The Resurrection – Lecture 5

This lesson focuses on the amazing account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that unfolded that day. Watch the lecture by Dr. Roderick C. Meredith covering the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Course Spotlight From The Life, Ministry, and Teachings of Jesus Christ: (Unit 4) Passover to the Resurrection

Digging Deeper: Onesiphorus

Author: Mr. Kenneth Frank | Faculty in Theology, Living Education


Estimated reading time: 7 min.

Did you know that while Paul was in prison awaiting execution for the last time, brethren risked their lives to visit him?

In his final epistle, Paul remarked heartbrokenly that some had turned away from him, either fearful for their lives by associating with him or having turned against true doctrine by teaching falsehoods. Nonetheless, Paul purposefully thanked those who supported him and even endangered their lives to visit him in his final days. This Digging Deeper considers one such individual who risked everything for his beloved apostle.

Our focus verses mention Paul’s associate, Onesiphorus, in only two passages:

2 Timothy 1:16-18 KJV “The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: (17) But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.  (18) The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.”

2 Timothy 4:19 KJV “Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.”

Onesiphorus is not the only one Paul thanked for their loyal support. F.E. Marsh’s 1000 New Bible Readings prepared this list under the title “621. Paul’s Regard for His Brethren”:

“It is an interesting study to ponder Paul’s regard for those with whom he laboured.

  1. He was solicitous of Trophimus, who was sick—2Tim 4:20.
  2. He writes of prayerful Epaphras—Col 4:12.
  3. The Women who helped in the Gospel—Phil 4:3.
  4. The beloved Timothy—2Tim 1:2.
  5. Profitable Mark—2Tim 4:11.
  6. Refreshing Onesiphorus—2Tim 1:16.
  7. And Others—Romans 16.” (Bible Analyzer 5.4.1.22)

Who was Onesiphorus?

The biblical record offers extraordinarily little information about Onesiphorus. Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible declares: “He was evidently of Asia, and is the only one who is mentioned from that region who had showed the apostle kindness in his trials. He is mentioned only in this Epistle, and nothing more is known of him” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

Paul wrote this last epistle to his young protege, Timothy, during his second and last imprisonment in Rome, according to the biblical record. This time he was not under house arrest, as in his first Roman imprisonment, but was likely in a dank, dark, and frigid dungeon. 2 Timothy 1:16 declares that Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul’s chains. Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible describes Paul’s two Roman imprisonments: “Paul was bound with a chain when a prisoner at Rome; Philippians 1:13-14,16; Colossians 4:3,18; Philemon 1:10; see the notes at Acts 28:20” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Roman prisoners relied on family and friends for necessary supplies.

2 Timothy 1:18 says Onesiphorus had ministered to Paul beforehand in Ephesus, far from Rome. This may have been during Paul’s three-year ministry in Ephesus (Acts 19-20). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia offers background: “It was to Paul that the church at Ephesus owed its origin, and it was to him therefore that Onesiphorus and the Christians there were indebted for all that they knew of Christ” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

A dangerous mission

Onesiphorus is contrasted to those, such as Phygellus and Hermogenes, who turned away from Paul (2 Timothy 1:15). He had to search everywhere to locate Paul in this huge capital city (2 Timothy 1:17). The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible reports that “People were often ashamed to be associated with those in Roman custody, withdrawing from them … A benefactor from wealthy Ephesus could well have had means to visit Paul in Rome” (Tecarta Bible App).

Nonetheless, Onesiphorus risked his own life, as explained by the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: “But to do this, though it was only his duty, involved much personal danger at that particular time. For the persecution, inaugurated by Nero against the Christians, had raged bitterly; its fury was not yet abated, and this made the profession of the Christian name a matter which involved very great risk of persecution and of death” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

The College Press Bible Study Textbook Series explains how dangerous a mission this was: “It was not easy for Onesiphorus to leave Ephesus and travel all the way to Rome; not when Rome was on fire with hatred against all Christians. Would the loved ones of Onesiphorus ever see him again? If they didn’t, they could find comfort in knowing his mission was accomplished. He did arrive in Rome; he did find Paul; he did live up to his name, Onesiphorus, which means ‘profit-bringer’” (e-Sword 13.0.0). An alternate definition is “help bringer.”

This source then describes the complications he faced: “When Onesiphorus arrived in Rome, it had been largely destroyed by fire. Christians were scattered and were living in constant fear of being arrested and taken to the Arena. When he inquired concerning the whereabouts of Paul, he had the greatest difficulty in finding those who would identify themselves as friends of a condemned criminal” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

His diligent search

Onesiphorus was not dissuaded from locating Paul. Arno Gaebelein’s Annotated Bible Old and New Testament notes: “There were many thousands of prisoners in Roman dungeons, and we may well imagine how day after day Onesiphorus sought for his beloved brother, going from dungeon to dungeon till he had located Paul” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

C.H. Spurgeon’s Expositions adds more detail: “You could not tell in Rome where a prisoner was. The registers were not open to investigation. You had to go from prison to prison, and fee the guards to get admission, or to be told who might be there, and Onesiphorus was determined to find out Paul. I suppose that he went to the Mamertine, a dungeon in which some of us have been — one dungeon under the bottom of another” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Many expositors believe Paul was confined to this Mamertine Prison before his execution.

Imagining his diligent search, Albert Barnes’ in his Notes on the Bible offers this contemporary lesson: “It is not everyone, even among professors of religion, who in a great and splendid city would be at the trouble to search out a Christian brother, or even a minister, who was a prisoner, and endeavor to relieve his sorrows. This man, so kind to the great apostle, will be among those to whom the Saviour will say, at the final judgment, ‘I was in prison, and ye came unto me;’ Matthew 25:36” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

Imagining Paul’s delight when Onesiphorus finally found him is provided by Peter Pett’s Commentary Series on the Bible: “And then into the bleakness of his experience came a shining light (Matthew 5:16; 25:36). For one day as he sat there in his cell, he heard the door grinding open, and into his cell strode Onesiphorus who explained that he was sorry that it had taken so long, but he had been looking for him diligently and had only just discovered in which prison he was. Only those who have gone through such an experience of darkness and aloneness would understand the joy that must have filled Paul’s soul” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

Closer than a brother

Because our two focus passages report Paul’s greeting of and praying for the house (family) of Onesiphorus, some have concluded that Onesiphorus had since died. Paul prayed that God would show him mercy “in that day” (2 Timothy 1:18) causing some to assume Paul offered prayers for the dead, which later became a major practice in some Christian denominations. However, the Fausset Bible Dictionary in its article on Onesiphorus refutes this: “Absence from Ephesus probably is the cause of the expression; he had not yet returned from his visit to Rome. If the master were dead the household would not be called after his name…Nowhere does Paul use prayers for the dead; Onesiphorus therefore was not dead” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

Another suggestion is that Onesiphorus had not yet returned home because he too was then confined, as explained by Rhoderick D. Ice in the College Press Explanatory Notes: “But he may also be in prison, waiting to be executed as was Paul. He had placed himself in danger by visiting Paul in prison and helping him” (e-Sword 13.0.0). At the time he wrote 2 Timothy, Paul may not have known what happened to his loyal friend after his visit.

Onesiphorus had risked his life to find his beloved teacher. Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible praises Onesiphorus and offers believers this lesson: “His affection for him [Paul] did not change when he became a prisoner. True friendship, and especially that which is based on religion, will live in all the vicissitudes of fortune, whether we are in prosperity or adversity; whether in a home of plenty, or in a prison” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Onesiphorus stuck closer to Paul than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

Kenneth Frank headshot

Kenneth Frank was born and raised in New Jersey, USA and attended Ambassador College, graduating in 1973. He served in the Canadian ministry from 1973-1999, after which he returned to the USA to pastor churches in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina for 15 years. Having earned a BA degree from Ambassador College he later earned a MA degree from Grand Canyon University before being assigned to the Charlotte office to teach at Living University, now Living Education. Currently, he teaches the Survey of the Bible course to the on-campus students and writes the Digging Deeper column for our online Bible study program. He is married, has four children, and seven grandchildren.

Digging Deeper: It is finished

Author: Mr. Kenneth Frank | Faculty in Theology, Living Education


Estimated reading time: 7 min.

Did you know that one of the last things Jesus spoke from the cross was that He had completed His God-assigned task of providing substitutionary atonement for those willing to accept it?

In this hectic world, people often feel at the end of the day they still have unfulfilled tasks. At His death, Jesus knew He had accomplished all God had appointed Him for His first coming. This Digging Deeper explores His declaration and its meaning for Christians as they draw near to their annual observance of Passover.

Our focus verse this week is: “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30 KJV throughout). This was the sixth of seven statements Jesus delivered from the cross that are recorded in the Four Gospels.

A duty fulfilled

Jesus came to earth with an assignment from His Heavenly Father. Early in His ministry: “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). God had assigned Jesus this duty and Jesus had accepted it willingly before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9; Revelation 13:8). During his high priestly prayer before His arrest, Jesus prayed to the Father: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). He understood His soon-coming death was part of this work.

The ESV Study Bible explains His statement: “It is finished proclaims that all the work the Father had sent him to accomplish (cf. 4:34; 9:4) was now completed, particularly his work of bearing the penalty for sins. This means there was no more penalty left to be paid for sins, for all Jesus’ suffering was ‘finished’ (see Heb. 1:3; 9:11–12, 25–28)” (Tecarta Bible App).

The Greek word for “finished” in our focus verse is teleo. Greek words of that same family appear just two verses before it and are translated as “accomplished” and “fulfilled”: “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” (John 19:28). These words have the same Greek root. Jesus knew He was fulfilling many scriptural prophecies concerning his sacrificial death for sin.

This word finished had a historical significance in that culture, as Bob Utley’s You Can Understand the Bible explains: “John 19:30 ‘It is finished!’ This is a perfect passive indicative. From the Synoptic Gospels we learned that He shouted this with a loud cry (cf. Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; Matthew 27:50). This refers to the finished work of redemption. This form of the term (telos) in the Egyptian papyri (Moulton and Milligan) was a commercial idiom for ‘paid in full'” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Peter Pett’s Commentary Series on the Bible describes it further: “Interestingly we know from papyri that tetelestai would be written across invoices to indicate ‘paid in full.’ He had given His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)” (Ibid.).

What was finished

Joseph Benson’s Commentary of the Old and New Testaments details what was finished: “The important work of man’s redemption is accomplished. The demands of the law, and of divine justice, are satisfied, and my sufferings are now at an end. It appears from Matthew, Mark, and Luke, that in speaking these words he cried with an exceeding loud voice; probably to show that his strength was not exhausted, but that he was about to give up his life of his own accord” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

B.H. Carroll’s An Interpretation of the English Bible itemizes more of what Jesus accomplished: “Expiation for sin was made; the penal demands of the law were satisfied; the vicarious Substitute for sinners died in their behalf; and the claims of the law on the sinner that believes in Jesus Christ were fully met. Therefore, no man can ‘lay any charge to God’s elect.’ The debt, all of it, has been paid” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

Psalm 22 is known as the Crucifixion Psalm and was recited by Jesus, at least in part, during His hours on the cross, as explained by Peter Pett’s Commentary Series on the Bible: “As the final words in Psalms 22 tell us ‘He has done it’. God’s work had been accomplished, and Jesus had successfully completed His mission” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Imagine Jesus’ deep emotion as He recited David’s words that He was then experiencing. He was the One who had inspired David to write them as a prophecy of His own death.

He suffered God’s wrath, for us

To understand the horror Jesus faced in His last moments, David Guzik in his Enduring Word Commentary writes: “This was the cup – the cup of God’s righteous wrath – that He trembled at drinking (Luke 22:39-46, Psalm 75:8, Isaiah 51:17, Jeremiah 25:15). On the cross, Jesus became, as it were, an enemy of God who was judged and forced to drink the cup of the Father’s fury. He did it so we would not have to drink that cup” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Humanity deserved that wrath, but Jesus suffered it in their place. This explains His agony in Gethsemane before He was arrested. He was repulsed by sin, yet He would bear the sins of the world on the cross.

John the Baptist described Jesus at the beginning of His ministry: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).” They understood the significance of Jesus’ coming to earth to provide salvation from sin for humanity. Paul explained that God “…hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Peter later wrote: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

The victorious end

There was another work that Jesus finished before His sacrifice. He was the Creator in the Book of Genesis (John 1:3). Notice these words: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Genesis 2:1). Jesus finished creation and redemption for His creatures. All that believers need for life and happiness has been supplied by the One who gave Himself for us (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 5:2). These are words to remember during the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). Paul wrote to primarily Gentile Christians at Corinth in the first century who were observing the spring festivals.

As tragic and heartbreaking as the words “It is finished” are, Jesus was victorious in His death, nonetheless. David Guzik’s Enduring Word Commentary explains: “It is finished! Jesus’ final word (tetelestai in the ancient Greek) is the cry of a winner. Jesus had finished the eternal purpose of the cross. It stands today as a finished work, the foundation of all Christian peace and faith, paying in full the debt we righteously owe to God” (e-Sword 13.0.0).

Jesus died victorious, even though it seemed He had lost it all. Satan was defeated (John 16:11; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14) and humanity’s reconciliation with God was accomplished. William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible provides a thought-provoking explanation: “‘It is finished’ is one word in Greek–tetelestai (G5055) –and Jesus died with a shout of triumph on his lips. He did not say, ‘It is finished,’ in weary defeat; he said it as one who shouts for joy because the victory is won. He seemed to be broken on the Cross, but he knew that his victory was won” (e-Sword 13.0.0). Because Jesus was victorious, believers can be too.

Kenneth Frank headshot

Kenneth Frank was born and raised in New Jersey, USA and attended Ambassador College, graduating in 1973. He served in the Canadian ministry from 1973-1999, after which he returned to the USA to pastor churches in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina for 15 years. Having earned a BA degree from Ambassador College he later earned a MA degree from Grand Canyon University before being assigned to the Charlotte office to teach at Living University, now Living Education. Currently, he teaches the Survey of the Bible course to the on-campus students and writes the Digging Deeper column for our online Bible study program. He is married, has four children, and seven grandchildren.

Course Spotlight: “Foot Washing”, by Dexter Wakefield

When we perform the foot washing ceremony, there are two things that we need to be very aware of as we perform them. We wash, and we are washed. And both have important meanings—so important, in fact, that God has us act out these meanings as a constant, annual reminder.

Course Spotlight From God’s Feast Days: Passover

Practical lessons from self-examination

Student Responses | God’s Feast Days: The Biblical Passover

We have made changes to our student comments section of our online courses, and we invite you to join us in participating in this new forum!

This forum is designed to collect and share responses to the discussion questions in our online courses. Answer the question by leaving a response in the comments below!

Question:

In preparation for the Passover each year, as instructed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11, Christians examine themselves before taking of the bread and wine. What is one practical lesson you have learned about self-examination in your experience preparing for the Passover?

Please leave your response in the comment box on this post below!