When a Roman citizen was convicted of a crime, he was thrown into prison.
A "Certificate of Debt" listing all his crimes was nailed to his cell door so that anyone passing by could know what he had been accused of and the penalty assessed.
When the prisoner had served his sentence and was released from bondage, the indictment was taken down from the door and the judge who had put him in prison would sign the indictment and write across it the word TETELESTAI.
The freed prisoner was then given this document and if questioned as to why he was out of jail, he could point to the indictment across which the judge had written TETELESTAI.
He could rest in safety and security because the word TETELESTAI guaranteed his deliverance and his liberty. The charges for those crimes could never again be brought against him. He would never be a victim of "double jeopardy" (having to pay for the same crime twice).
When Jesus cried "TETELESTAI" on the cross, He was saying that anyone who places his trust in His sacrificial death on their behalf receives in essence a "certificate of debt" with the inscription of "TETELESTAI", indicating that all their "crimes" (past, present and future) against God have been PAID FOR IN FULL!
In light of this truth, Paul could write that because our debt was PAID IN FULL by Jesus, God has forgiven all your sins.
Christ has utterly wiped out the condemning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over His own head on the Cross.
And then taking everything the enemy had against us, He publicly exposed them, shattered and annihilated them leaving the enemy of our souls empty and defeated, in His final glorious triumphant act!
Colossians 2:13-15 He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with it’s regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Jesus took the best plan the enemy had against me and you and he annihilated that plan by paying our debt.
I hope you will join us tomorrow night for the kickoff of a 3-week series on the cross. We are going to learn about the finished work of Christ on the cross and look at the word TETELESTAI.
Be Blessed and Encouraged