TETELESTAI

Posted: April 17, 2014 in Christian
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In his Gospel, John, in chapter 19 records the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Writing in Greek, John records the words Jesus spoke as He is on the cross. John, standing as close as possible to the cross, meticulously captures each phrase, each word, as though it were forever etched in his mind. Then, one word stands alone in the passage. One word so specific, it sears its way into the readers consciousness. One word specifically defined the business of Christ and the cross. One word boldly proclaims, TETELESTAI.

TETELESTAI – On the cross, Jesus used a business term to signify everything had been completed, according to prophesy.

The word TETELESTAI (in Greek: τετέλεσται)was written on business documents or receipts in New Testament times to show indication that a bill had been paid in full.

What is unique is the way Jesus used the word. Whenever TETELESTAI was written on a business document, receipt or loan note by a debtor or the one to whom the debt was paid, it was almost always written in an abbreviated form, TETE (Greek: τετέ), meaning “this debt is paid.”

However, when a third party (redeemer or kinsman redeemer) would step in and pay a debt for someone else TETELESTAI was always written in full, by the one paying the debt. When written in full TETELESTAI has a very specific meaning and delivers a specific message to the one to whom a debt was owed. Written in full, TETELESTAI meant “I have paid the debt and you no longer have a claim.”

The Greeks, to which John was writing (John 19) understood the difference in the phrasing.

In one word, Jesus served notice to death, hell, the grave and Satan: “I HAVE FULLY PAID THE DEBT AND YOU NO LONGER HAVE A CLAIM!!!

TETELESTAI – My debt has been paid! Satan has no claim.

τετέλεσται

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