Think about Mary as she is looking up at her son hanging on the cross. When she heard the words 'it is finished' her heart was breaking. Her mind must have been flooded with the memories of the extraordinary night when she gave birth to this special child. On that night she could never have imagined the scene before her now. How could the child the angel promised Mary so many years ago be hanging on a cross. When Mary heard the last words of Jesus her grief must have been near unbearable. 'It is finished' meant 'it is over,' she was just another mother grieving the brutal execution of her son at the hands of the Romans.
Think about the Disciples hiding throughout the region in fear, uncertainty and grief. When the description of Jesus' last words on the cross came to them, what must they have felt? They had given up three years of their life following the one they believed to be the promised Messiah. Had they been wrong? Jesus, the one they gave up everything for, was now hanging on a cross much like previous men who had come proclaiming to be the promised one. In their hearts they still wanted to believe they had not wasted away the last three years of their life, but the hope in their hearts was being replaced by the image of the one they loved hanging on a cross. 'It is finished' meant the Disciples had to start their life over with the stigma of being men who put their trust in a man from Galilee; and they were wrong.
Think about the religious leaders jeering and mocking Jesus as he hung on the cross. As Jesus' popularity had been growing they felt their power weakening. The message Jesus preached of the coming Kingdom of God was a threat to the existing religious system and therefore a threat to the leaders themselves. No doubt, countless hours of planning and scheming were used to determine how to rid the world of this so called Messiah. The crowds of people following Jesus were growing and the religious leaders could not afford to have the crowds turn against them. The Romans were a constant antagonist to the religious leaders, but they were a needed commodity in order to see Jesus executed. Finally, their political maneuvering came to fruition and Jesus was hanging on a cross. 'It is finished' meant their plan had succeeded, their power was secure, life could go back to normal; and they were victorious.
But, Sunday was coming....