The tetelestai tattoo design speaks about an important time in the life of every Christian: the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and what this means for mankind. The original meaning is still present even today, as we all find out our own new significance to life with a tetelestai tattoo.
The word “tetelestai” in ancient Greek has the meaning “paid in full”. This is one of the main purposes why tetelestai tattoo designs are chosen by Christian tattoo aficionados.
This ancient word is used by Christians to express their belief that Christ’s crucifixion was not a failure, but a success because He died on the cross for all people.
In the Bible, when Jesus Christ was hanging on the cross and was asked by a criminal crucified next to him if He is truly the Son of God, he replied with “YES! It is true. I am the King of Glory.” in Hebrews 2:9 in which then a response is given “When he said above, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father,” he declared that he had become the Father of the human Jesus some time after his resurrection.”
It is on this day when Christians celebrate Easter Sunday, which basically means that the crucifixion on the cross was not a failure but a success. It is also used as an indicator for a lettered event in a person’s life.
This is also the reason why Christians use the tetelestai tattoo design as a sign that they have died to their old self and been raised with Christ.
tetelestai tattoos ca also mean “it is finished”.
The tetelestai tattoo design may include a cross, or symbols that convey the meaning of this ancient Greek word. In old Christian art, there are often paintings depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross along with an inscription “TETELESTAI” which in Greek means “It is finished.”
The tetelestai design is often used by Christians as momento mori.
Tetelestai tattoos are often represented by a cross with nails, thorns and the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head during His crucifixion (around 30 AD). His body hangs limp on the cross; blood drips down onto the ground. The inscription is usually right below Him, where it can be read clearly.
Very often, the tetelestai tattoo design is accompanied with verses from the Holy Bible that convey its original meaning or new significance to life.
1) “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ ” John 3:3
2) “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” John 5:44