Quit daydreaming. I said “imagine.” I’m afraid you’ll still have to go in to work next week. We still have work to do—all of us, as long as the Lord leaves us in this world! But not Jesus. His work is finished. Absolutely, 100% finished.
Whose work did Jesus come to do? Listen to Jesus, and you will know. “My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34) Jesus ate, drank, slept, lived and breathed the special work assigned him by his Heavenly Father.
Exactly what work was that? Before Jesus was born, the Father used angels to announce the critical mission that Jesus, God’s Son, alone could do. In a dream, an angel told Joseph. “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21) Jesus was sent to our earth and born of the Virgin Mary to do one thing—save. And Jesus never—never—lost sight of his mission.
When Jesus was 12 years old, and his parents finally found him in the Temple at Jerusalem, Jesus couldn’t understand why they were so worried. “Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Did you not know that I must be taking care of my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) The childlike devotion exhibited by Jesus, the early teen, didn’t lose its luster with the passing of years, either. Once, after rescuing the diminutive Zacchaeus, Jesus could say, “The son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) This is always what He was doing. Reaching out to tax collectors like Zacchaeus or Matthew (one of the apostles), or prostitutes or lepers. Never once did Jesus shirk away from lost souls.
And never once did Jesus shirk away from His mission to save, even though he knew full well the high price involved in rescuing lost sinners like you and me. As the Day of Good Friday drew nearer, how many times did Jesus tell his disciples, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death. . .the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:18, 28)
Jesus is the God-man come to do His Father’s will! And that is what Jesus did--perfectly. The night before he was lifted up on the cross, Jesus could tell His Father in prayer, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4)
Less than 24 hours later, at 3 PM on Good Friday, Jesus could say it for the last time, “It is finished!” Then, bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30) Three words in English. But just one in Greek. “Tetelestai!”
Finished! The suffering Jesus endured for your sins and mine.
Finished! God does not—will not punish you for your sins, since they have already been punished in full on Christ’s cross!
Finished! Satan can’t accuse you and me anymore!
Finished! Your sins need not burden your conscience anymore, or mine!
Finished! Death no longer needs to haunt us.
Finished—Hell has no hold on us, not when we put our faith in Jesus the Crucified.
Finished! Perhaps the single most important word ever spoken. And our Savior spoke it for you, for me.
Privileged to serve,
Rev. Glenn Schwanke