Monday, December 9, 2013

It Is Finished - Part 15

It is Monday and I am back to thinking and writing about Christ's finished work. Such a great rich topic.

Jesus functioned in a life of unseen purpose for His whole life. Not only was the cross the end of a period of incredible suffering for Christ but it was also the end a life filled with 'musts'.

"From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you."

But he turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.' Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.' " Matthew 16:21-24 ESV

He was a fireman running in and out of a burning building saving as many people as He could and disdaining anything that would seem to get in His way of going back into the blaze to reach another soul.

The very first statement we hear Christ utter reflects His life of 'musts'. If is uttered by Jesus when He was a young boy thought to be lost but found in the temple teaching.

"And he said to them, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?' " Luke 2:49 ESV

Some translate the 'about my Father's business'.

Crying 'It is Finished!' meant the torture was over but it was over because He was exiting the burning building for the last time. The full debt was paid. This had been some messy business.

After the resurrection we see Jesus moving with a different tone. What the law required was past now Jesus moved easily from appointment to appointment with a lightness.

"But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"

She said to them, 'They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.' Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?'

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.'

Jesus said to her, 'Mary.'

She turned and said to him in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.''

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord' - and that he had said these things to her." John 20:11-18 ESV

Nothing hinders Jesus now... not walls... not transportation. His 'musts' have been transformed. He is new and is still functioning with purpose. He sends us. He lived a life with a work to finish. We live a life in the finished work.

"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.' " Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

It is the resurrected Jesus that is with us not the one in the 'days of his flesh'  (see Heb 5:7). Our Jesus is resting from His labor. He is seated. He moves effortlessly from person to person in full identification with those walking away on the road disgusted and discouraged... those huddling afraid in the upper room... those weeping and waiting at the tomb. He stands ready at the doors of people's hearts knocking and hoping to make entrance into those lives.

I want to inhale His breath of relief and live in rest. My Jesus is the risen Jesus. He is not striving. He has never failed. There is nothing His love can not accomplish.

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