Work Matters: The Finished Work of Christ
One of the first books I read on Christians in the workplace was entitled, “Your Work Matters to God.” Since then, many additional texts have been written and distributed by a plethora of notable authors. Over the next several weeks, I will be “musing” via this blog on the subject of work, since it occupies so much of our time and effort and compels us toward or away from love and good deeds. I see work as central to our life in Christ, and must be held in proper tension with our ongoing pursuit of spiritual vitality.
We have just come through the season of Lent, culminating with the final week of Jesus’ earthly life and the joyful celebration of Easter. His triumphal entry into Jerusalem leads to the Last Supper, the Garden, his arrest and crucifixion, and ultimately to his rising from the dead through the doorway of the empty tomb. The “finished work” of Jesus Christ was completed on the Cross. As believers, the gift of eternal life is no longer based on human works or animal sacrifice, but our salvation by grace has been fully accomplished by the Cross of Christ. For that amazing gift of love we bow before God with grateful humility and prayerful worship.
With the words “It is finished” (John 19:30), Jesus completed his work of redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation (I love that word, which means “a sacrifice sufficient in value in order that the wrath of another might be fully satisfied”) through his death on the cross. His substitutionary atonement is made perfect and complete on the cross. His work mattered then and it matters now…we are set free from the bondage of sin because of Christ’s work done in our behalf. Wow! Christ paid the ransom price in full through his shed blood on the cross. It is finished indeed! Alleluia!
As followers of Christ, no matter our calling and profession, we must begin to understand our work in light of God’s work. And the apex of God’s work is fulfilled in his Son, Christ, who miraculously walked planet earth for a season, taught his disciples what it means to live for God in this world, and then suffered sacrificially in their (and our) behalf so that his work on earth could be brought to completion…therefore, our work can be seen redemptively in his behalf. His work always precedes our work. He works in and through us for His glory…our work is to know, embrace, and fulfill his will – throughout our lives, and humbly for Christ’s glory. This includes all the work of our head, hands, and heart.
I love my work. I hope you do too. I know that my work matters, and I know yours does too. Your work matters to God, to your co-workers, to your church, to your community, to your family, and to yourself. Your work matters to the wider world. Your work matters to this and future generations. The fruit of your labor, the work of your hands, has been given to you by God. Do you claim that today? Are you working today for God first and foremost? If so, then all who surround you will see that your work indeed matters…because it’s consecrated to God’s greater work in, through, and all around you today.
So, as we begin this brief season of reflection on OUR work here on earth, here are a few questions to ponder: Why are you placed where you are in your work today? What is your work teaching you about trusting God? What are you learning about yourself through your work? How are you being used of God in your workplace today, and how is your workplace teaching you to serve God with greater vigor and commitment? How are you giving thanks to God for your work and in what way(s) are you committed to honoring God in and through the work of your head, hands, and heart?