April 17th 2010

Jesus Is Risen:  Do The Work

“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’”

John 20:21 (NIV)

After his resurrection, Jesus explained to his followers that there was still a job to be done.  The work was not over. 

On the cross Christ had cried out, “It is finished”, after which he bowed his head and died (19:30).  What had finished was his atoning work.  John explained later that Jesus was “the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the world” (I John 2:2).  Paul explained it this way:  “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:19). 

Before his death, Jesus, in prayer to the Father, had said of us and of all who believe in him, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).  As we read above, the same thought was in his mind when he rose from the dead.  We have been sent by Christ.  Sent with what?  Paul puts it neatly.  God, he wrote, “has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 again). 

This message is all about Jesus Christ, and how through him God’s forgiveness has come to all.  “‘Now this is eternal life’ Jesus said to the Father, ‘that they (men and women everywhere) may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’” (John 17:3).  Jesus had given those words of grace to the disciples and “they accepted them” (17:8) as we have also done.  Our work is to proclaim this message of reconciliation so that others may accept it too. 

Our Lord is alive. Let’s get on with his work. 

Prayer

Father, thank you that through the sacrifice of Jesus you were reconciling yourself with the world. Thank you that you raised Christ from the dead and that he has sent us out into the world with this message of reconciliation. Help us to proclaim Christ as Saviour so that others too may accept his words of salvation. In Jesus’ name.

Amen 

Study by James Henderson 

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