Series: Finished Works
Sun am 8 April 2012 – Kobus Swart
(Gen. 2:1-3); (Heb.4:9); John 19:28, 30; John 20:1-7; 2 Peter 1:2-11; Ps. 45:7
Several places in the Scripture there are clear indications that from God’s side He has completed His work in and through Christ. God is in rest, and Jesus is seated at His right hand, waiting till His enemies have been made a footstool under His feet (Heb 10:12-14).
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Gen. 2:1-3). God set the Sabbath day aside, sanctified it because He envisioned a people who were going to enter and become His Sabbath rest. Adam and Eve entered the rest of God without having laboured at all. The first day of Adam and Eve was lived in the seventh day, the rest of God. They lost the rest of God through the fall, but in Christ we were recreated and access is made available again. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God (Heb.4:9). It is very fitting as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, that we are reminded on this day of the completed, finished works of Jesus.
Just before breathing His last, Jesus – knowing that all things had already been accomplished (Cf Rev 13:8), …uttered these words, “It is finished!”(John 19:30).
As the Spirit vibrated over the chaos in the beginning, waiting for a Word to be spoken, “Let there be” and it happened – we are in that season again. The Spirit of God is hovering over the chaos of the world. There is chaos in nature, creation is in travail. Everything is waiting for the demonstration of the corporate Son; the Son of God in the sons to be manifested in the earth. Every program in every church should be geared towards that, and the religious programs should be dropped in favour of that one agenda.
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself (John 20:1-7). The work of Jesus the Head was completed, but the wrappings of the body were just lying there which means the work of the body was not finished. The Son of man is looking for a place to lay His head and He will not lay His head on anything that does not represent Him accurately. Paul says let us all grow up into the Head from whom the body will grow and multiply itself in love (Eph. 4:15).
Every miracle Jesus did also contained a prophetic message to us. None of His healings were done in the same way. In book of John they are called the seven signs of which the seventh was the raising of Lazarus. When Jesus got the news that Lazarus was ill He delayed and only got there four days after Lazarus died. Adam and Eve were told if they would disobey and make the wrong choice they would die. Four thousand years after the ‘death’ of Adam and Eve, Jesus through His death and resurrection brought life back to the fallen human race. There was a message in the raising of Lazarus. After four days He came and raised him. After 4000 years (a day is as a thousand years) Christ came to redeem humanity. But how did he do that? He did it with the participation of the people around Him. He made them roll away the stone. He involved people in that final act; He wants us to participate in the final miracle. He spoke a word to Lazarus while he was still wrapped up, and he came out on the Word. Then he asked the people to unwrap him. Many of us still walk around with death wrappings around us although we have broken into life. People, with the assistance of the accuser of the brethren, have kept their fellow man in wrappings while Jesus was raised from the dead and opened the door to resurrection life for all. He is not coming to die again, the rolled head cloth says, “My part is done and finished; you do yours.”
The Peter reminds us: … seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust (2 Peter 1:2-4). People always connect the word ‘lust’ with just sexual lust, but lust is the desire for something without the giving of yourself; wanting something now for our own gratification. There’s a way in which we access the full provision in Christ, and He’s given us His promises to believe. Without faith it is impossible to enter the Sabbath rest; impossible to please God.
What is required of us in view of all that God has given to us?
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence (don’t forget that God hates unrighteousness – Ps 45:7), knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love (2 Peter 1:5-7). Let us become more sensitive as a family. Do good yes, but first unto the household of faith. Many people are easily offended because they carry that offense in their spirit; it is a platform to the enemy. The biggest thing we can do is walk constantly in a forgiving spirit. When one member suffers, we all suffer and when one member rejoices we all rejoice.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins(2 Peter 1:8-9). This is not me pointing a finger at you because I’m in this race with you. It’s a shame when God’s leaders parade as Mr/Mrs perfect. There is no such thing. We don’t want to forget that we have all been forgiven. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you (2 Peter 1:10-11). If we practise these things we will have an abundant entrance into the Kingdom.
May these qualities be found in us AND INCREASE!