Why You Are Still on Earth
Mark 16:1-20 describes your unfinished work and Jesus’ finished work.
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, sometime after 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening, bought sweet-smelling oils to anoint Jesus’ body. At dawn on Sunday, they headed toward Jesus’ grave. When they arrived, the stone blocking the entrance was already rolled away from the tomb. Inside the tomb, a young man told them Jesus was risen. They were to tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus would meet them in Galilee.
The disciples weren’t quick to believe Jesus was alive. They weren’t gullible or easily convinced. When Mary Magdalene told them they’d seen the risen Jesus, they responded as someone would today who was told George Washington was now the President of the United States.
Verses 12 and 13 describe two disciples on the way to Emmaus. When they told the rest they’d seen the risen Christ, no one believed them. The disciples didn’t initially believe the resurrection story. It took Jesus’ appearance to them to change their minds. Your faith is built on the trustworthiness of their testimony.
“After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19, NIV). The resurrection, ascension, and exaltation of Christ to God’s right hand are part of Jesus’ finished work. The resurrection guarantees that God accepted Jesus’ work on your behalf.
You can’t add to what Jesus has done. He ascended to heaven because He’d accomplished the work the Father had assigned Him on earth. He left because He could carry out the rest of the work only from His throne in heaven. Because of His ascension and exaltation, He’s now spiritually present everywhere (Ephesians 4:10). He’s exercising His priestly ministry in heaven (Hebrew 4:14). He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell you (John 16:7) and give you spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:8-13).
Because of Jesus’ finished work, you’re now free from sin’s penalty and power. He’s equipped you for spiritual warfare through the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. Salvation is like a chair on which God asks you to sit and lean your whole weight. Christ’s earthly work fashioned the chair. Don’t try to pad it with your own good works. Jesus’ last words on the cross were, “It is finished.” You can’t add to it in any way.
There’s also a work that remains. The unfinished work is to declare Jesus’ finished work. It’s to tell people everywhere that through Jesus’ finished work they can become God’s friends. Some will accept that finished work for themselves. Some won’t.
The ones who believe and are baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16). The early church knew nothing about unbaptized believers. Through baptism you identify with Christ and His church. You aren’t baptized to be saved, but because you already are.
A work remains. Only 31 percent of the world’s population professes to be Christian.1 God wants to use you as a channel through whom He can love and bring wholeness to your friends, relatives, and associates. Jesus’ unfinished work is to declare through your words and deeds His finished work and the forgiveness He freely offers.
See the free spiritual resources at: https://www.christiangrowthresources.com
You may freely access my books, “Becoming an Enthusiastic Church” and “His Power for Your Weakness” at:
You can find this blog at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/post/why-you-are-still-on-earth