May 28, 2019

Finished! -- And Finishing Well

Hebrews 12:1-3

For the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross . . . and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

—  Hebrews 12:2

After going to college, I spent two summers working in a restaurant. There was no sitting down on the job. As long as we had customers, all the employees had to be on their feet and busily working. Not until the work was finished could anyone sit down.

One of the things Christ’s ascension reveals is that Jesus finished the mission the Father had sent him to do: “When [he] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, [Jesus] sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). Mission accomplished! But this does not mean Jesus stopped working. Being seated on the throne in heaven means he is actively ruling as Lord of all—sustaining all things while also praying for us, helping us, and working through us by his Holy Spirit (Hebrews 1:3; 2:18; 7:25).

Sometimes life can seem like a marathon. We feel as if there is always more to do, more coming at us than we can handle. Often we are hampered by our own sin and weaknesses that keep us focused on our own interests rather than on God and others.

Jesus’ ascension reminds us where our race is headed. When we think of all that Jesus has accomplished, and all that he and the Spirit are doing for us today, we are given a kind of “spiritual second wind” to keep going, in the Lord’s strength.

Don’t lose heart. The ascended Lord will help us finish well.

Lord Jesus, we praise you for your finished work, assuring us of salvation. By your Spirit, strengthen us to keep living and working for you today. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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