My father is working until now, and I am working." --John 5:17 ESV
No one ever embodied the true meaning of what it means to work with an eye toward heaven and the will of God the Father like Jesus. Of course, Scripture records times of rest and retreat that the Lord took with his disciples, but when it came to doing the work He was called to do He was focused, obedient, and diligent. Jesus knew that with every completed day of work He was one day closer to the agony of sacrifice and one day closer to experiencing the full wrath of God the Father against the sin of man. Yet He did not procrastinate in the work He was called to do. And ultimately, when that earthly work of God the Son was complete, He declared from the cross,
"It is finished."
Then He breathed his last. The earth shook. The temple curtain tore in two from top to bottom. The Son of God was placed in the grave. His disciples dispersed. But that was not the end! After three days, Jesus conquered death forever, rising from the grave. For forty days, He appeared to his disciples and encouraged them, and before ascending into the clouds, he said,
"Go ,therefor, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." --Matthew 28:19,20 CSB
Today as disciples of Christ living generations later we too have that same great commission, to go and make disciples of all people. No other work we do could possibly be as valuable to the Lord, could it? Yes!
This Easter, I hope that you encounter the risen Lord in a fresh and refreshing way in terms of your worship, but I also hope that you encounter Him in a way that breathes new life into every activity you are a part of, whether working, playing, or just relaxing in the back yard. Too often we tend to think that our daily work and human tasks are less significant than the work of making disciples. But God does not feel that way! In his eyes our work has great value and serves far greater purposes than simply earning a paycheck.
The person paving roads is not just paving roads, but serving people by creating safe travel ways to carry them to churches, schools, hospitals, and family gatherings. The person applying tiny stone granules to roofing shingles is not just putting granules on roofing shingles, but is creating the materials that will cover homes, schools, and churches, protecting the people and valuables inside. The person grinding metal parts to perfection all day, hunched over a small desk in a cubicle, is not doing menial, eternally meaningless work. The parts he or she is making may one day play a role in constructing a conference center that might someday house a Christian speaker, where a person might one day come to Christ and might then go on to change the world in His name!
Easter is wonderful. It is one of the most significant days we celebrate on the Christian calendar. And the ministry Jesus gave each of us to reach all the world is wonderfully significant as well. Hopefully, you take that commission seriously. But, as the Easter experience begins to wear off in the days that follow this blessed holiday, try not to fall into the trap of thinking that your full time work is less significant than the work of the full time minister.
Remember, as far as we know from Scripture, Jesus only commissioned the twelve, and later Paul, to serve full time as ministers of the Gospel (even Paul worked to support himself until he was able to minister full time). Your daily work is worthwhile and meaningful in the plan of God. It has beautiful intrinsic value to Him. And, when we meet Him face-to-face, and He says, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" I think He will have our faithfully executed daily tasks in mind just as much as He will have in mind our work of sharing the Gospel with the people in our worlds. HAPPY EASTER!