FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.
I remember going to special services on Good Friday each year as a kid and the primary theme was the seven words of Jesus on the cross. One of these sayings of Jesus was "It is finished." If you were to survey most Christians today and ask them what was it that was the finished work of Jesus or what did Jesus come to accomplish, you will receive the same answer most of the time. The finished work of Jesus was to die on the cross for the sins of the world. Jesus did come to die and He mentioned this a few times with His disciples, but they just didn't get it or didn't want to get it.
As important as the death of Jesus was, it is a myth that this is why Jesus came. I say this with great backing from Jesus Himself. You see, it's important for us to get back to the teachings and principles of Jesus. His teachings and principles are primary in our understanding of the truth of Jesus. It is true that when Jesus said these words, it marked the finished work of Christ on the cross. He had finished the sacrifice that was required for the redemption of the world.
However, a few days before Jesus died on the cross, He revealed what His finished work actually was-the reason why He was sent to earth. So, what did Jesus say was the work he came to complete? When Jesus prayed to the Father, He prayed for Himself, for His disciples and for us today. This is really the Lord's Prayer. The "Our Father Who art in heaven" prayer is better viewed as the disciples' prayer, when He was teaching the disciples to pray.
So, what was it that Jesus came to do? What is the work He came to complete? The finished work of Jesus is more than what we normally think. It's within these words of Jesus' prayer in John 17 that we can find the true revolutionary nature of what Jesus came to do and what He expects from us as disciples.
Jesus said that He finished the work the Father sent Him to do: I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. Notice what Jesus says is the finished work He came to do. "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. "Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.
"But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. "I have given them Your word.
Jesus came into this world to invest His life in a few men and now He sends us out to do the same. "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me--and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
Jesus invested in a few-all those God brought to Him. I believe this is the finished work of Jesus. He invested in the 12 and lost one of these, so He gave Himself to eleven men. Now if this strategy was good enough for Jesus, then don't you think it's the best strategy for you and me as well?
I spent most of my life preparing and training to invest my life to move the masses toward Jesus. Now I know this was the wrong strategy. Just as Jesus met and gave healing to one person at a time, so we are to do the same. Let me ask you something. What are you doing with the people God has brought to you? Are you investing your life and teachings in these few? Jesus saw this work as the most important work ever. Don't you think we can take a clue from Jesus and do the same?