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Days of Labor

America recently celebrated Labor Day. This might be a good time to remember and reflect upon the greatest labor ever performed on planet earth. That would be the work of the God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth, to make possible the salvation of sinners. 

Up until age thirty, he LABORED in virtual anonymity as a carpenter, the son of a carpenter, increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). Following his baptism, he LABORED under brutal wilderness conditions during forty days of fasting as he gave the devil a sound defeat over temptation. 

For three years he traversed the Promised Land with his band of twelve, LABORING to glorify his Father, train these twelve men, to heal the infirmed and to expose the hypocrisy of the religious elites. 

You can see him in the Garden of Gethsemane, LABORING as he sweat drops of blood in anticipation of bearing the brunt of his Father’s wrath against him for our sins, and becoming sin for us who knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

You can see him during his unlawful trial, LABORING under the crown of thorns that impaled his scalp, the spittle, the plucking of his beard, the open-handed blows to the face and the Roman whips carving furrows in his back.

See him LABORING under pure exhaustion as he carried his own cross, the Roman instrument of death, toward the hill of Golgotha, only to have a substitute finish the job for him. For six hours he endured excruciating LABOR nailed to the Cross, three of those hours in total darkness, as the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). When he cried out, “It is finished!” it signified his redemptive WORK was complete. 

The completion of his redemptive WORK marked the commencement of his rescue WORK. After his resurrection, he descended into Abraham’s bosom, and led OT believers who had been sequestered into the glories of heaven, his precious blood having paved the way. Now seated at the right hand of the Father, he is engaged in mediatory and intercessory WORK on behalf of believers, NEVER needing a rest break. 

Unlike our computer systems that ‘crash’ when demand for data exceeds the capacity of servers to deliver it, our Mediator is aware of every thought, every need, every petition and every care, NEVER needing to hit the ‘pause’ button to get ‘caught up’ with the multiple billions of issues that reach the throne every second of every day! 

So what does all this LABOR on the part of Jesus mean to us? The apostle Paul summed it up this way: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the WORK of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your LABOUR is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). 


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