God's Eternal Work in Jesus
Promised Restoration in Jesus
God has always sought the restoration of mankind. In times past, He reached down into this world just to show us that simple truth. In the Garden of Eden, God walked and talked with Adam and Eve, guiding them in the proper way (Gen. 3:3, 8, 9). After Adam and Eve sinned, God promised a time of restoration for mankind through Eve’s seed (Gen. 3:15) and expelled Adam and Eve from Paradise until that time came (Gen. 3:22-24; cf. Rev. 22). God continued this promise through Abraham; He promised Abraham that restoration would come through his seed (Gen. 12-18). During the reign of the most memorable king in human history, God reiterated that promise through David’s seed (2Sam. 7). That promise would finally come 1,000 years after in the form of Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus fulfilled every aspect of the promise of restoration. In human regard, He possessed a pedigree that involved all three of the aforementioned Old Testament characters (see Matt. 1 & Luke 3). He lived, breathed, taught, and died. In this way, He could sympathize with human frailty and the temptation to sin (Heb. 2:17, 18; 4:15). In divine regard, “all the fullness of deity was pleased to dwell in Him” and “He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped” (Col. 1:15-20; Phil. 2:5-11). Indeed, Jesus Christ contained the fullness of deity and humanity in one body. Because of this characteristic and a sin-free life, He could ensure the redemption of mankind. At the cross, Jesus fulfilled the promise of restoration – He opened the gate so that all may have the chance to come in. At the crucifixion of Christ, God’s work of redemption reached its climax.
Jesus’ Work for Our Restoration
To say though that the work of the Christ was complete at the cross is simply inadequate and unscriptural. To say that the cross was the end of God’s scheme of redemption is simply incorrect. All too often, we find ourselves looking back at the cross, rewriting the meaning of Jesus’ cry, “It is finished!” The events at the crucifixion set in motion the rest of God’s plan. Yes, His promise to Eve, Abraham, and David had been fulfilled; yet, something more lies upon the horizon. God exposed sin as sin and showed that sin drove us away from Him.
The sins of mankind still pose a dilemma. God is holy and therefore cannot be exposed to sin. That is why Christ died, to be our mediator. Death is not yet subject to man. Death will be conquered for us at the final resurrection by Jesus Christ (1Cor. 15:24-28). Christ ensures that our pleas for forgiveness reach our Holy God so that we need not fear death (Heb. 2:9-17). Not only can we be redeemed because Christ died on the cross and conquered death through His resurrection, but also because He stands as our Mediator in Heaven. Jesus is still working for our restoration!
Jesus, Helping Us In the Past, Now, and Forever
God is holy and we are not. Due to this difference, Jesus Christ is our advocate. Jesus Christ continually makes intercession on our behalf because we still need it. The only way that we are able to draw near to God is because of Christ. Perhaps the Hebrew writer puts it best when he states, “Jesus continues forever and holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:24-25). He continues to explain why Christ can be our Advocate and how He can serve as a Mediator on our behalf: “For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens” (7:26).
Christ continues to serve as our Mediator. He exists to make intercession on our behalf. It is because of this and this alone that we are able to draw near to God. Remember, God has always sought our redemption. Knowing this, let us not trample the sacrifice of His Son underfoot, but rather serve as the lights, leaven, and salt in this world. Keep serving Him diligently, with every fiber of your being and when sin besets you, remember to repent through the sacrifice of Christ. We can be assured of forgiveness in Him because He is our perfect High Priest, Mediator, and King.