In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Heb 1:1-3
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
Dear Lord Jesus, it’s Labor Day Monday—the day in our American culture in which we celebrate the labors of our working force, the official end of the summer, the unofficial beginning of football season, and the malls and internet being crowded with bargain shoppers.
But the “labor” of Labor Day for which I’m most grateful is yours. Because the gospel is true, every day is Easter—a celebration of your finished labor for us. After you provided the necessary and perfect sacrifice for our sins, you sat down at the right hand of the Father—not tired, but triumphant; not passive, but positioned to make all your enemies your footstool; not waiting to see what might happen, but determining everything that will happen! Your “It is finished” is our “Now we live.”
You labored in our place as the second and last Adam—a perfect substitute for pervasively and comprehensively imperfect people. What the first Adam failed to do in the beauty of the Garden of Eden, you have done “once and for all” in the broken Garden of our world. You lived a life of perfect obedience for us—completely fulfilling all the demands of God’s law. Nothing is left undone; nothing was provisional; there’s no fine print. “It is finished” means it is finished. By faith, your works are now considered ours!
You died a death of incomparable love for us—for there is no greater love than that someone would lay his life down for his friends; but we were more than your friends, we were also your enemies as well—having lived lives of rebellion and idolatry. By your death on the cross, you exhausted God’s judgment against our sins. By faith, your death is now considered ours. We are now legally guiltless, perfectly spotless and wondrously cherished by the God we now call, Abba.
This is why we now speak of being loved unconditionally—because all of the conditions have been met by you. We are now the beloved of the Lord—loved with an everlasting and unwavering, inexhaustible and transforming love.
And now, our labors in you are not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58). They’re not in vain because they’re not attached to any benefit for ourselves; and they’re not in vain because they will never fail. In union with you, we are participating in your commitment to make all things new. Hallelujah! You have set us freer than we can possibly imagine, Lord Jesus, and we celebrate your labors on our behalf on this first Monday of September. So very Amen we pray, in your wondrous and loving name.