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By BARBARA BROWN
In the month of May, across the nation, many university and high school seniors will receive their diplomas at graduation events. Friends and family will flood auditoriums to say, “You made it!” Graduates will put years of homework, study groups and final exams behind them. With diplomas in hand, they will knock on doors of opportunity and employment.
Graduation indicates a state of completion or perfection. The perfect graduate is one who says, “I’m ready to go to work and get the job done.” Those words turn my thoughts to the Lord Jesus who completed a mighty work here on earth. The Bible teaches us of the perfection Jesus gained by what he did for us. In Hebrews chapter 5 we read, “During his earthly life Christ offered both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”
That is good news for those of us who typically feel less-than-perfect. It brings great relief to understand we can rest in Jesus’ perfect work and know we are saved by him. He pleased the Father in all things by doing his will. This opened the way for us to shed our rebellion and access Father God through believing in his faithful and obedient son. Well done, Jesus!
What we could not do, Jesus did for us. Where we could not go, he made a way for us. And now, when we begin to wonder if we could ever reach even the slightest state of completion or perfection, we can rest in knowing a perfect savior who, “… had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:17-18 NET)
Jesus knew when his good work was completed. That’s why he cried from the cross, “It is finished!” He had satisfied every requirement for us to gain eternal life through him. By his death and resurrection, Jesus made new creatures of all who believe. Forever, we will be known as the redeemed: “With your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe, language, people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9b ISV)
Jesus completed his job on earth and Father God placed him as our advocate in heaven. Then he filled us with his holy spirit. In this way, God gifted us with assurance and boldness to do his will. But what does that look like in our everyday living? “… Whoever continually keeps his commandments is the kind of person in whom God’s love has truly been perfected. This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God: the one who says that he abides in him must live the same way he himself lived.” (1 John 2:5-6 ISV)
Jesus, our perfect savior, calls us to follow him. One day, he will say, “Good work. … You are a good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over this small amount, so now I will give you much more.” (Matthew 25:23 TLB) The Lord has planned a great and notable graduation event in the heavens, and what a day that will be!
Barbara Brown is a member of the ministry team at the Lighthouse Church of God.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.