God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
We were created for work. And work, as God intended it, was to be good. As creatures made in God’s image, we were to do the good work of being fruitful, multiplying, filling the earth, governing it, tilling it, and keeping it.
It says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.” This new creation pervades everything, including our daily work.
But then something happened to corrupt the goodness of work. Sin happened. Human beings chose to seek their own good rather than God’s goodness. Through sin, the world became warped, with work caught in the ungodly twisting. A primary result of sin was the corruption of work. Yes, human beings would still work, fulfilling their created purpose. But now their work would be filled with pain, sweat, and struggle. All of us know something of this reality. Some of us feel the brokenness of work every single day.
When it comes to work, therefore, the cross of Christ makes a great difference. Now, if you tend to think of Christ’s death as bringing only personal salvation or as delivering us out of this world, then what I just said won’t make much sense. But if you think of Christ’s work in light of the whole the biblical story, if we understand his death as the central piece of God’s plan to restore all things, then we can begin to see how the cross makes a difference for our work.
Because of the cross, the day will come when creation is restored and renewed. In that day, we will experience work as God intended it to be. That is part of our future hope in Christ. Yet, as is the case whenever we talk about God’s future, through Christ we begin to experience the future today, however incompletely. Thus, as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.” And this new creation pervades everything, including our daily work.
Thus, as we reflect upon the meaning of the cross during Holy Week, let us consider how our experience of salvation through Christ might make a difference in our work.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
In what ways do you see the cross of Christ as relevant to your work?
If, because of the cross, you have been reconciled to God, what difference might this make in your work life?
Do you think we will work in God’s future? Why or why not? If you think we will work, how do you envision our work?
Gracious God, thank you for the cross. Thank you for taking our sin through the death of Christ. Thank you for acting in Christ to forgive us, renew us, and restore us. Thank you for the fact that if we are in Christ, there is a new creation. Thank you for the privilege of experiencing this new creation now, however incompletely.
O God, even as our work reflects the stain of sin, may it also begin to receive the grace of salvation. May the renewing, reconciling work of Christ be experienced in our workplaces. And may those of us who know you through Christ live each day so that Christ is glorified in all we do and say. Amen.