The Unfinished Work of Easter

What do you need to do before Jesus returns?

You may have learned before when Jesus died on the cross He famously cried out with a loud voice, "It is finished!" All His enemies heard this and celebrated, because they thought HE was finished. But Jesus chose His words correctly: He meant that the atonement was finished; The sacrifice for sins, the plan of salvation, sin, death, and the grave were all complete. All that was necessary for man to be saved had been accomplished. Calvary speaks of the finished work of Christ, but this Easter message from John 20:1-7 focuses on the empty tomb, and the information it communicates about Jesus's unfinished work. The finished work took place on the cross, but the unfinished work begins at the empty tomb on that first Easter.

When Mary, Peter & John entered the open tomb the gospel of John mentions that there had been a cloth wrapping placed over the face of the deceased, which was now folded and set aside from the rest of the discarded linens. What was the significance of this handkerchief that compelled John to specifically mention it? The answer has to do with Hebrew tradition that when a meal was complete a master would use his cloth napkin and then leave it unfolded on the table as an indication to his servants that the meal was done and the table could be cleared. But if a master left his napkin folded upon the table it meant that he would return. The bible mentions the folded cloth in the tomb as a symbol that Jesus's work is not complete and that He will return to finish it.

Much of Jesus's work is still a work in progress. For example, He is still in the business of saving souls, but His work of redemption will not be complete until the day the last soul is saved for Him. He also continues His restoration of those whose fellowship and connection with God has suffered. It isn't too late because His work is still incomplete, everyone still has time to come to Him before the approaching judjment day. Christ's work will only be complete on the day when he returns and the last possible soul has been saved, on a day of grace God promises for all who will receive it.