Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. Exodus 36:6-7
Jesus said, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4)
There is a dangerous teaching that exists in the Church today that though we are saved by grace through faith, we are then to pick ourselves up by the nickers and get to it! I know, I used to teach this. However, this teaching completely degrades, dishonors, and does spite to the finished work of Christ and the grace which He came to bring.
I love this passage in Exodus 36. In this time period, the Lord asked for willing hearts to give for the work of the Lord. But what did they give? These people had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years. They left Egypt as millionaires. God gave them the offering to give! They were able to give what was no theirs to begin with. Today we are the sanctuary (1 Corinthians 3:16). We too are able to give what we cannot. We are sinners by nature and action. We are incapable of keeping the Law of God, but we can give God access into our lives for Him to work. In this context we look back, “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” (vs 6) Is there truly anything else required? Is there anything we can do to add to what Christ has done for us? Jesus has finished the work!
“And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.” (vs 7) Would to God that more people would be constrained by the grace of God! David learned this truth as a young shepherd boy. He wrote of the Lord, “The LORD is my shepherd, I will not lack. He makes me lie down in green pastures.” (Psalm 23:1-2)
The work is finished. “What they already had was more than enough to do all the work.” (vs 7) “We have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7), we have been given Christ! Jesus came to glorify God in you and I by doing for us what we could not do!
Jesus’ words, “It is finished,” appears only two times in the New Testament. “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit,” (John 19:28-30).
“It is finished,” which is one of Jesus’ most important statements, is translated from the single Greek word tetelestai. The grammatical structure of the Greek word, perfect passive indicative, is very important.
The perfect tense indicates that the progress of an action has been completed and the result of that action is ongoing and with full effect. The passive voice indicates that the subject of the sentence is being acted upon, and the indicative mood indicates a statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective. While this may sound like more of a grammar lesson than most readers care for, this information is, again, very important to understanding the significance of Jesus’ words.
Jesus said, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4) My friend, the work is done. Our work is to believe on Him (John 6:29). Believe on Him, and let Him glorify God in you so that others can see God through you!