Where’s the Rest?
Life can be so busy, so tiring and leave us wanting more. But even more than physical or mental tiredness can be ‘spiritual tiredness’ – sin weighing us down. But God wants to give people ‘rest’ – not just physical rest but spiritual ‘shalom’ (peace, well-being). So Jesus came saying,
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest …. and you will find rest for your souls.”
(Matthew 11:28, 29b).
This idea of ‘rest’ was nothing new, though; Jesus was announcing that he is the one who can give people the ‘rest’ God has been offering since the beginning of creation.
As I said at the start of the Lord’s Supper last Sunday at 930am, it is deliberate that while after Days 1-6 in Genesis there is the refrain ‘And there was evening, and there was morning, the X day’ this refrain is not said for Day 7. For, while, yes, chronologically Day 7 finished, an implication is that ‘spiritually’ you and I can still live ‘in Day 7’ i.e. that we can enjoy God’s ‘rest’.
So how do you get ‘rest’? By ‘coming to Christ’ (Matthew 11). Or, in the words of Hebrews 4: “For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us …. Now we who have believed enter that rest” (vv2-3) i.e. believing God’s gospel word (having faith in Christ).
So how do you stay having ‘rest’? By continuing to believe the gospel;
by not hardening your heart against God’s word (v7). And when hard times come, by still holding firmly to the faith by asking God for strength and perseverance (vv14-16).
But while our ‘rest’ has begun now the fullness of it will only come in ‘the heavenly city’. We live in what is called ‘the now and the not yet’: ‘rest’ has been inaugurated but will only be consummated when Christ returns and our relationship with God is perfected.
So … where’s the ‘rest’? In Christ, both now and especially later.
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