JESUS INVITES US INTO HIS PERFECT REST
“In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.” – Exodus 31:17 –
Creation is complete. God speaks the universe into existence, accomplishing His perfect work. He is pleased, declaring it all to be very good (Genesis 1:31). God blesses and makes holy the seventh day (Genesis 2:3) On this day He rests… not from fatigue, for He never grows weary (Isaiah 40:28)… but from the completion of His divine purpose in His consummate, created work.
God’s divine Sabbath rest is a tranquility beyond imagining… a serene omnipotence… a quiet omniscience… a calm supremacy. It is the deepest joy… the most profound peace… the most immersive love. Yet it is not a rest without work. For God holds all creation together (Colossians 1:17). Jesus speaks of His Father as being always at work, His creative work never ceasing (John 5:17).
“After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” – Hebrews 1:3
Salvation is complete. On the third day, Jesus rises from the dead, conquering death and paying the ransom price for our lives with His perfect life. His work on the cross atones for all the sins of mankind. Jesus rests… not from tiredness, but from accomplishing His ultimate purpose in obedience to the Father. Our Redeemer sits eternally at the right hand of the Almighty in heaven.
Christ’s Sabbath rest is the promised rest of God… the everlasting, unchanging repose that stems from His completed redemption carried out once for all (Hebrews 10:10). Yet it is not without work. For He is our High Priest… our Advocate… our Intercessor before the Father. He upholds the universe by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3).
“There remains, then a Sabbath rest for the people of God… Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said.” – Hebrews 4:9, 3
The apostle Paul here uses the word Sabbath not to describe the holy day but the rest that the people of God experience. As believers we are invited into this Sabbath rest in Christ. Faith is the gate by which we enter His perfect rest. This rest is available now by accepting the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has won for us peace before a holy God (Hebrews 5:1).
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Mathew 11:28-29
Here on earth, we have the choice to welcome Christ’s personal invitation to us. He offers us His refreshing rest as we walk on our spiritual journey. His promise is for the weary and heavy-laden to receive His rest of grace in a world of unrest… His peace in a world of trouble… His light in a world of darkness.
Salvation is by faith alone. Our works do not earn our salvation (Ephesians 2:9). Yet we do not refrain from work and sit idly in Christ’s rest. For we are clay in the hands of the Potter as we trust Him to accomplish His divine purpose in us. Our work for His kingdom continues as we live our lives for His glory.
“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest… Since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” – Hebrews 4:11, 1
Unbelief is the obstacle to experiencing Christ’s perfect rest. Until we accept His invitation, we wander in a spiritual wilderness. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness because of their hard-hearted unbelief, losing the privilege of entering the Promised Land, God’s rest for them. Unbelief will bar the entrance into God’s “Promised Land” for us.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalm 91:1
As believers we are promised a future resting eternally in Christ’s presence. The Sabbath rest we experience on earth is but a shadow of the glorious, perfect rest we will one day embrace in heaven. It is God’s rest for His faithful, devoted people… the ones who look to His Son as their Savior… who trust in His accomplished work on their behalf.
Our eternal Sabbath rest will be wondrous and joyful beyond our comprehension. It will be our earthly rest in Christ blossomed, perfected and glorified. Yet we will not be idle. We will all be kings and priests, reigning forever with our King of kings (Revelation 5:10, 22:5). We will delight in serving our God for all eternity. What an amazing future awaits!