What does it mean to enter God’s rest?
There have been way too many times I have ignored getting some rest. I worked too many days in a row and eventually paid the price for it. Jesus wanted to take some time with his friends and get some rest. What happened?
The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. | Mark 6:30-31
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. | Genesis 2:1-2
Good news alert!
Jesus wants us to enter His rest.
God is in a good mood!
Jesus knows something. What is it? Jesus learned this from His Father. We need to rest. We need to step back from our labour. We need to take a break. Jesus leads us into that reality. God is in a good mood and wants us to chill. As a side note, Jesus and the disciples never got to rest. The crowds saw where they were going by boat and ran ahead of them. When Jesus got to the other side, he put aside the notion of rest and taught them. When evening was approaching, even though they had no food, the miracle of the feeding of 5,000 took place. After that, they got back in the boat and headed back to the other side. Jesus stayed behind to pray so Jesus reconnected with His Father and got refreshed.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” | Matthew 11:28–30 (NASB)
There are several kinds of rest. One is physical rest and that is important. In our hustle, bustle world, it is easy to overlook. Another kind of rest is rest for our souls or spiritual rest. Jesus leads us into a world where we cease from striving. We can enter His rest.
There is a strong case for spiritual rest made in Hebrews chapter 4. I don’t usually put a whole chapter in these articles but in this case it is extremely relevant. We have a promise that we can enter spiritual rest. It is contingent on our faith and obedience. We have to be diligent in pursuing it in Jesus.
Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
“As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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