Wednesday, 22 December 2021
Title: God’s Rest
By Ted Hoo
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.
What is that rest that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 28? My first thought was rest of the Sabbath day. God’s commandment was to rest on the 7th day of creation and all work was to cease. Presumably the Jews already knew that yet did not find rest as Jesus’ invitation to them indicates that they were still weary and burdened in spite of making the Sabbath holy. They were to rest one day out of seven from their labour. This was not just a physical rest but a cessation from labouring. The Sabbath rest was a foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus Christ who is the Lord of the Sabbath. In Matthew 11:28, He invites all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him and He will give them rest.
The Old Testament laws made the Jews constantly labouring to make themselves acceptable to God. There were ceremonial laws, temple laws, civil laws etc. They could not keep all of the laws without breaking them. So God provided a temporary way of forgiveness and restoration of fellowship with Him through offerings and sacrifices. These sacrifices point to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross. After offering one final sacrifice for sins, He sat down on the right hand of God. He sat down and rested for there was no more to be done. Because of what He did, we no longer have to labour in law-keeping in order to be justified in the sight of God. Jesus was sent so that we might rest in God. We can find complete rest from our spiritul labours and rest in Him not just for one day, a week but always. Our righteousness comes not from our strivings to gain God’s favour but on the righteousness of Christ. A works based salvation was therefore replaced by our faith in Jesus.
There is no other Sabbath rest besides Jesus. He alone satisfies the requirements of the Law and He alone provides the sacrifice that atones for sins. He is God’s plan for us to cease from the labour of our works and He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Never lose sight of this lest we fall into works based salvation.
Are we experiencing God’s rest for our Soul? We can let go of burdens and trials that are keeping us from rest and move away from thoughts that are troubling us and creating restlessness within us. We may be experiencing this because we have not allowed Jesus to resolve our past. Let us bring every sin, disappointment, betrayal and rejection to Him. He is ready to forgive and heal us. Lay every burden at the foot of the cross. It is dealt with and gone.
Are worries and anxiey the cause of our restlessness? Fretting about people, places, things, actual and potential problems can hinder us from God’s rest. Now is the time to direct your mind from worry to prayer and not let the toxic thoughts stew in your mind. What you focus on affects your emotions at the heart level as well as your day-to-day outlook. Focus on Him who is our life giver instead.
We can strive to be perfectionists and still be without peace. God’s solution is to be still and surrender our worries, let go and quieten our hearts and minds and stop trying to solve things on our own. Rest is a gift of God but also a decision we can choose to make.
Let go of the past and fasten yourself to the future. Let go of your cares and anxiety at the feet of Jesus. Be still before God
Prayer: We thank You for the reminder of Christmas that You sent Your Son to be our Emmanuel, to invite us all to live in Your Kingdom, to find the rest in our restless spirit that seeks salvation through works rather than through faith and coming to You for forgivness and adoption into the family of God. Help us Lord in our unbelief that Your Holy Spirit may show us all things and direct us into the way everlasting. Amen.
耶稣在马太福音28章中提到的 安息 是什么？我首先想到的是安息日的休息。上帝的命令是在创造的第七天休息，所有的工作都要停止。想必犹太人都已了解这一点，但并没有得到安息，因为耶稣对他们的邀请表明，尽管他们把安息日定为圣日，他们仍然感到疲惫和负担沉重。他们工作每七天中要休息一天。这不仅是身体上的休息，也是停止劳作。安息日的安息是耶稣基督降临的伏笔，耶稣基督是安息日的主。马太福音11:28，祂邀请所有劳苦和担重担的人到祂那里去，祂会让他们得安息。