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. (Matthew 11:28-29)
What a powerful word of comfort that is for those of us who are tired today!
Yet there are two kinds of “rest” in view here. Let’s take a look at them both.
- Temporal Rest – One of Kim’s favorite reminders for me is, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” How right she is . . . and how often I forget it! Many of you are a lot like me; we are all exhausted. Yet we have been promised a temporal rest from our weariness.
You see, Jesus was not only fully divine, He was also fully human; and in His human nature, He needed rest every bit as much as you and I do. He worked with His hands as a carpenter, and it was hard work, because He had no electric tools to ease His labor. By the end of the day, He was undoubtedly tired, just like any of us after a long day’s work. And that is why He invites us into this kind of temporal rest. Jesus knew the importance of rest and understands exactly what we need by way of His own personal experience. The key is to remember to rest in Him . . . not in the countless other things smaller than Jesus that promise rest but do not deliver.
- Eternal Rest – Beyond temporal rest lies the most important rest of all: the eternal rest that is promised to us on the other side of the grave. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has secured an eternal rest for the believer that surpasses all understanding. It is a rest that we will experience because everything that was once broken will now be made whole. We will labor, but without the thorns and thistles of judgment. We will love without envy or regret. We will live a life of unbroken fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ and we will know Him as He is.
So . . . where does this message find you today? Are you tired and weary and heavy-laden? Remember that we rest in Jesus by spending time with Him each day. Whatever you are going through that steals your strength, Jesus went through it also . . . and so much more! Then, once you have taken time to rest in Jesus, reflect on the promised rest that is to come one day soon in that place Jesus has prepared just for you, a place where there will be no more tears, pain, sorrow, or death. Now that’s a promised rest worth preparing for, wouldn’t you agree?
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!