Rest!

Rest!

Are you experiencing an unsustainably exhausting and seemingly unending stretch in life? Are you run off your feet spinning plates with no discernible purpose or end in sight? Is the world taking more from you than it is giving back? Are you beyond what a good night sleep or a week away can fix? Are you on the verge of making a poor decision out of desperation?

While important changes may be necessary in overwhelming times, there is a much more basic answer. It is the Sabbath Day of Rest God designed for humankind (Genesis 2:1-3). But how can a religious day in the week make any difference? This special day presses us to examine where we draw our strength from for living life.

The Bible speaks of a universal day of rest ordained by God from the beginning of time (Exodus 20:8-11), to which Christ continues to extend an invitation.

Now the invitation assumes a problem. At present we are alienated from our Creator and are hence missing out on the rest he intended for us. This has been the case since our first parents took the forbidden fruit and launched us down a path of supposed self-sufficiency.

The millennia following Adam and Eve prove this self-willed path has not worked out for us, as is obvious from the perpetual, deep unrest of our world.

Sadly, when we ignore the Sabbath Day of Rest God made for us we not only lose its rich meaning and experience for life—that we can truly rest in God, being sustained and renewed in him (Isaiah 40:28-31)—we end up slave-driving ourselves and each other into exhaustion and depression (Deuteronomy 5:12-15).

Yet, through faith, Sabbath observance can give great hope in our on going struggle with life. In Christ Jesus, the Sabbath Day looks ahead to when God brings humankind and creation into perfection, into his eternal rest and delight (Hebrews 3:1 to 4:16, Revelation 21:1 to 22:5). When the going gets tough the Sabbath keeps us looking ahead to the future hope of the gospel (James 5:7-8).

Lastly, Jesus is the way into the rest of God (Matthew 11:25-30, John 14:1, 6). Thus, we are further reminded of new life every Sabbath Day. This is why the Sabbath shifted from Saturday to Sunday, and is also known as the Lord’s Day, the Christian Sabbath, as it is the day Christ rose from the dead, giving new life and hope to all who trust in him (Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Therefore, make the most of the Sabbath Day of Rest for the glory of God and your good! Start with participating in corporate Sunday worship as regularly as you are able. In this way you will be reminded where your true rest is both now and forever.

You are invited.

(See my podcast series for a deeper discussion of the Christian Sabbath.)

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