“Darkness wants us to live our lives worn out. Rest is holy. Get some.” Bob Goff
There is yet, at least one more thing that the cross and the empty tomb mean for us…something often missed and frequently neglected. Something we often don’t allow ourselves to experience, even though it is ours to embrace. That “something” is rest.
We have all been physically exhausted. Perhaps after we have worked in the yard all day, or pulled a 12 hour shift, or run a marathon, we have found our bodies at the end of their rope and desperately needing to sit or sleep…or find some way to recover. God established the biblical concept of “sabbath” in part to give our weary bodies rest.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8
Our society encourages us to “go, go, go…” and we often wear busyness and multi-tasking as a badge of honor. More times than not, we neglect our body’s cry for rest…rest is often the first thing we sacrifice. We need physical rest.
However, there is also a difference between resting from “doing work”, and resting because “the work has been done”. Romans 8:1 says,
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The phrase “now no condemnation” means that before, there was condemnation. “Before”, we were stuck in a bad place because there was work to be done in order to have a relationship with God… and we were not capable of doing it. So Jesus…the cross and the empty tomb…now the work has been done! If then, the work has been done, we can rest. If we don’t, it means we are still trying to accomplish the work that Jesus has already finished.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
Writer Patsy Clairmont encourages…
Cozy into bed, pray your most sincere thoughts, trust you were heard, and sleep. We can’t fix all that’s broken, but we can be diligent with what’s in our power to do. And what we need now is regenerating rest. With morning comes new mercies and enough strength to face another day.
Meet me, O Christ, in the stillness of morning. Move me, O Spirit, to quiet my heart.
Mend me, O Father, from yesterday’s harms. From the discords of yesterday, resurrect my peace.
From the discouragement of yesterday, resurrect my hope. From the weariness of yesterday, resurrect my strength. From the doubts of yesterday, resurrect my faith.
From the wounds of yesterday, resurrect my love. Let me enter this new day, aware of my need,
and awake to your grace, O Lord, Amen. Every Moment Holy – Douglas McKelvey
Let’s enjoy the “rest” that Jesus has secured for us…