A NEW REST
“…The man (the one healed at the pool of Bethesda) went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working still, and I am working.’ This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (Jn 5: 15-18)
Here, in yet another incident within the ongoing “Sabbath controversy” between Jesus and the Pharisees, our Lord makes a shocking statement: “My Father is working still (until now), and I am working.” Jesus is signalizing a change in His Father’s dealings with us, His people.
Previously, God had made His “rest” on the seventh day upon creation, as described in Genesis 2: 1-3, a “sign” of the Old Mosaic Covenant between Him and us (Ex 31: 13). We were blessed with the Fourth Commandment by “imitating” God and “resting” as He did upon His first creation. But now He reveals Himself as “working still,” also on the Sabbath, because He is working, in His Son, on the new creation, which is to become the “New Covenant” in the blood of the Son (Lk 22:20); in the salvific works and workings of Christ crucified.
So now we are called to be “working” in Him, with Him, and like Him, Who offers us a new connection with Him, in “a new covenant in His blood” (1 Cor 11: 25). Today I find new “rest” and new peace in the lightness of His redemptive Cross, according to His promise: “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 meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mt 11: 28-30)