WORKING & RESTING IN CHRIST
“…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: 16-18)
When Christ says, “My Father is working still…,” He reveals to us that God’s “rest,” on the Seventh Day, “from all His work” throughout the Six Days of creation (Gen 2: 2-3), did not actually mean that God stopped “working.” What God was revealing to us, in Gen 2: 2-3 and further in the Law (Ex 20: 8-11), with the whole business of the Sabbath-“rest,” is the kind of “working” He intended for us from the beginning, and which we enjoyed in the Garden; it was the kind of “working” that always “rested” in Him. After we decided to get busy with our own kind of “work,” pursuing “the knowledge of good and evil” outside of God (Gen 3), we subjected ourselves to the “pain” and “toil” of “rest”-less work (Gen 3: 16-17).
But in the Coming to us of God’s only-begotten Son, we are invited to “enter into God’s rest” again, as the author of Hebrews writes: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest…” (Hebr 4: 9-11) So let me let myself rest in God today, handing myself and my “work” over to Him, in some heartfelt prayer. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,” the Lord calls me this morning, “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)