God’s special rest

“So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9, NLT).

God gave the Sabbath to Israel as a sign to show them and the world they were his chosen people. I spent many years trying to keep the Sabbath. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of it, but over time realized several things: I didn’t really know how, I couldn’t do it perfectly and something seemed to be missing. I did everything we were supposed to do—stop working, read the Bible, pray, go to church—but after all that, I was still relieved when it was over. In reality it was more work than rest.

It turns out something was missing. Just as with everything else in the Old Testament, the Sabbath pointed to Jesus. He is our special rest and our Sabbath, the sign of the New Covenant. He is the one in whom we daily rest—in his grace, mercy and love. Everyone who believes in him has their rest now and will continue in it forever. In his generosity, all of humanity is invited into his rest, included in his plan and can enjoy the peace and comfort of his blanket of mercy. Jesus is the true rest, with no worries and no rules, just him.