Rest

| 08 April 2020

While Scripture reveals the events that transpired throughout most of Holy Week, it is not explicitly clear about what happened on Wednesday. Most scholars refer to Wednesday as a day of rest. Jesus may have spent time with his friends in Bethany. He may have helped them prepare for the Passover meal. Regardless, he likely spent time in the presence of his Abba, in holy rest.

How do you feel about rest? In our American culture, rest is often viewed as lazy or lacking productivity. Why do we resist rest? Is it an attempt to win God’s favor by continuing to “do” for him? Interestingly, our Savior decided to rest on a day that would lead up to the most agonizing day of his life here on earth. This required trust. He knew that his Heavenly Father was in control. He knew that God’s will would be done. So, he rested.

Christians around the world have spent the last 40 days observing Lent. Lent is an invitation to examine the depths of our souls, prepare our hearts before God, reflect on Christ’s death on the cross, and anticipate his glorious resurrection. Much of this happens in the context of rest. We quiet our souls, put our hope in God alone and cease striving. When we embrace a posture of rest, we are acknowledging who we are, who God is, and the hope of our restored relationship with him.

The word rest is used multiple times throughout Scripture. God rested after his work in Genesis. God told the people of Israel that he would give them rest. Sabbath rest was commanded throughout the Old Testament. Job longed for rest. David cried out for rest throughout the Psalms. As Psalm 62:1 says, Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Jesus modeled rest as he took time to be alone with God. And my favorite, Matthew 11:28-29, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Have you ever noticed that the word “rest” lies within the word “restore”? One definition of restore says, “to put something back into existence or use.” Through rest, God restores, brings us back to abundant life, full of joy and anticipation.

LIVE THE STORY

What would it practically look like for you to rest? Psalm 46:10 says, be still and know that I am God. I don’t think the psalmist is telling us to literally not move, but to still our minds and be present with our Abba. Rest can look different for everyone, but it brings us back to these questions: Do you trust him? Are you anticipating a restored life? Is your hope in God alone? Today, take time to rest.

By Lynette Fuson
Women’s Ministry Director