Brad Libolt speaking on the discipline of reading God’s Word. He focused on how if we want to know God and find rest in him, we need to study his word. We need to acknowledge Jesus’ death and resurrection and know that, in all our mess and sin, he became restless so that we could rest.
Imagine you are hiking up a mountain. There is a rule hiking this mountain: Every misstep you take, you have to put a rock in your backpack.
You’ve been hiking for a long time and you’re beaten, bruised, tired, frustrated, and in pain. All you want to do is stop and rest.
Another hiker comes out of the trees. He is on the same journey, has no backpack, bruises, or signs of tiredness. This hiker takes your backpack with all the mess in it, and he hikes up the rest of the way. He falls, gets bruised, beaten, battered, tired, in pain, etc.
You are the first hiker, your backpack is full of your sin, shame, guilt, and mess that you are carrying with you. Jesus is the other hiker, and he comes along and takes your sin and mess so that you can have rest. Jesus doesn’t float up the mountain though, he takes a beating, he has your backpack, we see this on the cross. He took our sin, our guilt for us.
This is the gospel, Jesus suffered for us – Jesus in our place. Jesus became restless so that we can have rest
We all need rest. We have all been, and some of us are there now, at a point where we’re just done. We need rest, and Jesus offers us that rest in him because he became restless in our place.
v. 8 Context: Israelites in the wilderness, moving towards the promised land thinking that would be their rest. The promised land wasn’t the rest they has hoped for. they were disobedient. If it would have been the rest they needed, God wouldn’t have promised rest in the future.
v. 9 The Sabbath was the symbol of the Mosaic covenant. That’s why the Pharisees always had issues with Jesus regarding the Sabbath.
Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, he is the Sabbath rest for the people of God. The people knew that he, Jesus, was the rest they had been waiting for.
v. 10 When God created the heavens and the earth he worked for 6 days and on the 7th he rested, God dropped working, he ceased. He did this as an example for us and to signify that his work was complete.
Jesus was crucified before the foundation of the world, God knew what he was going to do, had everything planned out.When we enter God’s rest, when we enter into the presence of God through Jesus, we no longer have to work. So when we enter into God’s rest through Jesus, we are done, we can stop working and trying, we are secure in the kingdom of God.
v. 11 Strive does not mean work, or try, it means to be eager or zealous, to be quick or to make haste.Therefore we should be eager and zealous to enter into the rest of Jesus
Rest doesn’t mean sleep, or physical rest like we would think, it means to cease, to stop, to finish. When we enter the rest of Christ we no longer have to work, our work has ceased, stopped, it is completed it is finished.
We all need rest. We have deep seated issues and struggles and pains that we need rest from.
- Depression, anxiety, insecurity, self consciousness
- Pornography, sexual sin, hatred, lying, gossiping
- Relational issues that plague our heart
These things overwhelm us, control us, and we just want rest, we want it to stop. The things we are chasing to fulfill this rest do not compare to the rest we can have in Jesus Christ. Be eager to enter that rest.
That doesn’t mean we won’t disobey, disobedience still happens. But when it does, if we are in that rest, if we are in Christ, we cannot fall. We are secure in God’s presence because of the work Christ did.
v. 12 The Bible is the very words of God; the creator and sustainer of life. These words are alive, they are moving, they are doing things.
Not only is God’s word alive and active, but it cuts deep. It pierces the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. God’s word pierces the very core of who we are spiritually and physically. It speaks to the deepest part of who we are.
It discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It knows who we are because it is written by God who created us. God’s word is going to speak directly to you, because the author of it knows you on the deepest level.
What does this have to do with rest?
- First, we want rest from the deepest issues in our heart. God’s word speaks to those issues, that mess, because it knows the deepest part of who we are.
- Second, we know that this rest is ultimately Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection are what have provided us the ability to have rest.
Where do we find out who Jesus is and what he’s done? If we want Jesus, and the rest that he offers, we must know who he is, and we know who he is by reading about him in God’s Word. It should be so much more than a spiritual disciple it should be a lifestyle.
v. 13 God already knows the deepest parts of who you are. Your deepest struggles, pains, sins, all of it. He knows. So stop trying to hide. He knows and wants to give you rest from those things, let him.
Because, at the end of our life, we will meet God face to face and will have to give account. There are two options, some will say “God I did everything I could, I worked hard, I tried to earn my way.” And God will say to them “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
The rest will say “God I tried, but I could never do it on my own. I found rest in Jesus, I am unrighteous, but I have the righteousness of Jesus because of his sacrifice for me on the cross.” And God will say “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Which one are you going to be? Are you going to be found resting in Jesus, or are you going to continue to work and try to fix things on your own?
For some, you are already resting in Jesus. If this is you, look around and see that there are people around you who need that rest, so share it.
For others, you have accepted that but you still struggle to give everything up. We hold onto the deepest insecurities and struggles, knowing we need rest but not wanting to bring those things to light. If this is you, I ask you to take this step towards rest.
And there are some who have never asked God for that rest. You are trying to make it on your own, trying to work hard and make things right, but you know you are lying to yourself, and its not okay. You don’t have the rest your soul needs. If this is you, I challenge you to think of Jesus. He took your sin, shame and guilt on his shoulders when he went to the cross. He became restless so that you could have rest, all you have to do is accept that. Just believe.
Jesus says, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Just go to him, put your mess on his shoulders, and be free.
Jesus Arrest & Death on the Cross
Not only is the Bible God’s Word, but it contains the words of our savior Jesus.
I am going to read everything Jesus said between his arrest and death. While you listen, close your eyes, and think about what Jesus went through on your behalf.
Think of the restlessness he faced in the garden. Think of the physical pain and suffering he went through, but also think of the emotional suffering that came with the wrath of God being poured out on him because of your sin. Jesus was restless.
Then, in the end, on the cross right before his death, Jesus says, rest my child, stop working son and daughter, it is finished. It is done. It is complete.