Hebrews 4:1-11: Enter That Rest
September 6, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
When we think of rest, we tend to think of a nice relaxed Sunday afternoon lying on the couch taking things easy. Perhaps there is a game on the television, Sunday lunch has been eaten, and mercifully – for once that week – there is not much to do other than chat to a few friends or family for a blessed couple of hours.
But when this passage here is talking about rest, it is talking about something bigger and better than merely absence of work. It is talking about rest from our striving to be saved, from the anxiety of not being saved: in fact, not just absence of work but the rest of God that is declared in the Sabbath instituted by God.
That Sabbath, according to this passage, is finally declared in Christ. The reason why the Sabbath is even in the Old Testament in the Bible is because the Sabbath itself speaks of the rest that is finally won at the victory of Christ at the cross. And when we put our trust in Christ, we therefore are rescued from the guilt and condemnation of our sin and enter into the blessed rest of fellowship and communion with God.
And just as in the Old Testament, those who refused to listen to God’s voice did not enter his rest, so also now – in this day of salvation that the author calls “today” – those who refuse to put their trust in Christ will not enter God’s rest.
What a motivation for following Christ – that when we trust him and follow him we experience real and true rest!
What a warning not to reject Christ – that when we do, we are shut out from rest!
“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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