He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry — how he entered the house of God, and they ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for him or for those with him to eat, but only for the priests? Or haven’t you read in the Law that on Sabbath days the priests in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here! If you had known what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:3-8).
How to Sabbath Rest
When you think about “rest,” you may automatically refer to a holiday, vacation, or other various ways that define rest. But what if you do all of these things, and then you return to normal daily life and your stressors, situations, circumstances in life come back to the forefront of your mind. The rest that you desired has come and gone.
But Jesus never said come to me and I will give you rest, and then return back just to pick up those same burdens. No, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Cast Your Cares
Rest is not complete without giving over your thoughts, emotions, and daily battles to God Himself. Therefore, how do we surrender into Jesus’s Sabbath rest?
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:6-7).
In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, he states,
Humility preserves peace and order in all Christian churches and societies; pride disturbs them. Where God gives grace to be humble, he will give wisdom, faith, and holiness. To be humble, and subject to our reconciled God, will bring greater comfort to the soul than the gratification of pride and ambition…Cast all your cares; personal cares, family cares, cares for the present, and cares for the future, for yourselves, for others, for the church, on God.
These are burdensome, and often very sinful, when they arise from unbelief and distrust, when they torture and distract the mind, unfit us for duties, and hinder our delight in the service of God. The remedy is, to cast our care upon God, and leave every event to his wise and gracious disposal. Firm belief that the Divine will and counsels are right, calms the spirit of a man. "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:8).
Jesus came down to earth as a human to bear the cross for our sins and died. He then rose again so that we may have eternal life. God sent His Son so that we may rest in knowing that we can have eternal rest with Him (John 3:16).
God, Himself, rested on the seventh day from His labors not because He needed rest but to show us how we should rest. Hebrews 3 talks about unbelief. When the Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and unbelief, God was angry and that led to the Israelites to have no rest.
And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest (Hebrews 3:16-19).
Jesus Is Our Sabbath Rest
So, how is Jesus our rest? He is the Son of God. He was there with God during creation (Genesis 1:26). If Jesus helped to create us, suffered for us, and died for us, then we can be reassured that He knows how to rest. Our unbelief and double-mindedness (James 1:8) are just a few of the causes for us to come out of Jesus’ rest.
The Israelites were experiencing many similar things like unbelief, so God gave them Moses, a servant of God, to deliver them out of the wilderness and into the Promised land. (Exodus 14). Moses was faithful to God's commands and he acted in obedience. Moses had fears, doubts, and concerns but remained confident and faithful to God to serve Him and His people. Jesus, although, was even greater. In Hebrews 3:5-6, it states,
Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.
Our rest shall always remain in Jesus as we are His house, and He takes care of His sheep. If we leave His house and go astray, then we leave the confident hope that we once had. We leave the promised rest with Him in eternity. We leave the one who calms all fears and takes away our everyday burdens. So, I encourage you to remain close to Jesus. Cling to Him, and He will give you the rest you are looking for.
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
“...and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
"To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3).
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Rebecca Mashburn (Gordon) has a wonderful husband named Joseph. She has a blog, Trust. Lean, Seek and is working on becoming what God is calling her to. She has a bachelor's in psychology and hopes to one day pursue a degree in biblical counseling. Rebecca loves to be in nature, especially in springtime, and she loves to travel. She has a loving family and hopes one day to have children of her own.