Summary: A journey through the book of Hebrews to discover who Jesus Is. . .! In this section, Jesus offers us REST!
Jesus Is . . .!
July 2, 2017
Has anyone ever warned you that you should not do something? Sometimes when people warn us, we don’t take them seriously. Sometimes we think they are just being over-protective or they don’t want us to have fun, or they’re just being nags. Ever been there?! Especially when you’re younger and our parents get on us . . . or even in the present time . . . for me, it’s the gentle warning Debbie lovingly reminds me not to get hurt when I’m playing some sporting event!
For the past few weeks, really the underlying theme for the writer of Hebrews has been a warning. He’s warning the people not to put Jesus below the angels, or as we saw last week, he quoted from the Old Testament, using Moses and the people of Israel as an example of how it’s possible to miss out on all that God has for us.
He encouraged us to hold fast by looking to Jesus, by keeping our hearts in the right place, and by encouraging one another. If we hold fast to Jesus, we can enter into a special "place of rest" that God has prepared for us. In the end, the warning is to help us do what? Hold fast to Jesus so that we don’t drift from the faith.
This brings us to chapter four.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that the promise of entering into God's place of rest still stands, but …
1 Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. – Hebrews 4:1
The writer is giving us another warning. He's saying, "Look. This promise from God is good news. It's too good to miss. Don't let it pass by."
Since God's people in the days of Moses were rebellious, they missed the opportunity to find that rest in God. The hope is that we will find that rest TODAY. Because the promise is still out there. We can’t wait until it’s too late, but today, we find Christ and hold onto His grace and love.
The writer also tells us that this place of rest, this promised land, is not a geographical location; he's not talking about Israel. He's talking about a spiritual place, a quality of life in the presence of God. And he says...
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
Hebrews 4 is about entering into the rest of God — a special place in the presence of God in which we experience an abundant life, the best possible life that humans can experience.
In Hebrews 4, the writer repeatedly uses the word "rest" referring to three different things.
First, he refers to the Promised Land, the land the people entered after the exodus.
Second, he refers to God's work of creation, and how God labored six days creating the world and rested on the seventh, the Sabbath.
Third, he refers to a place of spiritual rest in which God invites his people to enter.
He said ~
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.
9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from His.
So, this special rest that God is inviting you into, can be compared to entering the Promised Land, and it can be compared to a perpetual Sabbath Day — a never-ending day off, so to speak.
You see, God is inviting you into a life of abundance. He's inviting you into a life of the most powerful peace and joy you can imagine. Jesus said ~
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. – John 15:11
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. – John 16:33
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10
The goal is to give us a life of fullness. That's what God promises to His people. God wants you to be joy-filled content and satisfied. He wants you to feel hope about your tomorrows. He wants you to trust and feel secure in the power of His love. He wants you to live the abundant life . . . A life of more than, not a life of less than, not a life filled with regrets. Live life in all of its fullness.