Summary: The book of Hebrews is all about Jesus!
Jesus Our Rest
-Many summers back my friend Joel and I decided to hike 2 of the highest mountains in Oregon…in one trip.
-We drove all the way over to the Wallowa Mountains, and started our rugged journey by…cheating.
-There is tram that you can ride to the top of mount Howard which takes you up to 8255 ft above sea level.
-And our ingenious plan (pic of Erik) was to start our climb from there so we wouldn’t have to gain all that elevation on the trail.
-It also saved us one extra day.
-Now you have to do the math with me; I live in McMinnville which is about 150 ft above sea level.
-So what happens when a lowlander straps on a 40lb backpack, at 8000 ft elevation, and at starts to hike?
-You can’t breathe! And so you are very, very tired.
-And so we were going incredibly slow, which made us an easy target for the mosquitoes, and we had one of the most exhausting days of my entire life.
-By the time we camped that night at the base of Sacajawea and Mattherhorn, I could not wait to go to sleep!
-My body was crying out for rest.
-And I’m sure that if we all swapped stories, we could each tell tales of times when we were really tired and hungered for rest.
-Here’s what you may not have realized: one of the gifts that God has given us and wants to give us is the gift…of rest.
-This is one of the quieter themes in Scripture but it makes a bold appearance here in Hebrews 4.
-Let me give you a very quick overview of “rest” in the Bible.
Genesis 2:2 “On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.”
-WHEN GOD HAD FINISHED CREATING THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH HE RESTED. (GEN 2:2)
-Now God doesn’t get tired, but he rested. Why?
-To establish the precedent of resting for us.
-Later, when God established his people and gave them the Law of Moses, and the idea of rest came up several times.
-First he gave them what was called the Sabbath.
-THE SABBATH WAS GIVEN AS A DAY OF REST FOR ALL THE PEOPLE. (4TH)
-It was a day when no work was to be done, a day for families to spend time together, a day to do nothing.
-The whole purpose of that day was to slow down, quiet down, focus on God, and family, and it was a day not to work. Rest!
-How many of us truly need a day of rest like that in our busy lives
-When God took Israel as his people, he set up their lives how he thought they should be…and that included intentional time of rest
-Every 7 years the farmers of Israel were to give the land a rest
-And every 50 years the whole country took a year of rest.
-But there was another rest that God spoke of for his people.
-In Deut 12:8-11 and (other places in the OT)…it says
-GOD GAVE HIS PEOPLE THE PROMISED LAND AS A PLACE OF REST.
-It was a place of rest from enemies, rest from poverty, slavery.
-A place to rest from their wanderings in the wilderness.
-He wanted it to be a place where they could rest from the temptation to worship other gods.
-The greatest part of that “rest” is that it was God’s idea!
-Rest is something he wanted the Israelites to have.
-And I know that all of you fast paced, busy, overcommitted, and burnt out Americans…hunger for that kind of rest. Good news!
4:1 God’s promise of entering his rest still stands,
-GOD’S PROMISE OF REST STANDS: HE STILL DESIRES TO GIVE US REST.
-It’s a different rest than he promised the Israelites.
-We’re not hoping for some acreage near the Gaza strip!
-I have a strong aversion to machine gun fire and suicide bombers.
-But the promise of rest sounds intriguing!
-It should peak our curiosity at the very least.
-How many of people are weary in their souls and want rest?
-How many people R tired of guilt & shame and need a reprieve?
-How many people in this room are exhausted from trying to measure up to the world’s standards of success and prosperity, and what you really need is just a break from it all?
-How many came here today looking for a break from your weary dreary daily existence?
-How many of us are so tired of this old world that we can’t wait until the day we enter our place of rest called heaven!
-Verse 1 hits us with a PROMISE of rest right out of the gate!