Summary: What a wonderful promise of rest we have from our God and king, but what does that rest mean? How are we to understand the rest He offers?
Hebrews: Chapter 4
September 14, 2008
I started off this week worn out. From the very beginning I was drained. This was just one of those weeks were everything caught up with me at once. A little over a month ago we found out that my sister was pregnant. My wife and I were really excited we were going to be an aunt and uncle. A few weeks later we found out that she lost the baby. It was really hard but it didn’t fully hit me until this week. Then I found out that we had some unexpected bills come up that we were not financially ready for. It wasn’t anything really big just a number of incontinently timed bills. So I started off worn out and then got hit with financial stress. You know how life is a lot like a roller coaster with ups and downs. Well this week was just a down. There was so much going on and so much to do. I had an insanely long checklist of things that had to get done this week and little to no energy to do them. I managed to get a lot done on Monday but that only drained me even more. I feel like I made it through this week mostly on autopilot. This week was just really hard because it seemed like there was just one problem after another. All I wanted to do was rest. I was getting plenty of sleep but there is a difference between sleep and rest. I had so much I wanted to get done but there just wasn’t time to do it all. I was hoping to get further ahead on our Spiritual warfare study on Wednesday night but didn’t have the energy to even glance at it. The whole idea of getting through the process of righting a sermon was painful. Over the last month or so I have just been adding weight to this burden I have been walking around with and this week it really caught up with me. I just wanted to lay that burden down. I wanted to rest. It was really strange though. Jordan and I began to talk on Wednesday and I found out we were both having a very similar week. I realized when I was talking with him that this week was a perfect example for our need for rest. We all have weeks like this. We have weeks were it seems like life is out to get us. Weeks characterized by conflict where there is just one difficulty after another. You know those weeks? You have those times where it feels like all your are doing is jumping hurdles and you just don’t know how much more you can take? Do you have those weeks where you just want rest? Ever have those weeks where you feel like the burden you are carrying is too heavy and you just cant keep going anymore? That is exactly what this last week was for me. As I was trying to force myself to study for this sermon I came across this text from Matthew 11 where Jesus says:
Mt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Mt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
What a wonderful promise. What a wonderful hope. Christ our king has promised us rest. To be honest we need it. In a life where we experience so many trials and hardships, we experience so many difficulties and so much pain. Life can make you very weary. We need the rest that He promises us because we don’t get it on our own. I sometimes tell people that all this being awake really makes me sleepy. Sometimes we need a break don’t we? Life can be tiring. There is so much to do and it seems like the older you get it seems the more there is to do and the less energy you have to do it. Our lives sometimes seem like one series of to do lists after another, further complicated by unexpected expenses financial, personal, and family crisis and a complete lack of energy. There is just so much to do. Yet there is hope. It does not always have to be like this. Our God and King promises us rest. A time for rest is coming, but it is not here yet.
This week we move into Hebrews chapter 4 so if you want to turn there in your Bibles we are going to look at Sabbath rest. Our author has just finished showing us the superiority of Christ in relation to the major aspects of the Jewish faith. He has just shown that Jesus is greater than Moses and noted that Moses could not lead people into the rest that God has promised to them. So then God’s promise for rest still stands and so we must be careful so that we do not miss it. Let’s look at the text: