Today’s Reading: Hebrews 4:9-13
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Kids look forward to school breaks, especially summer. Adults look forward to vacation time, especially if it can be spent without doing a whole lot of chores. People who work hard all week look forward to the weekend, or depending on their schedules, whatever days off they might have. Sometimes, we long for and crave blessed sleep–to drop into bed and close our eyes to the cares of this world. We long for rest.
There is another rest we wish we had. It is the rest from our struggle with sin. Ever since sin entered the world, the curse of sin has promised toil and labor would be our lot. It’s not enough that we have to work and scrape out a living. We struggle and battle against our Old Adam who’s trying to get us off track and run after the devil and the world.
But there IS a rest for you. There is a ceasing from your labors. That rest is Jesus. He came into this world to bring you rest. To bring you and end to the struggle against sin, death, devil, and hell. He came to do that by offering Himself up on Calvary and after His death, to take a Sabbath rest in the tomb, and then, to rise again the third day, having defeated sin and death.
Now, baptized into Jesus, you have rest. Oh, you still struggle, you still chafe. But the battle is won. Jesus won the victory you never could. And He bestows His victory upon you in His gifts so that you can be confident that day of rest will come.
When Jesus returns on the Last Day, He will raise you from the dead. Sin and tears will be gone. You will rest from these struggles that plague us in this life once and for all. Jesus is your rest from all your labors. He has done all things to secure this rest for you, to gift it to you. You rest in Him, for He is the rest that remains for God’s people. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
That light our hope sustaining, We walk the pilgrim way, At length our rest attaining, Our endless Sabbath day. We sing to Thee our praises, O Father, Spirit, Son; The Church her voice upraises To Thee, blest Three in One. (O Day of Rest and Gladness, LSB 906:4)