This past Sunday Pastor Andrew spoke to us of the “Rest” that awaits each believer. This word “Rest” is interesting. The author of Hebrews uses the term Κατάπαυσις [katapausis], meaning “a putting to rest, a calming of the winds, a resting place.” In its metaphoric sense the word refers to “the heavenly blessedness in which God dwells, and of which he has promised to make persevering believers in Christ partakers after the toils and trials of life on earth are ended.” (Thayer).
In English, it’s meaning stems back to the nugget idea of “ceasing from action,” of being stationary, immobile.
The word also has a continuative aspect to it… a “keeping on” idea. E.g. “rest assured” meaning continue to be assured, or as we sing at Christmas, “God rest ye merry,” which means to continue in your merriness of spirit.
Then we have compound words such as head-rest, arm-rest, leg-rest, foot-rest, bed-rest, even un-rest. Seems we’ve invented terms for resting our bodies head-to-toe, completely, or not at all. What restless grammarians!
After we rest, we may say we feel “restored.” We are made to stop if we are “arrested.” And it’s a medical emergency if we experience “cardiac arrest!”
Most of the time when we are “resting” we are doing (or I suppose not doing) it upon something. I suppose an astronaut might “rest” just floating about in his space capsule, but most of us need something to “rest upon,” something to support us while we stop moving. What do you rest upon?
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29, NKJV)
The Christian ought, in all things, rest upon Christ.
As one “yoked” with Christ, the Christian must pace himself with Christ, one step at a time, matching stride for stride… looking down the path to the point He looks upon… not pulling ahead, not dragging behind, not veering to the left or right. This is the best way to keep the yoke comfortable, to plod on with peace.
What are you resting upon as you plod? Is it Christ, the Rock, the Cornerstone? Are you “yoked” with Him. If so, are you comfortable about your neck? Don’t tug at the yoke, don’t become “stiff-necked” or “hard-hearted.” At the end of the plowing a great Rest awaits!
To hear Pastor Andrew’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Feb. 2 message.