March 04, 2024

Jesus Provides Rest and Peace

Genesis 2:2-3; Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 5:1-2

“Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

—  Matthew 11:29

Did God rest after creating the world because he was tired? No. When God rested, he set up a pattern for his people to follow so that they could take time to rest and to worship him (see Exodus 20:8-11). Finding our rest in God provides peace, as God intends for us all.

God wants his people to be able to live in a good, peaceful place where they can rest—that is, where they can flourish and have full life. God brought his people Israel out of slavery for that purpose. But Israel rebelled and failed to believe that God could provide that for them. So they did not inherit God’s promised rest even though God eventually brought them to the land he had promised them (Numbers 13-14; Judges 2; Hebrews 3:7-4:11).

Later God sent Jesus to show the way. Jesus knew that God could overcome any enemy that tried to prevent him from living God’s way and entering God’s promised rest. Jesus lived faithfully, trusting in all of God’s promises. And he finished the work God had sent him to do.

We all work, and we all need rest. But none of us can do the job that will bring us eternal rest. Jesus has done that for us, however—so now all we need to do is follow him. We can rest and find peace in God through the work that Jesus has completed on our behalf.

Dear God, forgive us when we fail to believe and trust that you will bring us into your rest. We cannot find the way to full life on our own. Help us to follow the Savior, Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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