You have probably heard the old adage: “work smarter, not harder”. The idea is that it isn’t really hard work that pays off but making sure we are working hard at the right things. Amazingly, God tells believers in Christ that we should put our greatest effort into resting! How in the world do we do that?
The book of Hebrews is all about how Jesus is better: he is better than the angels, he is a better mediator, and a better high priest who offers a better covenant with better promises. Here in chapters three and four, we are reminded of a beautiful promise that God offers to all who believe in Christ: God has provided a place of rest for us. In these two chapters, there are three thoughts that are repeated over and over: a time, an action and a person. Today, we should rest in Jesus Christ.
Isn’t it interesting Paul has to tell these believers to consider Jesus? Why would he have to remind them of this? I think this is because we tend to default to the works of man rather than the rest of God. The Sabbath is a picture of Jesus Christ. Just as God rested from his own work on the Sabbath day, there is a place of rest for the people of God. That rest is found in His Son and the work that he did on the cross.
God was angry at the wilderness generation because they went their own way and did not accept his way. This is a theme throughout the book of Hebrews. We have to cease from our own works – our idea that if we do good things we can make ourselves acceptable to God — and we have to accept the way that God has made for us to be able to come to him.
We have a promise of a place of rest, but we get there by ceasing from our works and believing in the work of Jesus on the cross. I think of the words to a song:
There is a place of rest for all who are weary and bound
For our Savior and our King, made one offering
Once and for all men, and he sat down.
It is finished, the price has been paid, the sacrifice made, the foundation laid
It is finished, the blood has been spilled, the prophets fulfilled, our salvation sealed
It is finished, the crown has been worn, the stripes have been born, the veil has been torn.
It is finished, the work has been done, the victory’s been won, believe in the Son
For he has already won the war, and your freedom is what He died for
So believe him and work no more — It Is Finished!
So here is my challenge to us all: Consider Jesus Christ and the work he did on the cross.
Believe…. today… in the work of Jesus…. and rest!