In part 1 we looked at the Tawrat and saw that God offers us rest, that is, he offers us peace and safety so that we are free to worship him and enjoy him alone. In this post we will see how God offers this rest as revealed by Jesus Christ in the Injil.
Saydna Isa makes a remarkable promise:
Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
When the Injil was revealed by God there were no chapter division or verse numbers. They were added later to help us reference particular sentences in the Injil. Because of this, we at times fail to see that chapters are linked together. This is a good example of this, for the Messiah makes these comments at the end of chapter 11, but we cannot fully understand them without what he also says (and does) in chapter 12 about the Sabbath (a holy day of rest).
In chapter 12 the disciples were picking grain on the Sabbath, which the religious leaders of the day believed was disobeying the command to not work on the Sabbath. Our master Jesus shows that this is not true because God has always meant for the Sabbath to be a day when people’s needs are met. The disciples were hungry and in need and God never intended the Sabbath to be a burden when people’s needs were not met. Therefore, since the Sabbath was created for man and for man’s good, it was not wrong to meet an immediate need on the Sabbath. Jesus Christ follows this by saying, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8).
In the very next story we see our master Jesus healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. It is good, right and “lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12). Even though the religious leaders thought Jesus Christ should not heal on the Sabbath, Jesus did it because it is God’s desire that people’s needs are met every day, even (especially!) on the holy day of rest.
God wants us to have rest. He wants us to rest on the Sabbath day and every day. He wants us to trust that he will do us good. Jesus Christ is the lord of the Sabbath and thus he is the lord of rest. This is why he is able to offer rest to all who come to him. Everyday we seek to make ourselves clean and acceptable to God through our own works. It is hard and laborious (and impossible) to try and be good enough. Jesus Christ offers a different way. He invites us to come to him, all who labor and heavy laden (who doesn’t labor and isn’t heavy laden?!). He will give us rest, for he is the lord of the Sabbath