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Jesus is a Better Rest

Sep 27, 2020
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Hebrews 4:1-13
Sabbath rest is gift and a commandment, and it is important for us to understand what God means by Sabbath. Hebrews chapter 4 speaks all about rest; in fact, 10 of the 11 mentions of rest are found in this chapter. It begins with another “therefore” that is comparing the rest the Israelites found with the Promised Land to the rest Christians find in Jesus. Unfortunately, the Israelites didn’t believe it and therefore an entire generation missed entering that land of rest. Verse 3 keeps pointing to the wilderness, but also goes all the way back to creation. The “rest” comes from completion and not simply one of inactivity. Rest comes from a deep place in our soul that only Christ can give.
In verses 6-7, the writer now proceeds to show that those under Moses have failed completely of the rest in Canaan through unbelief, and that those under Joshua had entered into the temporal, physical, and material rest in Canaan, and that the rest under Joshua was not a complete and final one since God invited Israel into rest during David’s time. The writer is presenting a Psalm 95 reminder to all readers of the psalm to make sure the “today” becomes their own “today”. Christ paid the price for your sins, and on your worst day, you are passionately loved and accepted by Him. You have a rest that overcomes fears and doubts because of Jesus.
Verse 9 says, “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” Here are 3 purposes of Sabbath, which is first seen at creation when God rested after creating the world in 6 days.
1st purpose for Sabbath: It’s all about Him. (Exodus 20:9-11) We sleep 1/3 of our lifetime because we are not God. When we sleep and rise, we are continually reminded that we are a creature created by God.
2nd purpose for Sabbath: It points Christians to reflect on their salvation (Deut 5:12-15).
3rd purpose for Sabbath: It points forward to Jesus as the ultimate rest. There will be a reunion at the cross that will last forever. The weekly Sabbath gives us a joy and reminder.
Verse 11 says, “Let us, therefore, strive to enter that rest”. This word for strive is “eager” or “haste”, and it helps us recognize the importance to live in the grace. We want to get there and stay there. Then, verse 12 shows us that His Word puts life and light to our intentions. We will answer for this life, and we must look inwardly to see if we are being faithful. We also see the Truth of rest in Matthew 11:28-30 and Isaiah 30:15.