The Rest of the Story [Part 1]

Are you ready for some good news?

In Christ, you have true Sabbath. Because He did all the work of salvation, you can rest in His finished work.

Today’s Text: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:1–3, ESV)

Notice the irony and contemplate the mystery: God’s last day, the seventh day, was our first day.

The Lord made Adam and Eve on the sixth day and then rested on the seventh day. So, the first day for Adam and Eve to live was the day that God was resting from His work. God finished His work and then, and only then, was the world ready for a man and woman.

How strange. God worked, then rested, but Adam and Eve rested and then worked. In fact, there is no mention in paradise of the man and the woman needing to rest because their work isn’t toilsome in paradise. They were born in the rest of God. The work that Adam does, he does out of the rest of God.

How remarkable. Amidst the explosive fireworks of creation – the creation racing across the cosmos at 186,000 miles per second – God highlights the day of no activity. With the backdrop of the marvel of God’s creativity – the formulation of the incomprehensible human DNA – God blesses the day He did nothing. The day of rest, the seventh day, is the day that God calls holy. To God, the most important day is the day of no work.

What is hidden in the mysterious blessing of the seventh day?

It’s about being finished. God doesn’t rest on the seventh day because He is weary. An omnipotent God cannot get tired! He rests to paint a picture on the landscape of all human history—God rested because He had finished what He had set out to do.

The Sabbath was a gift to an old covenant people (and is a wise model for frazzled, hectic moderns). But it was always a shadow pointing to the longing of God for His people. God longs for us to live not under the labor of law with fear of inadequacy and condemnation. God longs for us to live in the unbridled joy and energy of knowing ourselves utterly accepted by Him. The gift of Christ to us was God’s gift of Sabbath to us. When Christ said, “It is finished,” all was recreated. Anyone who is in Christ is in the “rest” of God. You don’t have to labor for God’s acceptance, all that work has been done on the cross. And that’s the Gospel!

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