The Wednesday Word: Gospel Rest
“Come unto me all you that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
As usual, Mr Spurgeon nailed it when he said of this scripture, “There are mines of instruction in this verse. Superficially read, this royal promise has cheered and encouraged tens of thousands, but there is a wealth in it which the diligent digger and miner shall alone discover.”
Let’s then, go mining and see if we can scratch the surface of this marvellous truth.
Who issued the invitation to, “Come unto me?” Was it a psychiatrist? No! Was it a politician? No! It was the lovely Son of God who voiced these words. And who is He? He is the God/Man, the Eternal Word made flesh. He has come to us in our need and invited us to come to Him.
This verse wonderfully demonstrates Christ’s compassion for His people. He loves us. His love, however, is not the kind of love that wants to help but has no available resources. it’s quite the opposite. His is the love of Omnipotence. And what is the message of Omnipotent love? It is simply this, “Rest in Me.”
Are we weary? Then let us come to Jesus and rest.
Disappointment will make us weary.
A broken heart will make us weary.
Sin will make us weary.
Working to gain God’s acceptance will make us weary.
Legalistic religion will make us weary.
To be weary means to be worn down with burdens or to be exhausted. Does that describe any of us? How desperately we need to hear Him say; “Come to me.”
Listen, He’s not angry at you. He loves you! Hear His voice in the Gospel. There’s rest for you. Don’t let unbelief keep you from His rest. How could someone who has gone to the cross for us not care for us? He was wounded and butchered for us. As believers, He wants us to come to Him.
So what qualifies us to come to Him?
It’s our weariness, not our worthiness!
It’s His mercy, not our merit.
It’s our destitution, not our distinction.
It’s our hardship, not our holiness.
It’s His love, not our labour.
As believers, we have no need to drag ourselves around in abject misery. We learn to come to Him. To Him, and not to Moses! To Him, not to a favourite doctrine, an ordinance, priest or pastor. We come to Him, to Jesus Himself.
Let us come to Him for His gift of rest. Since rest is a free gift, it cannot be purchased or worked for. So then, how do we receive it! The answer is by faith alone.
Faith alone takes us to that rest. Faith alone sees that it is a rest received from the hand of the all-powerful God. It is a blood-bought rest. It is a rest bathed in love.
This rest is for the weary, for those who labour. It’s for you and me because we need it. May we all become weary enough to discover Jesus as our resting place.
To conclude, why to thirsty people drink? It’s because they are thirsty. Why do hungry people eat? It’s because they are hungry. Why do people rest? It’s because they are weary.
There is rest in knowing who Jesus is and what He has accomplished in His doing, dying and rising again. There is rest in understanding the cross. There is rest in the Gospel. There is rest because He shed His blood.
May we come to Him and enjoy Him and His rest.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place
And He has made me glad.
And that’s the Gospel Truth!