The Bible states that God completed His creation, rested on the seventh day, and sanctified it (Genesis 2: 1-3). Does God rest because he is tired? Not. The Bible proves that God, the Creator of all things, never fainted or was tired. He does not slumber nor sleep (Isaiah 40:28, Psalm 121: 2-4). If God is not worn or tired, then why is he resting?
First, God wants to see and enjoy the results of His creation (Revelation 4:11). Have you ever painted a picture or completed a project that you want to experience? Most of us spend time looking at and evaluating the results after the work is done.
Just like someone who enjoys a work of art or a completed project, a Creator with all creativity enjoys his creation in pure condition.
God’s example shows that we must enjoy the fruits of His work. He encourages us to do what we have to do with all our strength. God gives us the goodness of the results of our hard work to be enjoyed. That is our part of this life. God provides us with the work of His hands for joy and fulfillment (Ecclesiastes 5:18).
Enjoying the results of His creation is not the only reason God rested on the seventh day. God uses it as an example for humans; He sanctified it for humankind (Mark 2:27); God states the separation between work and rest. The principle of separation and protection of God applies even on rest days.
The sabbath day of rest is a foreshadowing of resting in Jesus Christ. It is an example for believers in Christ Jesus.
How do Christians know that God provides rest? The covenant that God made with the believers is the proof of God’s provision for rest.
In the Covenant that God made with his followers, he guaranteed several things, (Hebrews 8: 10-12):
First, God ensures that he will put his laws into our hearts and our minds. This means that Christ’s follower does not have to strive to learn about God and his ways. If he seeks the Lord with all his heart through God’s word, the Bible, God will reveal himself in surprising ways.
Second, He states that those who believe in Him will be His people, and He will be their Lord. This means that Christ has separated them His special blessing. He will never leave them or forsake them; He pays attention to their prayers, and He watches over them. They are His people and the apple of His eye.
Third, He stated that all of his followers would know him from the smallest to the biggest. Christians don’t need someone to mediate between him and Christ; Christ Himself will teach it through the Holy Spirit. He shows one of His children; He will explain all His children, believers only need to search for Him diligently through His word.
Finally, He states that he will be compassionate to the believer, and will not count his sins against him. Christians freed from sin and guilt; Christians can celebrate their salvation without the burden of sin.
Those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior can enter God’s rest. Faith in Jesus Christ, his redemptive work on the cross, and His resurrection from death are enough to please God. Christian are not required to do great jobs to please God. Simple obedience is all that needed of the believer. The Christian freed from the burden of producing his works of righteousness. Jesus Christ has secured the believer’s sanctification for him.
Resting in Christ does not end in this world. Jesus gives his followers a glimpse into heaven itself to reveal the rest that he provides after death. (Luke 16:19-31) Those who die in Christ are taken to Abraham’s bosom to be comforted. Departure for the Christian is not a fearful thing.
Those believers in Christ who have gone before us are being wholly comforted. There is no pain or suffering for the believer in Christ. God continues his principle of separation and protection, even in the death of a believer.
Resting in Christ frees people from the fear of death and things from this world (Hebrews 2: 14-15). Resting in Christ means that God never leaves or forsakes him. He is forever safe. But the real rest in God is knowing that Christ provides everything we need for this world and things to come. Whatever trials we face, whatever burdens we carry, Christ is there to comfort and share those burdens. Resting in Christ is the only way to real joy and fulfillment.