|artwork by Tamara Peterson|
Amplified: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. [Jer. 6:16] For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
The Message: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Rest (refresh) in Greek is anapauo, from ana, which means again, back, or even as intensifying the meaning of the verb pauo which means to cease or give rest. Anapauo means to cause someone to become physically refreshed as the result of resting from work. Anapauo can also refer to spiritual refreshment or revival. Anapauo signifies “to cause or permit one to cease from any labor or movement” so as to recover strength. It implies previous toil and care. Its chief significance is that of taking, or causing to take, rest.
Rest is worship. Whatever stress or chaos may be in your life right now, Jesus invites you, just as he did the crowds he was teaching: “Come to Me. Give Me the heavy load you’re carrying. And in exchange, I will give you rest.” Jesus knows the challenges and deadlines we face and the weariness of mind or body we feel. He understands the stress, tasks, and responsibilities that are weighing us down. As we lay all that concerns us before him, His purpose replaces our agenda, and his lightness and rest replace our burden.
Rest is worship. The verdict is final. The case is never going to be re-tried—irrevocable. On that we can rest—we are justified on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is a blessing to know that I am, right now, under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, I am redeemed by His precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God’s love for me and approval of me will never be determined by my performance is the most encouraging promise to which I cling.
Lord Jesus, Thank You that I can rest in Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that I can rest as You carry my burdens for me. I give them all to you and I gladly receive Your rest! Teach me Your wisdom that is humble and pure, and help me to walk in the ways you set before me. Thank You for Your mercy and love that invite me to continually experience Your Peace and enjoy Your Presence, living my life resting and trusting in You!
Look Up—meditate on Matthew 11:28-30