Today’s Study Text:
“And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.”
Luke 23: 55, 56
King James Version
“A God Who Gives Me Rest”
“You have created us for Yourself, and our heart cannot be stilled until it finds rest in you.”
Have I accepted the gift of rest given to me by my Creator who formed me and has transformed me?
“Nature forms us, sin deforms us, school informs us, Christ transforms us.”
“(Jesus) said, ‘It is finished’: and He bowed His head and died.”
John 19: 30
King James Version
It was Friday afternoon. A voice broke the darkness surrounding three crosses on Golgotha’s crest. “It is finished.” Three simple words that came from the lips of the Son of God. As the Bible states, these were the last words Jesus spoke because after uttering this cry, “He bowed His head and died.”
In the Greek, the word “finished” means “complete”…”to conclude”…”to make an end.” What a word to come from Jesus – but it is the perfect word. For on that day, Jesus’ work of salvation was done. It was complete. There is nothing that you and I can add to or take away from this gift. We can’t do something good enough to make us worthy and we can’t do anything bad enough to make us unworthy. It’s that simple. As one author perfectly penned: “Salvation is so simple we can overlook it, so profound we can never comprehend it.” As the powerful preacher
C. H. Spurgeon said, “Remember…it is not your hold of Christ that saves you – it is Christ.”
The work of bringing at-one-ment, the bridge between heaven and earth to a close, was done. Jesus could, with a mighty voice full of clarity and assurance say, without a doubt, “It is complete.”
Then wrapped in the arms of love by those who believed in Him, Jesus was laid in a tomb over the Sabbath, where He rested.
I’d like to point out that there are two distinct times in the Bible where we see Heaven at rest. In Genesis 2: 1-3 (KJV), at the beginning of time, before the blight of sin had spoiled the perfection of God’s newly created world, the Bible says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.”
God’s initial work of creation was finished – and He looked upon His entire creation and declared it perfect –- then He rested.
But soon the toxic poison of sin entered planet Earth and we find God’s creation anything but perfect. What was once declared “perfect” by the Heavenly Creator had now been diminished to a wreckage of human suffering and sin.
But God could not and would not leave His lost children to struggle alone trying to fix something they were incapable of repairing. So the Father, in gracious love, sent Himself in the life of His Son. His Son, Jesus, reflected the glory, the purity, the love, and yes, the creative power of the Father. It was this power – that was given as a gift to re-create my battered, sin-filled heart. This is why, when Heaven and earth united on a wooden cross to recreate what had been destroyed, the Son of God could shout, “It is finished!” And then, not only did He rest – for His work was done – but as the author of Hebrews stated: “For we which have believed do enter into rest” (Hebrews 4: 3-5, King James Version).
As we reflect on the gift of the Son to this earth, may we embrace and accept God’s gift of rest. Rest from thinking we can save ourselves. Rest from humanly trying to fix what sin broke. Rest in our Father’s unconditional love.
“Only joyous love redeems.”
“Lord! When thou didst thy self undress
Laying by thy robes of glory,
To make us more, thou wouldst be less,
And becamest a woeful story.
To put on clouds instead of light,
And clothe the mourning-star with dust,
Was a translation of such height
As, but in thee, was ne’r expressed.
Brave worms, and earth! That thus could have
A God enclosed within your cell,
Your maker pent up in a grave,
Life locked in death, heaven in a shell;
Ah, my dear Lord! What couldst thou spy
In this impure, rebellious clay,
That made thee thus resolve to die
For those that kill thee every day?
O what strange wonders could thee move
To slight thy precious blood, and breath!
Sure it was love, my Lord; for love
Is only stronger far than death.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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