INI + AMEN.
Rest. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? God created rest. “And God rested on the seventh day from all the work He’d done.” He rested. He sabbathed. He gave it as a gift. And it’s more than just not doing work. Because we need more than just a little time off, we need more than just a little RnR, more than just a little vacay. We need true and lasting rest.((B. We’re broken people.))
We need it because we’re broken people. We’re run down, worn out. The changes and chances of life worry us. Markets and prices are up then down and down. The evil that happens in this world terrifies us. Las Vegas is just the latest example. And besides all that there’s our own personal day to day grind that wears us down.
We’re sick, we’re tired. We’re not getting any younger. One day our sickness will give way to death. We’re so worn down by whatever it is that’s bothering us that we lash out at those around us. We’re grumpy. Our patience wears thin. We want to put ourselves first.
And all that shows us is how truly broken we are. People who are at peace and who are whole don’t lash out, they’re at peace. They don’t get upset, they forgive.
Sin has broken us from the inside out. It’s broken our relationships. Sin brings selfishness, anger, and bitterness and lets it fester. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control” aren’t our close companions when we get spread thin and broken by what’s going on in our lives and what’s going on out in the world. It doesn’t help that we’re already broken—sin. “We are by nature sinful and unclean,” as we rightly confessed earlier. Nothing good in us—just sin. We’re broken.
((A. JESUS SABBATHS HIS BROKEN PEOPLE.))
So, what’s to be done? Well, Jesus is the great Physician of body and soul. But the sort of healing He gives isn’t what we expect. He takes on our brokenness. “He became man” “for us and our salvation.” He went through what we go through, but He did it without sinning. He took on our brokenness: healed the sick, like that man with dropsy. On the Sabbath even! Jesus also died. He rested in the tomb on the Sabbath. He gives rest to you, true rest, lasting rest—His rest. He sabbaths you.
JESUS SABBATHS HIS BROKEN PEOPLE.
((B’. We’re Sabbathed people.))
That’s Jesus. He’s the Lord of the Sabbath, the Lord of Rest. That doesn’t just mean He created the Sabbath, that He created Rest. No, He does good on the Sabbath. He gives rest, He sabbaths. He sabbaths from sin. He pulls us out of the ditch. He forgives us and sets us free. He gives us new life. We don’t have to be bitter because we’re free and alive to love and forgive. We don’t have to go the way of death. He’s pulled us out of it with His forgiveness. He’s cleaned us up. Baptized us. We’re rested from our sin, and so we don’t have to go back to our sins anymore. There is no sin that His death didn’t pay for.
He doesn’t just sabbath us from sin, though. Jesus SABBATHS HIS BROKEN PEOPLE from what pains us in this life. The rest He gives is an eternal rest and peace. Yes, life goes on. There’s bumps and bruises, there’s tragedies, there’s evil, but that can’t truly conquer us, can’t defeat us. Jesus went through evil, and from it came the greatest good.
There is no sickness, no death that Jesus’ resurrection doesn’t take care of. His resurrection is greater than all sickness, death, and tragedy put together. Here the medicine of immortality is given: body and blood that gives forgiveness but also the promise that Jesus will raise you up on the Last Day. His eternal life is and will be your eternal life.
If we’re broken, that’s okay. Not that it’s okay. It wasn’t okay for that man to have dropsy either. But it’s going to be okay, more than okay! It is and will be perfect because JESUS SABBATHS HIS BROKEN PEOPLE. He gives them rest and healing. Only the rest and healing that Jesus can provide: an empty grave sort of rest.
He gives us His rest and peace now. We receive His rest and peace. “The peace of the Lord be with you always”—we receive that peace in the sure and certain hope that He will give us everlasting rest and peace. How can He not? He’s raised from the dead! That’s one of the promises and gifts given in His gifts. We’re sabbathed people now; we will be sabbathed forever, when we the broken, those who’ve been brought low will be exalted. On that day Jesus will bring you into the eternal sabbath rest of His Father’s kingdom.
INI + AMEN.