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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Peace, part 4 - Rest

from Didriks.com via Flickr - CC-BY
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28 ESV
Months ago my pastor said something during a message that really kind of blew my mind. He was talking about this verse, and he mentioned that the language in the Greek implies that Jesus is taking a much more active role in this whole rest thing that "give you rest" implies in English.

In English when we say that we "give" something to someone, usually we mean that we offer it to them and they take it (or sometimes not, but usually). But in the Greek, this word ("anapauo") means: "to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength." It can also be used as an agricultural term, to "rest" the land to be planted at a later date. It seems to me like Jesus is not just saying He is going to give us the opportunity to rest - it sounds like if we come to Him, He will be the cause of our resting. He will positively "rest us"! The land you planted your crops on last year has no say in the matter of whether or not you rest it this year. You rest it, or you don't, and the land can't do a thing about it!

Do you dare walk up to Jesus and say, "Here I am, Jesus. Here are my heavy burdens. Rest me!" It seems like Jesus is calling on us to do just that. The trick to that, as the next couple of verses explain, is to give Him your burden, and then take on His burden, which is very light. Don't take your own burden back. Why would you want to? Leave it with Jesus, and who knows? You just might "find rest for your soul."