“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11v28
The Bible tells us that after creating the world, God rested from His work on the seventh day, and for that reason He blessed the seventh day and made it holy (Genesis 2v3). He did not rest because he was exhausted, but because His work in creation was complete. There was perfect harmony and peace within the created order: there was no sin, death, mourning or pain. Indeed, everything was exactly as it was meant to be.
Sadly, it was not long before this state of perfect rest was disrupted: when man sinned by disobeying God, death and suffering entered the world. The perfect relationship between God and humankind was broken, and the entire creation was plunged into chaos and conflict. No longer were things as they were meant to be, and this is the reality of the world in which we now live.
The good news, however, is that ever since the fall of man God has been working to redeem and restore what was lost. This work will eventually reach its climax in a new creation – a place where there is no more sin or suffering, and where God will once again dwell in perfect fellowship with His people (Revelation 21v4). Central to this wonderful plan of redemption and restoration is the person and work of Jesus Christ – in His sin-bearing death He took upon Himself God’s holy wrath against our sin, satisfying the demands of divine justice, and in rising from the grave He defeated death, paving the way for us to follow: He came from heaven to earth, that we might go from earth to heaven!
In a fallen and broken world, where our present experience is one of struggling and striving, Jesus invites us to turn from our sin and come to Him in faith, trusting in His perfect work. He is the door through which we enter God’s perfect and eternal rest, and through whom paradise is ultimately restored: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened,” He says, “and I will give you rest.”