Genesis 2:1-3. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
I hope these daily readings are a time of rest for you each day. Maybe you’re sipping your coffee right now, sitting in a comfy chair, reading and reflecting on your life in Christ. Ahhhhh.
God is a god of rest. We might think that God is primarily defined as a creator. But in eternity past, before Genesis 1, God was at rest. And in eternity future, after the new creation, God will be at rest. In Genesis 1:1 God paused from his rest in order to work. Why? So that his creation could share in his eternal rest.
But when sin entered into the world it stole our rest. In a moment we became wicked, and as they say, “There ain’t no rest for the wicked.” And it’s true (Isaiah 48:2). When we make our work, our performance, our achievements, or our productivity, into our identity it will rob us of the joy of rest. This is why most of us are pretty bad at resting. We are constantly trying to prove ourselves by our work. Rest for us is just a break until we can get back to justifying our existence with more work.
But rest isn’t meant to just be a break from work. It’s meant to be the source and the goal of all work. God didn’t take a break on day seven. He finished his work. He hasn’t created anything new, from nothing, since the beginning. But isn’t God still at work in creation? Yes. Every day he feeds the animals, makes it rain, and spins the planets. But his ongoing work is all from the rest that comes from a good creation. We too are meant to work from rest knowing that God has finished the work of creation. And we are meant to work unto rest, bringing goodness, and peace, and flourishing to the world.
Mr. Holland’s Opus – a finished work that brought rest.
Resting is an act of faithful submission. It’s worship. It’s image bearing. It’s living. Ceasing from all of our self-salvation schemes and worries, and finding rest in God alone.
Psalm 62:1. Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
All of this is meant to point us to our life in Christ. In Genesis 1-2 God created first and then finished his work. On the cross Jesus first finished the work and then created new life in us by his resurrection. His work in us is from rest and unto rest. His new creation in us is complete and yet ongoing towards a final completion. A final rest.
Ephesians 2:10. For we are his workmanship [complete], created in Christ Jesus for good works [ongoing].
“To live is Christ” means we are God’s finished work. His good work. There is absolutely nothing left for us to achieve, or produce, or prove in this life. Like Christ, we are seated at God’s right hand, and like Adam and Eve we are rested in our garden. Like God our lives are defined by our state of rest. All that’s left is worship. How do we worship? By resting and by working. Working from our state of rest, and working to bring rest to those around us. All while resting in our union with Christ and his finished work for us on the cross.
How are you at resting? Is your soul at rest today? Why or why not?
You in Christ
How does knowing that your life is the finished work of Christ give you both strength to work today, but also permission to rest?
Christ in you
How can you bring rest and goodness to your place of work today?