There are seasons of life in which we more acutely feel our need to hear Jesus speak the words of Matthew 11:28 over us than we do in others (“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”). When we feel especially weary and heavy laden, there is nothing quite like hearing Jesus say to us, “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest.“ Jesus loves to give his rest to weary people.
Have you ever wondered how Jesus can give rest to fallen people?
When Jesus cried “Abba! Father!” in the garden of Gethsemane (see Mark 14:32-42), rest for his soul was nowhere to be found. What Jesus found instead was distress, trouble, and sorrow. In Gethsemane, Jesus began to be utterly weary and heavy laden in order that he may give us rest on the other side of the cross. The one who now says to us, “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28), said in the garden that night, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Mark 14:34). The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus exchanged his rest for our sorrow that we may know the Father through him (see Matthew 11:25-30, especially verse 27). Jesus went to the sorrow of the cross that we might daily come to the rest of the Father.
If this blog post finds you weary and heavy laden, I’d like to invite you to join us in Atlanta for our September 14-15 national conference. All six of our general sessions will make much of the rest that Jesus loves to give to weary people. One of our main goals with this year’s conference is to look at the hard reality of life in this broken world through the lens of the gospel-rest that Jesus freely gives. Our prayer is that you will return home deeply refreshed by Jesus and better equipped to care for the fatherless. Come, join us. Rest a while…
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