Today's Word of Encouragement

A PROMISED REST

Saturday, April 11, 2020

And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid (Mark 15:47). . . And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment (Luke 23:56).
 
     Have you ever wondered how consistent God is, and how often His plans parallel? I was thinking about this a while back when it dawned on me the significance of Jesus being in the grave three days. He told His disciples, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up" (Matthew 17:22-23). Jesus said His three days in the grave would parallel Jonah's three days in the belly of the great fish (Matthew 12:39-40). Both symbolized death. Jesus coming out of the grave paralleled Jonah's coming out of the fish, a symbol of resurrection.
     Jesus died on Friday evening before sunset. That was the end of Friday and the beginning of Saturday, the Sabbath. So, according to Jewish reckoning, Friday counted as day one after His death (even though it was part of the day). Saturday evening at sunset was the end of the Sabbath and the beginning of Sunday, the first day of the week. The Sabbath (Saturday) counted as day two after His death. Jesus was raised from the dead sometime before dawn on Sunday morning, day three after His death. This is consistent with all four gospels.
     What is both interesting and wonderful is the fact that the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, rested one full day after He had completed His work of redemption. It was His Sabbath rest, seven days after His work of redemption began on Palm Sunday. God the Father rested the seventh day after He had completed His work of creation. Coincidence? No. Such parallels of consistency run throughout the Scriptures.
     There are a hundred glorious facets of truth shining brilliantly out of the resurrection of Jesus. One such facet of truth is that by His resurrection we have the assured promise of eternal rest in Him. "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it" (Hebrews 4:1). However, we must not forget that God rested after He completed His work of creation. Jesus rested after He completed His work of redemption. And we will rest, not now, but after our work of service to the Lord Jesus Christ has been completed -  when He calls us home.
 
Pastor Martin
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