Rest

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28) Jesus’ words here speak to me because I often seem to struggle to find spiritual rest within my soul. This timeless verse reveals so much of its meaning in the original language.

“...all ye that labor and are heavy laden” The term “heavy laden” comes from the Greek word “phortizo” which means “to load up” or “to overburden”. It carries the idea of pouring more into a cup than it can hold or overloading a car or animal with more than it can carry. This is literally what God’s law does to us. It places a load upon us that we can never carry. This becomes the cause for great spiritual anxiety and unrest until we recognize that Jesus carried the load both of God’s law and our sin to Calvary. He has fulfilled everything that God has asked of us and offers peace and rest to all who come to Him!

“...and I will give you rest” The Greek word for refresh is transliterated “anapano”, meaning “to repose or to refresh”. It stems from two words, the first being “ana” meaning “up” or “at” and the second being “pauo”, a primary verb that means “to stop, restrain, quit, or come to an end.” Coming to Jesus for rest simply means that we stop all of our religious striving and fall upon His grace in total dependence. Through the eyes of faith, we must recognize that His redemptive work is the only payment that could truly make us right with God. Jesus brings all of our self-righteous efforts to an end, causing us to live Godly lives out of gratitude rather than religious obligation. When I don’t have the rest that Jesus offers it is because I am relying on my own failing attempts to make me holy.