There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God’s Word comes at you. It’s a sharp two-edged sword. It discerns your thoughts. It divides even to joints and marrow. The Lord bears His Word and says to you, “You’re unworthy to enter His rest. You’ve been disobedient, unfaithful, lazy. You’ve been unbelieving in My promises to save you, care for you, defend you. You’ve wanted your own way, not Mine. You’re no better than the people of Israel. They didn’t heed My Word and neither do you.” The Lord’s Word cuts at us. We know we’ve let Him down and sinned against Him. Our sins haven’t just offended God, they’ve killed God. That’s how bad our sins are.
“When they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?'” (Acts 2:37) We ask the same question that was asked on Pentecost. What can we do? Nothing. There’s nothing we can do. But take heart, dear Christian, “there remains a rest for the people of God.” There is a rest for you, dear Christian. It was won for you by Christ’s rest in the tomb. It’s an everlasting rest. The Lord gives you rest now.
That’s the Lord Jesus’ work for you. How He lived counts for you. His blood pays for you. His resurrection is your justification. He washes you in this, and brings you rest at the font. He feeds you with His Sabbath-rest with His Body and Blood in the Supper.
“All are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” That’s true, and you’re reckoned to Him on the basis of what Jesus did. His Word prunes you. Cuts away the bad. Kills you. But it also makes you alive. He rests you. Gives you rest. He does it now, and He’ll do it forever. Your rest awaits you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Jerusalem the golden, With milk and honey blest—The promise of salvation, The place of peace and rest—We know not, oh, we know not What joys await us there: The radiancy of glory, The bliss beyond compare! (Jerusalem the Golden, LSB 672:1)