I have a couple grandsons that love to pretend they are superheroes. They have an assortment of capes and masks that allow them to be Superman, Batman, Captain America, Flash, and more. Justus likes to put on a pair of large green hands and pretend he is the Hulk. They moved to a different house and the first time I went there I was driving down the street reading addresses but it was clearly the one with a little superhero riding a scooter in the driveway, wearing a mask with a cape flowing behind.
While writing this article Lisa came in the office to tell me that Justus was goofing around saying that he was Pop Pop (which is his great grandfather). Lisa asked him, “Are you Pop Pop?” He said, “No, I’m Justus”, after a small pause he added, “and Spiderman.”
One day Leah interrupted the boy’s game by calling them up for lunch. As Malachi climbed up onto the dining room chair he said, “I’m going to save the day after I eat my bread”. This little superhero recognized an important fact. Sometimes we need a break from saving the day in order to eat our bread. His mom sees even more clearly that sometimes he also needs a nap and a reasonable bedtime.
This need is woven right into our fabric as we see in the creation God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. He would later command His chosen people, Israel, to keep a Sabbath by following the same pattern of rest every Saturday.
The concept of rest was also used as God promised His people a land in which they would have rest from their enemies. An entire generation of Israelites rebelled against God and missed out on entering the Promised Land. “Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest” (Hebrews 3:10,11).
This earthy Promised Land was meant to point to a greater rest that would be experienced in Heaven. “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it” (Hebrews 4:1). All of the dimensions of this idea of rest are meant to point us to Christ. Concerning the Sabbath Colossians 2:17 says, “These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ”.
It is not in our work that we are brought close to God but in our rest! We actually have to stop working for our salvation and trust Christ who accomplished it for us.