So it's been 2 months + 2 days since I last posted. Life is busy, but that is no excuse, it's not like that really ever changes.
If you were at Applewood last night this was my sermon but most of you weren’t. I sometimes find it difficult to come up with a new idea for a sermon but I had been enjoying this song by Thrice (Also Dustin Kensrue is the man).
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest
Here are a few highlights:
Labour and are heavy laden
When Jesus calls those who labour to come to him, he is calling those who have become weary from trying to become right with God on their own. The immediate context is those who were trying to uphold the law to make them right with God but that becomes very tiring very quickly, because our nature is one that is constantly turning away from God. For those who try to obtain salvation on their own, they will become weary because they will constantly be trying to achieve something that isn’t possible.
I have never personally heard anyone use this phrase that they are ‘heavy laden.’ I didn’t really know what it meant too well before looking it up. It means to be heavily burdened. The realization of sin causes heavy burdens. Realizing that you are responsible for your sins before an almighty God who cannot have sin in his presence is a weighty thing. C.H. Spurgeon says that “a soul which has to bear the load of its own sin, and the load of divine wrath, is indeed heavily laden.“
An interesting aspect of this is the use of a active verb and a passive verb. Labour is active meaning you are doing something and are heavily laden is passive meaning that this is something that has happened to you. Those who actively try to work for their salvation and those who realize the heavy burden that lies upon them are both called by Jesus to come to him.
Come to me
This invitation is to come to Jesus, not just know about him but to establish a personal relationship. Only those who have acknowledged that they are weary, because they can’t do anything themselves to gain eternal life, and heavy laden, because they carry a tremendous burden, are able to be saved. If you don’t realize these things, you probably won’t see a need to be saved.
I will give you rest
The verb here ‘will‘ is indicative. This is a factual statement, it doesn’t provide room for any doubt. It doesn’t say maybe or could give you rest. This rest is a gift, not that we deserve it but that we receive it from placing trust in Jesus. This rest is that Jesus has done everything already. On the cross he declared “it is finished” and he meant it. There was nothing left for us to do but to trust that Jesus paying for sin was adequate and God doesn’t not require anything further, just trust in what has been done. This is eternal rest, there is a freedom from becoming weary and freedom from the burden of sin.
The gospel doesn’t end here. The lives of those who are saved are changed and these next few verses give guidance in that, but I’m not going to discuss them.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”