THE SABBATH REST OF GOD
"And by the seventh day, God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done." Gen. 2:2
I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to imagine God ever needing to rest. I mean after all, does god get tired? Does He actually need to take a day off once in a while like we do? If He has all strength and power, how could He become depleted of strength and need to rest? The key is in understanding the word "rest."
How Does God Rest?
In the above passage the word "rest" means to repose, to be still, to put away or be done with, and to celebrate. Isn't that interesting that "to celebrate" would be a part of resting to God? There is a passage in Hebrews that quotes the passage in Genesis. The Greek word for rest in that passage is Hebrews means: to settle down, to make an abode, to colonize, and to settle in. Here we see a whole other aspect of God's rest: abiding. Actually, it appears to have nothing to do with being tired. What a surprise!
Let me attempt to bring this together. After God had completed His creation He settled down to make His abode (home) and begin the process of colonization. He was very happy with His work and decided to celebrate the occasion of its completion. God was still. But why was He still? Because He had completed all His works. Does this mean that God never did anything again? No. It just means that He had completed all the work necessary to fulfill His purpose. He continued to be active and yet remained still as well. Continuous rest and continuous activity at the same time!
Abiding at Rest
Now let's take a look at this idea of abiding. When God had finished His works, where did He settle down to abide? This kind of sounds like retirement, doesn't it? On this earth, when we become older, we begin looking for a place to retire. We try to find a place where we will be comfortable and secure for the rest of our lives. That is what God did. He found a comfortable and secure place where He could spend eternity. He found a home. He settled in. but where did He settle?
After the Father had completed all His works He settled down into the most comfortable, peaceful, and secure place He could find. In fact, this is the same place where He had completed His work. In fact, this is the only place where He could possibly have settled.
The Father made His Home in the Son!
God completed all His works in Christ. Then He settled down and made His abode in Christ. Some of you may be thinking that God's home is in heaven. You would not be incorrect. "Our Father, Who art in heaven . . ." But dear brothers and sisters, don't you realize that even heaven is inside of Jesus Christ? (Ephesians 1:3) All of the spiritual realms, the heavenly places, the heavenlies, heaven, or whatever you want to call it, exist inside of Jesus Christ! Now you can see why the Father is celebrating. He had constructed and completed the perfect plan in Christ. All His hopes and dreams would be realized through and in His Son. But what was that plan?
Simply put, God's plan was to "colonize" this physical realm with that which is in the spiritual realm. In Christ, He had completed the work of a New Creation. This new creation was actually created before the physical creation that you and I see around us. This "new" creation was comprised of a whole "new" race or species. These creatures were part divine and part human. They had the divine life of God living in their human bodies. They were just like their environment, Jesus Christ!
God's plan is to colonize or populate this realm with that race. But not only that. He also wants His home, His rest, His Sabbath to colonize this realm as well. This can only happen as He fills all things with Christ. You could say that Christ is the "Door" that allows the Father to come into this realm and sit down and be comfortable. But remember, this Christ of whom I speak is both Head and body. He is a corporate Christ, made up of many members. When Paul spoke of Christ, he spoke of this corporate Man.
This is the Sabbath rest of God! This is His resting place. This is the abode or home of the Living God. This is where He has settled. And in this place there is much celebration!