The Ultimate Rest
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
THE LORD SAYS: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”1 Here the Lord addresses those who have still not yet known the way to Him. Being distant from the Lord is the secret of our troubles and for bearing all this world’s burdens and worries. Those whom the enemy has subjugated do not feel that there exists the rest Christ prepared for those who love Him. So they do not surrender their lives to His hands for Him to set a fence around them and protect them from this world’s injustice and the evil one’s power. Because the world was given to the devil who has power to subjugate those who love this world and have bent their backs in his servitude. Christ reveals here that He is the Redeemer and Savior able to have overcome the world: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”2 He addresses us from the position of His victorious power that triumphed and prepared a rest to those whom this world tired and subjugated to carry its burdens. The Lord invites us to rest while at the top of His power over the world: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The Lord overcame the world for our sakes, as He is not of this world.
Faith in Christ and following His voice draw us to become free from the world’s power and the devil’s strong attraction. He therefore calls us to Him while at the top of His strength and glory promising freedom, and eternal rest to those who listen and follow Him: “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”3 He means being free from sin and the attraction of the world and of the devil. Eternal rest is open to us from now. Christ’s promise is truthful: “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.”4
After this call full of assurance, love and mercy Christ warns again not following Him and not having faith in Him thus: “And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”5
We savor the present feeling of rest now when sin ceases its power over us, and hence feel triumphant while filled with our temporary rest. It is the pledge of ultimate rest supplied for us instead of this age’s heavy troubles and carrying its humiliating yoke. Ultimate rest’s light is placed in our hearts from now, calling and drawing us, rejoicing our hearts. We will inevitably overcome and triumph because the taste of victory over sin and overcoming this world are the pledge of the ultimate rest that awaits us in heaven.
The book of Hebrews also warns us with the words: “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. … For we who have believed enter that rest.”6
That which gives great joy to the soul is to await the Lord’s coming and His appearance so that we may also appear with Him and enter our ultimate rest.
1 Matt 11:28
2 John 16:33
3 John 8:36
4 Matt 11:29, 30
5 Heb 3:18, 19
6 Heb 4:1, 3
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium