Jesus Brings Us Rest
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and
bear a son,
and they shall call his name
(which means, God with us).” Matthew 1: 22-23
Have you ever waited for something for a while and then experienced the peace once that thing finally arrived? For some of us it might be a vacation after a long year of hard work. For others it might simply be that rest on Christmas morning when the gifts are unwrapped, and we can enjoy our coffee sitting by a lit tree. The period of waiting and labor can be tiresome, but the peace upon its arrival is ever so sweet.
This feeling of peace after long anticipation is exactly what we should be reminded of as we consider the season of Advent. The Christmas story in Matthew opens with a long list of names and is often overlooked. However, this list tells us the real history that leads to Jesus’ birth. For centuries God’s people had been waiting for their Messiah as God made promises with Abraham, Moses, and David. In Jeremiah 31-34 God promises to restore the hearts of His people and unite them to Himself. So, as we read the genealogy of Christ in Matthew, it should elicit a great sigh of relief among readers. The words, “God is with us” should overwhelm us with the feeling of complete and utter peace.
Advent, which means “arrival,” is a time when we should celebrate that all our labor and toil to bring ourselves up to God are finished because God has come down to us. We are reminded that the cross means the work is finished (John 19: 30) and that the cross happens because Jesus arrived. This lets us experience rest and peace with God. In this advent season you will probably feel the pressure to rush and hustle, to work harder and do more. But dear brothers and sisters, find rest in the knowledge that Jesus has come. God has fulfilled His promise to us, by sending Jesus to revive our hearts and restore our relationship with Him.
Lord, we know that the holiday season can cause anxiety and stress as we try to accomplish many tasks in just a few weeks. But we pray that you would bring us rest in our hearts and peace in our souls during this advent season.