A Short Study of Hebrews 4:9-11
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
The word “rest”, which is used over and over and over in Hebrews 3 and 4, means to ‘repose back’, to ‘lay down’, to ‘be at peace’, to ‘cease from work’, to be at home. But, the word translated “rest” in verse nine is an entirely different word.
The word here translated “rest” means sabbatism, or “a keeping of a sabbath.”
The Holy Spirit here shows us how the Old Testament law regarding the sabbath finds its fulfillment and complete accomplishment in Christ. Hebrews 4 declares that all who believe on the Son of God keep the sabbath by faith in him.
Here we are told that The Lord Jesus Christ has entered into his rest, and that his rest is glorious, because he has finished his work (Isaiah 11:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
Our Savior’s rest in heaven is glorious; His rest in heaven is His glory.
As God the Father rested on the seventh day, because his work of creation was finished, so God the Son rested in the seventh day of time and entered into His rest forever, because He has finished His work of making all things new for His people (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 10:10-14).
In Matthew 28:1 we read, “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” The verse quite literally reads, “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the sabbath.” This is what that means — When the Lord Jesus Christ died at Calvary and rose again, the old sabbath of the law ended and the new sabbath of grace began!
Behold our exalted Savior!
Do you see him seated yonder upon his throne in heaven?
There He sits in the undisturbed, undisturbable serenity of His absolute sovereignty.
His rest is His glory (John 17:2; Philippians 2:9-11; Isaiah 45:20-25).
The fact that our great Redeemer has entered into His rest declares He has finished His work (John 17:4; John 19:30).
He has, by His obedience in life, brought in an everlasting righteousness. And, by his obedience in death, the Son of God has obtained eternal redemption for His people.
Because Christ has finished His work, the salvation of His people is certain (Hebrews 9:12).
All His redeemed ones must enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:6).
The works were finished before the foundation of the world in God’s purpose (Revelation 13:8; Romans 29-30).
They were finished in time when the God-man took His seat in heaven as our forerunner (Hebrews 6:20).
There is no more work to be done.
Christ did it all.
Since He has finished His work, He sat down in His glory.
There He is resting!
This is what the sabbath days in the Mosaic economy pictured.
By D. Fortner