The Rest of The Cross of Jesus Christ

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Sin wearies the flesh; it causes sickness and death in our soul. Bit by bit our sinful behavior destroys all that is, or was, good within us. Sin begins to cause our hearts to harden. Left unchecked, it destroys our peace, causing guilt, sorrow and shame. Sin consumes the mind and thoughts – weakening and darkening the soul.

With it comes fear and dread that our scandalous behaviors will eventually be exposed; knowing full well what will be left in its wake are shattered families and devastated innocent childhoods.  Uncovered and exposed, the sins in our lives lead to death – perhaps not physical our death, though that is entirely possible, but certainly spiritual death. Most of all, unrepentant sin in our lives can shut down a relationship with God our Father.

Many years ago, I met a blessed Christian woman, Tanya, whose life mission was to minister to men on death row in some of the toughest prisons in our country. She asked me to take a look at the “mug-shots” of these men taken when they were arrested. She asked me concentrate on their eyes. I was troubled at the lack of light reflecting back from those eyes. It seemed as if death had already taken place, any light that may have been in them had been long ago extinguished, snuffed out by the magnitude of their sin.

Matthew 6:22-23 (Voice) tells us that “The eye is the lamp of the body. You draw light into your body through your eyes, and light shines out to the world through your eyes. So if your eye is well and shows you what is true, then your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is clouded or evil, then your body will be filled with evil and dark clouds. And the darkness that takes over the body of a child of God who has gone astray—that is the deepest, darkest darkness there is.”

As I studied the eyes of these death row men, I saw nothing. There was no light within them; no joy, no peace and no hope; all of that had long since vanished. What did reflect back was desperation, indifference, apathy and weariness.

Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32 NIV).  Jesus was “lifted up” before the world as the great and final sacrifice for our sins. God looked down on this sin-sick world of His children bound by sin; filled with fear and dread and desperation; people without peace or hope or rest all groping in darkness and confusion for relief.

But God, in His grace, sent His own Son to be born a man to walk this earth, and become the final atonement for our sinful life. It is only when we really begin to contemplate the enormity of our sin against God, that we wonder what could possibly move God to send his Son Jesus to willingly lie down on the Cross to accept punishment for sins He did not commit; to accept a death He did not deserve. He became the final sacrifice.

It is in this sacrifice that we find Rest.  “And I will give you rest…” That is the invitation from Jesus. “Come to me…”  That is the invitation to the Cross.

Sin is a rigid taskmaster. It demands all of you – your thoughts, your money, your joy, your peace, your physical health, your mental health, your relationships. The invitation of the Cross is a call to every sin-sick soul wanting escape.

Jesus is calling to every person weary with the shackles of sin pulling them ever downward, with wickedness so powerful that it feels there is no hope or chance of freedom. He is calling to all who are tired of the lying, the cheating, the adultery, the anger, the despair, the rage, the dishonesty, to all who are weary of the lies, deceits and behaviors that are entangling every waking moment and invading sleepless nights.

Jesus said “Come to Me…” Go to Him. Now is the time to go to Him with your weariness and your burdens. There is no other way except through the Cross of Jesus Christ. There is no other way but through His Cross! Jesus died on the Cross not only to take the punishment for our sin, but to break its life-draining power over us.

Just Ask. Ask and He will take your weariness; Ask and He will take your heavy burdens. Ask and He will lift your addictions, Ask and He will restore relationships, quiet the rage, and cause those binding chains to fall at your feet. At the Cross of Jesus Christ, you will find freedom. At the Cross of Jesus you will find REST.

As for those men on Death Row, after seeing the haunting pictures of their cold lifeless eyes, Tanya showed me pictures that were taken a number of years later. The difference in the eyes of these men was remarkable. They were clear and bright and yes, inviting. She told me that each of these men  had come to know Jesus, He had forgiven their sins and they were new men in Him. Their future on this earth did not change; they were still on death row and would still be executed for the crimes they had committed. What did change was their eternal future; an eternity in the House of The Lord.

God’s love for you is immense… as wide and as full as the universe. He wants so much to have a relationship with you. He has called you as His own, He is waiting for you.

Are you done? Do you want to lay it all down? Are you tired of carrying it all, keeping it all hidden? There is power in the Name of Jesus. Now is the time, today is the day. (





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