"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest."
Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you
who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared
for you since the creation of the world." Matthew 25:34
Gracious invitation of Christ to His ransomed Church.
Many had been the calls to rest issuing from His throne of grace. This
(retaining the same formula, "Come") is His final summons from the throne of
glory, as his weary and heavy-laden people lay down their burdens forever,
and are about to enter their eternal Hospice and Home.
1. Note the name of the Rest-Giver. He no longer speaks
of Himself, as He once did in His state of humiliation, as a Pilgrim,
needing rest as much as His people--the homeless Wayfarer of Galilee--but "a
King", the Head of His redeemed--Lord of all, who had by His doing and dying
purchased the regal right to say--"Inherit the kingdom." It is a gift which
makes those on whom it is conferred "kings and priests unto God." Being a
gift, it is from first to last of grace--all merit is excluded. In Milton's
"With solemn adoration down they cast
Their crowns, inwove with amaranth and gold."
"Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be
destroyed, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy
fear and awe." Hebrews 12:28
2. What enhances its value is that it is the gift of a
Father's love. "Come, you who are blessed by my Father." The Hospice with
its many mansions was prepared by the Father "from the foundation of the
world." The divine Fatherhood, the great Father-heart of God, so precious in
the Church below, will attain its full meaning in the Church of the
First-born. Christ's own words will then reach their grandest, their
everlasting significance, "My Father and your Father, My God and your God."
"I in them and You in me, that they may be made perfect in unity!"
3. The rest of the heavenly Hospice is further to consist
in the Presence and Love of the great Rest-Giver Himself. He says not,
"Go, you ransomed ones; heralded by angels, to your thrones and your crowns;
go apart from Me, and mingle in the ranks of ministering seraphim. My
connection with you terminates, now that your earthly burdens are laid down.
I go to My Father, and you see Me no more." No! It is, "Come, you
blessed, come with Me. I will show you the path of life. Remember the
words that I spoke, My closing words on earth. The promise will be in its
widest, its eternal sense, ratified now--'If I go to prepare a place for
you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there
you may be also.'" It would be no true rest to them, if the pilgrim-prayer
could not still be offered as they stand on the threshold of bliss--"If Your
Presence go not with us, carry us not hence." His response is, "Come!" "My
presence shall go with You, and I will give you REST."
4. One other thought. It will be rest after labor, and
rest-recompense for labor done under the inspiration of that divinest and
most heaven-born of forces--Love to the Master. "Blessed are the dead who
die in the Lord from henceforth--Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest
from their labors; and their works do follow them." "Come," is the
Savior's word and form of welcome--and then He specifies the varied good
deeds wrought by His people, and which He owns and accepts as done for
Himself. Rich and poor too can participate in the same tribute-offering.
Varied ministries of service, necessarily different in kind and degree (what
we may designate by the conventional terms of high and low), will be equally
valued by Him who tests all, not by material bulk or value, but by motive.
Through this consecrated medium of love, the cup of cold water given to the
needy will be owned and accepted at the great gathering of souls, whether
that water be conveyed in golden goblet or in earthenware vessel.
No rest on earth is sweeter or more welcome than that
earned by unselfish, self-sacrificing toil--the consciousness of honest
labor followed by well-earned approval and reward, the well-sustained fight
followed by the spoils of victory. What will be the elements of joy in that
rest which is the result of loving work done for the great Loving Being to
whom we owe our eternal all?
Blessed Savior, may I be able now with the ear of faith
to hear these whisperings from the better world, where rest will be turned
into rapture. And may it be mine at last, under the sway and dominion of a
love which is eternal, casting my blood-bought crown at Your feet, to say–
"In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are
pleasures for evermore."
"This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is
the place of repose." Isaiah 28:12