As we read through Genesis 1—reading about the days of creation, over and over—we read, “It was evening, and it was morning” on the first, second, third day and so on until the sixth day. But, then, we get to the seventh day, and it says that:
The heavens and the earth were finished, all the host of them. On the seventh day, God finished his work that he had done and he rested on the seventh day from all his work he had done and he blessed the seventh day and made it holy.
But, there’s no evening, morning or ending to the seventh day. That’s interesting. I think what’s happening here is that this is a day that’s never meant to end. This is an unending, eternal rest that God established himself and that we have always been meant to enter into with him.
When he comes again, he’s going to lead us into this new city, new garden, eternal rest.
When Adam and Eve finished the work he’d given them to do, to be fruitful and multiply, to work and keep the garden, to extend the boundaries of the garden, they too would enter into this rest. But of course, Adam and Eve failed at the work that they were given to do.
Still to Come
And so the story of the Bible at that point becomes waiting for another son—a second Adam. Of course we know about the ministry of Jesus. He was a faithful son. Jesus accomplished all of the work that God intended for him to do. In fact, we hear him actually say on the cross, “It is finished.”
So, it is not the first Adam, it is the second Adam who is going to lead us into Sabbath rest. The writer of Hebrews is continuing to talk about this rest. Evidently, we are not there yet. He says in Hebrews 4, “this promise of rest still stands.”
This is the rest that the second Adam is going to lead us into when he comes again. When he comes again, he’s going to lead us into this new city, new garden, eternal rest where we’re finally going to enjoy rest with God that he opened up in the original garden. It will be opened up for all of us in the new creation.
- A Biblical Theology of the City of God (T. Desmond Alexander)
- Why Does the Bible Talk So Much about Land? (Chris Bruno)