Behind the Song: “God Rested”


Joseph of Arimathea got permission from Pilate to bury Jesus quickly because the Sabbath began at sundown, and the Jews weren’t supposed to touch a dead body on the holy day. We’re told that the women followed him to the tomb and wrapped Jesus’s body in linen to prepare him for burial.

And then they waited. The city went to sleep. If it’s true that God is outside of Time, then it follows that he knew at creation, and when he established the Sabbath as a day of rest, that he was foreshadowing the Saturday when his son’s body would rest in the tomb.

When I was in Jerusalem I was struck by the stillness of the city during the Sabbath, the poetic rightness of that stillness, in the wake of Christ’s death—even as the hearts of Pilate, the chief priests, the Roman soldiers, and those who loved Jesus would have been anything but restful.

You can pick up Resurrection Letters: Prologue in the Rabbit Room Store and listen to “God Rested” here:

Andrew Peterson is a singer-songwriter and author. Andrew has released more than ten records over the past twenty years, earning him a reputation for songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. As an author, Andrew’s books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga, released in collectible hardcover editions through Random House in 2020, and his creative memoir, Adorning the Dark, released in 2019 through B&H Publishing.


  1. gllen

    phew! Andrew.

    Thank you for your work in writing this song.

    It has brought tears of gratitude, beauty, and joy to my heart & eyes today.

  2. Ginger Smith

    Once again you have moved me to tears. Thank you for putting my heart’s cry  down into words and music.  I know there must be many fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are blessed by your music.

    Thank you for allowing God to reach out to others through you.

    -God bless!

    Ginger Smith

  3. Sillyoldbear

    “They dressed him like a wound…” Just this single line already is like a short sermon to me.

    Thank you so much for this song!

  4. Scott Duebber


    Awesome.  So thankful for this.  It ties so much together that I never connected before.  My heart is full.

    He did more than just rest in the tomb, though.  Wasn’t he also doing battle with Satan in hell during that wonderful (for us) Sabbath?

    (I think I can make this work in my head by reminding myself that God operates outside of time, and therefore I need not try to figure it out.)

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