There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10
On each day of this series we have looked carefully into the wonder of God’s Sabbath. We have step by step drawn closer to the only one who can truly give us rest. The very concept that rest is a good and a desirable thing is being called into question, not only in the modern-day race for materials things as well as in the lives Christians.
But listen carefully to how God sets up the idea of Sabbath keeping in the Old Testament law.
“Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest Exodus 34:21
God gave time to the work of creation, but then He separated a unique and Holy day as a blessing called rest. God participated in rest. A Sabbath rest was not something God did because He was worn out, but because there was a wonderful grace and beauty in that day. When Jesus called us to come He didn’t say, “Come to me and I will give you work.” but He called,
Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest! Matthew 11:28 ESV
In the setting aside of a day we are not to follow some legal formula. Paul made it very clear in Romans that while one believer honors one day above another, another may honor a day as special, because
Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
The purpose of remembering the Sabbath day is not so much a requirement to please God in our calendar choice, but about recognizing that until we rest fully in Christ we will in the end accomplish nothing. At the end of the road, it is Jesus Christ who is our true Holy Sabbath. Knowing Him and resting in His work is to enter into the promise that God made to men and women from the creation of the world. It is saying, It is all about Him!” in every aspect of our life.
The setting aside of a day is in no way making us more holy but it is a gentle and constant reminder, just as is the taking of Holy Communion reminds us of His death until He comes. I pray that through this brief “mini-series” on Sabbath rest that some one will pause long enough to reconsider the pace and purpose of the every increasing work load of our lives. Just as giving our offering or our tithe to the Lord is a step of faith that God will multiply what remains, so also our committing to a day of rest will give God the limitless opportunity to bless our days with abundance.
As we rest we depend more fully on Jesus. As we come to a stop for even a few quiet hours our racing thoughts calm to a hush in which we may begin to hear the whisper of God’s still small voice. To dine with the master we must first leave behind our own nets and humbly sit by his fire and eat that we He has prepared for us with His own nail pierced hands,
As believers in Jesus Christ we know that one day we will lay aside the last trappings of this life. In that moment as we enter into an even greater experience of our Sabbath rest in Him we may hear the voices of angels praying – (I think they pray in Hebrew!)
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe