For Freedom Fellowship Church, the celebration of Sabbath goes back over 20 years. As we step into this year’s 40 days of celebrating the rest that the Lord has promised to us, think through these big bullet points sabbath.
- Sabbath, the rest of God, begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. The idea of resting with God bookends all of Scripture.
Genesis 2:2-3 – God rested from His labors and the faithful servants of God rested as well.
Revelation 14:13 is the other bookend where it is said that “they will rest from their labors.”
Sabbath is not the law, nor a day of the week, but a gift and invitation.
2. Sabbath is a part of our salvation – Jesus didn’t stop at forgiving sin. He also went the distance to lift the heavy burdens that original sin places on us.
3. Sabbath is for you. We need to embrace the faith of Matthew 11:28 –
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
In this incredible moment, Jesus reveals His plan to restore the Genesis rest to whosoever will come.
It is also a passage that opens up Matthew 12:1
“At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.”
“at that time.” There was no distance between Jesus’ comments on rest and this verse. The same players and tension exists.
The protagonist is the one thing Jesus promised to give – the Sabbath – He had promised to retire what Adam had lost through sin.
The promise is to give to man what no one else can give – true rest.
What is this rest, and what is it not?
It is not…
- the deliverance from every hassle of life.
- a lack of problems, stressors, or things that bother you.
- the promise that Jesus will walk with you through it all.
- that He will not give up on you
- that His side of the yoke will never be abandoned.
How significant was the Sabbath? – It was Jesus’ attitude towards Sabbath as seen in Matthew 12:1 that led the rulers to decide that Jesus must die. The issue of Sabbath was much bigger than any other.
In fact, all 3 synoptic Gospels record this fact
The Creator’s intent was for us to be at rest with Him – undisturbed peace, not afraid of the future or weary.
But the Devil destroyed it all. Sabbath became in the Old Testament only a shadow of what the Messiah intended to return.
This has led to a pseudo-peace, a shallow embracing of grace that ends at the beginning of the day when troubles come.
It is a picture of the enemy’s goal to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10)
Yet, Sabbath is a great, great promise from the Father. In it, every individual promise you can claim can be found – peace, joy, forgiveness, companionship, power, and rest.
Lastly, we can see a picture of the Father’s intent of Sabbath in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15)
In the parable, we read of the prodigal, who leaves behind a patient, loving father.
We also read about the other brother, in the field working. His identity is wrapped up in his faithfulness and loyalty to his father.
When the prodigal is welcomed in, the older brother grows jealous.
But there is a third Son in the story – the Son of God, Lord of the Sabbath. That Son has a message for the guilty.
“Come home! The Father has forgiven you! I paid the price, so just come home!”
He also has a message for the hard worker – the one who keeps all of the rules – “Come home! There’s going to be a party, and I don’t want you to miss it!”
The only thing that the Father wanted was for all of His children to be with Him in His home rejoicing.
He sent His Son, Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath to bring you into His rest.
“There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9
- What do you think of when you hear the word “Sabbath”?
- Why do you think Sabbath is so important to God?
- How are you going to intentionally “Sabbath” this summer?