When God created the world, He rested on the seventh day. The Sabbath day was established in the beginning… before sin and death would enter the world. Fast forward to the days of Moses. In the 10 Commandments, the people of Israel were commanded to never forget the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. Now fast forward once again to the New Testament where Jesus speaks often of the Sabbath and we are told that a Sabbath rest still remains for God’s people (Hebrews 4:9) To say that the Sabbath is important to God is an understatement. Why do you suppose that is? Does God really care about us religiously abstaining from work one day a week? Or is there more to it than that?
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- The Sabbath is still important today because it is still important to God. Now, I’m not going to dive into discussing whether or not we should be keeping the Sabbath today (because I’ve previously written about it here.) But I can say with confidence that the Sabbath is an important part of serving God. It is referred to throughout the entirety of God’s Word. It was present before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden which also speaks to its importance. Then we have the fourth chapter of Hebrews. In this chapter, we discover what it truly means to enter into God’s rest. And as we can see, it has nothing to do with one day a week. God’s Sabbath rest occurs every single day in the life of a Believer.
So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. – Hebrews 4:9-11
- The Sabbath was always about rest and peace, not religious practice. God never meant for the Sabbath to become a religious duty or obligation, which is exactly what the Pharisees had turned it into. Jesus made it clear that God created the Sabbath for our benefit, not for His.
Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” – Mark 2:27
- God designed the Sabbath to foreshadow all we would find in Christ. When God established the Sabbath in the Garden of Eden, we are told that He “rested” from His work. We all know that God didn’t need to rest the way we do after a long week… this rest was meant to serve as an example and a foreshadow of what would eventually come. He wanted His people to understand the significance of His peace and rest. In the end, Jesus is our Sabbath rest. From the very beginning, this was God’s intention for His children.
The Sabbath is important for us today because it is all about Jesus… our source of perfect rest and peace.
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*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
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