The New Sabbath – Jesus is our Sabbath Rest
This week’s scripture reading: Luke 6:1-11
This week I’ve been posting about the Sabbath:
Yesterday we concluded with the statement that Jesus made in Luke 6:5,
“The Son of man is lord of the sabbath.” (Luke 6:5)
In other words, Jesus gets to determine the true meaning of the Sabbath because He created it! He is our Sabbath rest in that He came to relieve us of having to achieve salvation by our works.
But the concept of the Sabbath travels even deeper into our spiritual reality;
Jesus, by fulfilling law of Moses, has become our Sabbath rest.
The writer of Hebrews delves into this complex truth by comparing it to the “rest” that the Israelites were promised upon entering the Promised Land:
14 For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end, 15 while it is said,
“Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16 Who were they that heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:14-19)
After three chapters of telling the reader that Jesus is superior to the angels, and that He is our Apostle and High Priest, he pleads with them to not harden their hearts against Him, as their fathers hardened their hearts against the Lord in the wilderness.
Because of their unbelief, God denied that generation access to the holy land, saying, “They shall not enter into My rest” (Hebrews 3:11). In the same way, the writer to the Hebrews begs you and I not to make the same mistake by rejecting God’s Sabbath rest in Jesus Christ:
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9–11)
In other words, when we place our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, we are acknowledging that we are incapable of earning our salvation through works, we are accepting the free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), and can now “rest” in our salvation through Christ. As Jesus proclaimed on the cross, “It is finished!” In other words,
Jesus is God’s plan for us to cease from the labor of our own works.
Saints, here is no other Sabbath rest besides Jesus. He alone satisfies the requirements of the Law, and He alone provides the sacrifice that atones for sin. Therefore we can “rest” in our salvation, being set free from the requirements of the law (Romans 8:2).
So should we as Christians practice the Sabbath?
I believe that the answer is YES. “But wait Pastor, you said yesterday that we don’t have to!” Yes I did. It’s true, we’re not required to observe the Sabbath, yet I believe we should have a Sabbath. Not because we’re required to, or because God will condemn us if we don’t, but because it’s best for us.
God in His wisdom and care for us, gave us a pattern that’s designed to enhance our lives, both practically and spiritually. So I don’t know about you, but I plan on resting in my Sabbath each week, and my “mini-sabbaths” each day.
We can change the world, one life at a time…