Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Substance of the Sabbath (pt.1)

Intro | Part 1 | Part 2

"Rest From Our Works"

"Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work..." (Exodus 20:9-10 NIV)

I think we all understand the idea of the "Sabbath day", don't we? Work six days, rest on the last one. It sounds like a good principle for healthy living -- common sense, in fact -- but we must remember that every ceremony God gave in the Old Covenant was meant to point us to Christ, and is fulfilled in Christ. So how in the world does the Sabbath point to Jesus?

Sabbath pointed to how we 'rest' from 'our works' in Christ:
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

"But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us... (Titus 3:4-5 NKJV)

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. (Hebrews 4:9-10 NIV)

We are saved by grace! By God's grace, not by our works. We needed God to save us. Our sins were too much for us. Even if we tried to do good and be good enough to be saved, we couldn't do it. We were overwhelmed; the labor was too much for us.

Of course, we humans are stubborn. It takes awhile for us to realize that we can't make it to heaven on our own, that we can't redeem ourselves. That is why God gave the Law to Israel. He gave them many, many commands so that they could come to understand that they weren't able to do it on their own. That was the purpose of the Law.

First Moses said,
"And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness." (Deuteronomy 6:25 NIV)

Years later, after many sins and judgments, Isaiah realized,
"All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away." (Isaiah 64:6)

And so God promised that He would send a King, a King who would be our righteousness for us. Not one who would merely teach us righteousness, but who would be our righteousness:
"The days are coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will raise up from David's line a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land.
In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which He will be called:
The Lord Our Righteousness."
(Jeremiah 23:5-6, 33:15-16 NIV)

Just like He used Passover to show Israel how the Messiah would be the sacrifice for the sins of the world, God used the Sabbath day to show Israel that she would find rest from her unrighteousness in the Messiah. So when the Messiah came, He said,
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Hallelu Yah!

This is the meaning of the Sabbath-rest! "Sabbath rest" is the wonderful rest and peace that comes to us in Jesus because of His finished work for us!

But I cannot stop here. I cannot resist telling you more and more how every aspect of "the Sabbath" in Scripture pointed forward to Jesus Christ...

(to be continued in Part 2)


  • At May 02, 2007 1:45 AM, Anonymous Roseline said…

    I think the wonderful of being a Christian is having Sabbath in every moment.

  • At May 02, 2007 2:48 AM, Anonymous Shane said…

    Yes, isn't it wonderful that the King of Glory lives in us, that He has given us His rest and that we can now be consumed by the very love of the Father.


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