MARK 2:27-28: “And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
OBSERVATION: Is observing the Sabbath important? The answer to this is a definite YES! This is the 3rd Commandment – “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11 NKJV)
Yet there is growing disagreement regarding which day we should observe in honoring the Sabbath. In Christendom some contend for Saturday, as this was the day that was observed by the Jews and followed the Old Testament pattern. Others contend for Sunday, the first day of the week, as this was the “Day of Resurrection” of Jesus Christ and marks the beginning of the New Covenant. Both sides will quote many Scriptures to defend their position. Yet, when this debate takes place we are in danger of making the same mistake that the Pharisees did when they criticized Jesus’ disciples.
Their is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. The letter kills, but the spirit gives life. Jesus came to restore our understanding to the true spirit of God’s commands. With regard to the Sabbath Jesus calls us back to God’s original intent. The Sabbath was not created as a religious rite for man to prove that he was part of God’s chosen people. The Sabbath was created for God’s chosen people to prove that the Lord loved them and would provide for them as they honored and worshipped Him. The Sabbath was created for man’s physical and spiritual benefit. In Jesus’ own words – “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
In this light the truth that jumps out is – Everyone needs the Sabbath! It is a day of rest. It is a day of faith. It is a day of reflection and worship. It is a day where we cease from our normal efforts and affirm our trust in the Living God as our Savior and Provider. We don’t need to squeeze in that extra day of work because – our God will provide all of our needs according to His riches and glories in Christ Jesus. God loves us so much that He has created and commanded this day of rest – for our benefit. We all need to be recharged and restored both spiritually and physically. This is the Sabbath rest that He calls us to.
Now some who read this may still be chomping at the bit saying – “Well, what day is it?” Paul had some good words in regard to this question.
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV)
“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” (Romans 14:5-6 NKJV)
So let’s stop arguing about “which” day – and let’s start observing the Sabbath! There are great blessings in honoring the Sabbath unto the Lord. It does not make us holy (righteousness through works), but it does draw us closer to the Holy One (righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ)! We all need time to stop, look up, reflect, worship, pray, encourage one another, and be renewed in His Grace and by His Spirit! I can’t wait for the Sabbath! In Jesus Name!