“Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and they to whom it was first preached did not enter due to unbelief, again He establishes a certain day, ‘Today’, saying through David, after so long a time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” – Hebrews 4: 6 – 7.
The Sabbath Day Law
Jews, Muslims and certain Christian churches believe in keeping the Sabbath Day (Saturday) as a day dedicated to God.
“On the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” – Genesis 2: 2.
For six days God created the heavens, the earth, the animals and the humans. God was very happy with His creations. Like an artist looks at the canvas, He imagined how the earth would benefit and sustain all the living beings. He made the earth; a living entity, able to bring forth life and hold the dead – the cycle of life and death on the earth. From dust you were born and to dust you shall return – Genesis 3: 19. The rest of the seventh day is God’s sign of completion; nothing further needed to be done as He created everything perfectly according to His word.
The earth is subject to God’s laws;
The law of growth/life
The law of gravity
The law of cause and effect
The law of death
God placed the humans in the Garden of Eden, blessed them and warned them not to eat of the forbidden fruit. He made everything that He created perfectly and only required from them to obey Him. When they disobeyed Him and sinned by taking of the forbidden fruit, He cursed the ground and forced them to work for their atonement. God handed down His laws through Moses and one of the commandments was to honour Him on the seventh day. The Israelites who were led by Moses through the desert were told that they could not enter His rest because of their unbelief and disobedience – Hebrews 3: 16 – 19.
“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” – Exodus 20: 8-10
Under the law, the Sabbath day was a day when people had to set their minds and their focus on God. They were cursed with hard work under the law and God needed to remind them what they were working towards. God cursed the ground because of Adam’s sin and he was forced to work the ground through hard labour.
The law of Sabbaths
The law of the Sabbaths was meant for man, the earth and the animals. Just as God refreshed Himself on the seventh day, so we take time off to refresh ourselves from work. This was a sign for all generations to follow. Don’t overwork yourself or other people working for you.
“For six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you must cease, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the foreigner may refresh themselves.” – Exodus 23: 12.
“Keep the Sabbath day, to keep it holy; just as the Lord your God has commanded you.” – Deuteronomy 5: 12. Before Jesus was sent to earth, all men were subjected to all the law and were commanded to uphold the law, including the Sabbath day.
The Spiritual Sabbath rest
Sabbath made for man
“Then He said to them. The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”- Mark 2: 27-28.
Because man disobeyed and sinned, God had to impose laws that were laborious and rigid so that man could work for his penance. Jesus was sent to break the chains of bondage of these laws and the power of sin and death for all mankind.
The Greatest Commandment
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22: 37 – 40
Jesus made it so much easier for us to enjoy life on earth. All we need to focus on Jesus and to love Him with everything that we are and do. Once you can get to know Him and love Him with all your heart and mind and soul, it is easy to love others as you love yourself.
“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.” – Matthew11:29 – 30.
The law of the prophets was lengthy and cumbersome and the people found it impossible to uphold. If you were disobedient and did not observe and uphold the law and the commandments, you were subject to the curses which Moses warned the people would come upon them – Deuteronomy 28: 15. Regular sacrifices had to be made through the shedding of animal blood by the priests for the atonement of sins. Jesus promised that His yoke is easy and we find rest for our souls in Him. Jesus became the last blood sacrifice, so no more sacrifices are needed. The spiritual Sabbath rest is one that is based on faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
No more works
“For whoever enters His rest will also cease from his own works, as God did from His.” – Hebrews 4: 10.
Through Jesus we don’t have to work for our salvation but rest in Him as God rested from His works. The price for disobedience and sin has been paid for and now all who enter through Christ can rest. The law is now fulfilled through Christ.
Jesus is the Sabbath rest
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11: 28.
Jesus is the bread of life
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.” – John 6: 51.
Jesus is the living water
“On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” – John 7: 37 – 38.
Jesus desires mercy and not sacrifice – Matthew 12: 7.
Live in the fullness of Christ
“Therefore, let no one judge you regarding food or drink, or in respect of a holy day or new moon or Sabbath days.” – Colossians 2: 16. Hebrews 8: 7 – 13.
Whether you religiously believe in attending church services on Sundays or Saturdays or attending a gathering of Christians in a home, you are not bound to how, where or which day you should worship God. Christ set us free from regulations and religious practices. You are the temple of God and not the stone or wooden structure. You, as the temple of God should worship Him in everything you do and bring glory to Him wherever you go. We are living in the Sabbath day rest of God through Jesus. Today is the Sabbath Day, and when you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Enter through Jesus and you will enjoy the “Sabbath” rest.
“One man judges one day above another; another judges every day alike. Let each one be fully persuaded in his own mind. He who observes the day observes it for the Lord, and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.” – Romans 14: 5-6
You are not obligated to worship God on a Saturday, Sunday or at a specific location, but you are to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
“Yet the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.” – John 4: 23 – 24