Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11, 31:12-17; Ezekiel 20:12; Mark 2:23-28; Hebrews 8:5-7; Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 4:1-11; Romans 14:5-8; Acts 20:7 & Hebrews 10:25
Pastor Steve reviewed the importance of the Sabbath from Genesis 2:1-3, which describes God resting on the seventh day. The first point he made was the day of rest was “not just taking a nap.” In fact, the command to observe this holy day was so serious that God prescribed death (Exodus 31:15) for anyone who worked on it. Not because God was on a power trip, but to teach us to enjoy the Lord’s and not kill ourselves in labor: “God has a way of enacting laws for our benefit.”
God established the Old Covenant was to show the world how His people were different. Israel frequently incurred His wrath when violating the law, which we think is harsh because we don’t treat His commandments with the seriousness they deserve. God is not a God to be terrified of, but embodies a love and holiness we fail to comprehend.
“The Lion of the Tribe of Judah loves us with a love that is ferocious,” Steve said. “It was serious because of the significance of God’s love given in the Old Covenant. The Old Testament was ‘come and see’ religion. In the New Covenant it’s ‘go and tell what the Savior has done for the world.’”
The second point of this passage is found in what Jesus said about the Sabbath, Steve said. In Mark 2:23-28, Jesus said Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. God made a day of rest for our benefit, not so we could worry about keeping man-made rules; it’s our day to hit the refresh button on life.
“Jesus is what’s happening to Sabbath,” Steve said. “Sabbath is a rest. Jesus said, ‘Come to me and I will give you rest.’”
Turning to Hebrews 8:5-6, he pointed out the passage is the description of the earthly sanctuary is but a shadow of heaven, just as holy days and Sabbath are a shadow of things to come. Christ is our salvation and the rest that allows us to cease striving for it. Sabbath rest means we can rest, knowing we can’t earn anything from God.
“Christ has saved me,” Steve said. “Your striving is pointless unless you are striving to enter His rest. . . . We strive every day to serve Him, knowing He gives us the power and strength to do that. Rest is knowing that; when you don’t you are working yourself to exhaustion.”