A Sabbath Rest

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Exodus 20:8-11
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 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, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lordblessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Punishable by death.  (Exodus 31)
The word “Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew word “SABAT” which means “to rest or stop or cease from work”
Jesus was often accused of breaking this law, but He set them straight.
Jesus claimed to be “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8)
He also clarified that the “Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”  (Mark 2:27)
The Sabbath day was supposed to be a day of rest because God rested, and we are made in his image and our purpose on earth is to reflect that image.
Since we are no longer under the Law (Romans) does the Sabbath Day still apply?
Like many of the OT laws, you will not be put to death for violating it – and it won’t keep you out of heaven – BUT it is actually a very good and healthy principle to live by. And I believe that God still blesses the Sabbath and the Sabbath keepers.
I learned some months ago a new perspective on this. Used to think Sabbath was Sunday – the church day, the day set aside for God by doing God-centered things. But, really, just like in Jesus time – thinking like that made the sabbath a burden and not a day of rest – especially if church is your work!
I learned that the key word in this practice was not the particular day of the week, or even the concept of ceasing all forms of what could possibly conceived as work, or making it “holy”..
the key is to REST FROM YOUR WORK….
When you do that you will be healthier and more productive than if you worked 7 days a week.
Some other examples of this rotation of 7…
Manna – (Exodus 16)
Crop Rotation – (Leviticus – 25) – let it rest on the 7th year
Leviticus 25
20 You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” 21 I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22 While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.
I believe a sabbath day is less about rest and more about trust.
It’s trusting God with your time. It’s recognizing that you are not as important or as in control of things as you behave. It’s taking a day and letting God sort out the details while you do something other than your work.
It’s trusting that if you let go for a minute that the world won’t fall apart.
I believe that just like the manna and just like the crops – And just like a tithe of your income, which is also all about trust – that when we honor God in this way, that he pours out a blessing so much that we can’t take it all in. When I honor God with my time by giving him a day of rest and showing in my actions – not only my words – that I trust Him for my provision, and that I recognize He is ultimately in control and not me – that he not only refreshes my soul but makes the other six days of the week more productive than if I had worked for 8 days straight.
All of this is about TRUST. It’s dropping your guard and leaning back on Jesus and just resting because you TRUST HIM.
This idea of Sabbath Rest is not only for the here and now – but the whole concept of heaven and eternity with Jesus is often referred to as the Sabbath Rest.
For the centuries before Jesus, the people had to work at pleasing God by obeying the Law – and it wasn’t easy. It was a lot of work.
But when Jesus died for us on that cross and then rose again, it did away with all that work and now we can rest in Him when we put our faith in him for the forgiveness of our sins instead of trying to work our way to heaven.
This is what Jesus meant when he said:
Matthew 11
29 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.
So, today we are going to do something that has never been done on a Sunday morning at Reality, but is something we will do again. We are going to do something that commemorates exactly what it is that Jesus did for us. It’s called communion, or the Eucharist.
This is something that Jesus himself commanded us to do. It is recorded in Luke.
Luke 22
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Jesus’s blood marked the new covenant, overruling the old covenant.
Before it was law – we have to…
Now it is grace – we get to…
Before it was WORK / EARN
Now it is REST / TRUST
17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.