Sabbath.

And “He said unto them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath'”.

Mark 2:27-28

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that were to come {speaking of before Jesus}; the reality, however, is found in Christ Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?  These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining self- indulgence (self-control).

Colossians 2:16-23 (italics and notes mine)

Sabbath by definition is a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jewish people from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sunday. Sabbath is still highly regarded in the Jewish tradition and religion. One very interesting fact many Christians have seemed to not understand since this newfound theology of “Sabbathing” (which by the way is NOT a word) is that Jesus is not accepted as the Messiah to the Jewish religion. The Jews do not accept the teaching of the disciples or that Jesus HAS already fulfilled the law and the prophets. I should really not have to go on any further with this post for any Christian who hears this version of Sabbath “theology”. That last sentence should not be confusing to the believer because the basis of the Christian faith is that Jesus IS the Messiah and He DID become a sacrifice to fulfill the law. But because prominent pastors and leaders have allowed themselves to latch on to this doctrine a conversation is necessary to correct wrong teaching.

So here we go….

If we would read everything we could find in the Bible about the Sabbath, about the sixth and seventh days, and if we would understand it strictly through the lens of Jesus Christ, there would be no misunderstanding about Sabbath rest.

Jesus fulfilled the law. And He told us, “I did not come to abolish the law, I came to fulfill it.” That does not mean we don’t honor the Sabbath because it was eliminated. NO, it means we do indeed honor the Sabbath now, not as a religious practice or rule but because the Sabbath is JESUS! Jesus is worth our honor, no doubt!

Those teaching about these “rhythms of Sabbath,” are encouraging a mentality of works-related behavior. Encouraging people to honor the Sabbath by taking an extra day off is encouraging people to a works-based, sin-conscious mentality. What can I do in order to receive God’s blessing? This is a question many people ask every day because they do not understand Jesus’ sacrifice. And if you’re seeking for something you need to do or something else that needs to be done, you do not truly understand the sacrifice Jesus made when He hung on the cross.

Sabbath was made for man.

His entire ministry was for man. His death and resurrection – and all of His conversations with the Pharisees about the wonderful miracles He performed on the Sabbath – were for man.

Sabbath was not made to burden man.

Too many pastors are putting an unnecessary burden on their people with messages that a rhythm of rest is something they have to do. They do not teach that the rhythm of rest is what Jesus did.

“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.”

Matthew 11:29

If you noticed what Jesus said in Matthew 11:29 compared to what Paul said in Colossians 2:23, Jesus’ yolk was attached to gentleness and humility. We have a flesh response to thinking we have to do something to receive the gifts and blessings that Jesus provided for us on the cross (remember how God provided the manna in the wilderness?). If you are one of those who are insistent that you must perform, well, all you have to do is simply believe – “ For with the heart one believes unto righteousness…” We have a flesh desire to either feel good about our part in our salvation, or the flesh desire to look good to others in our part of salvation. There is no condemnation in that because you are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus; but just accept this truth – your rest (and salvation) is only available because of Him.

Sabbath was the type of Jesus.

The Sabbath was pointing Old Testament believers to a better rest that would come in Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 4:9) Just as God rested on the seventh day eternally, we are able to rest in Jesus EVERYDAY for eternity. We don’t have to pick a special day of the week to “Sabbath”; I mean, if that’s what gets you to slow down and acknowledge Jesus in the middle of a busy season, by all means, take a “Sabbath” and keep Jesus in focus. But “Sabbathing” is not a requirement to experience the supernatural and eternal rest found in Jesus. Jesus is Sabbath.

Sabbath is provision.

God is not going to withhold blessing from your life because you do not set aside a specific time and day each week to “rest”. Understanding the concept of rest and the importance of having self-control over your life is something even unbelievers understand. Burning the candles at both ends is not a phenomenon held exclusively for pastors and church leaders or Christians. Bankers, moms, bartenders, students, tarot card readers, strippers, and all sorts of people will feel the burn in their life of imbalance and lack of priority. That’s the world we live in. People don’t know how to manage time, or they manage it so well they need a space to check off their Sabbath box. Neither mindset is what God intended when He introduced the Sabbath. The first mention of Sabbath was in regard to provision. Jesus = provision; He is more than enough. Think about Philippians 4:19 in regard to the Sabbath: “My God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory… (don’t be tempted to stop right there like you might normally do when chanting this in a time of need)…in Christ Jesus!!!” IN CHRIST JESUS!

Sabbath is what we work for.

Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:11 KJV

Do you truly believe that Jesus provided everything we need that pertains to life and godliness, or do you have a need to think there is something you must do in order to receive His blessing? Friend, today I want to encourage you that it is already done. Sabbath is yours for the taking, for all of eternity. If you have felt the pressing burden of not being spiritual enough to keep a day that you do things differently from every other day, I want to remind you that you are released from that burden, because JESUS already did it for you. He is already carrying your burden and He exchanged it for something light. If you are going to work for anything, work to stay reminded of His promises to you; work to having your mind renewed to the truths of God’s Word (the Word became flesh and dwelt among us) because that is Jesus, the law fulfilled in and for YOU! Don’t work to keep a day that has already been given to you – rest is yours for the taking, every day, all day, for all eternity. Provided to you by Jesus.

Go. Rest. Brave Grace.

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