Keeping the Sabbath
The word of God defines the principles of man’s eternal destiny. Man was created for God’s plan and purpose and that is to glorify his name. Our experiences in time are for God and ultimately we are rewarded for overcoming. This is a great mystery because most of us don’t understand the principle of God being glorified in what we do for his name’s sake. Therefore, when God established the Sabbath day he made it for mankind to rest and be refreshed for a new experience [Mark 2:27]. He did not create man for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for the man. If man was created for the Sabbath, then the day would be important rather than why the day was created.
The scriptures identify that God created Heaven and Earth within a six-day period and rested on the Sabbath day. The Sabbath is a holy day or a day that is set apart for man to rest (which means to cease from exertion and it means to celebrate). God doesn’t need rest from exertion or labor but he did celebrate his created work. God knew that mankind needed rest because he was created. The purpose was to set himself apart from all his labors and be refreshed from past labors and to lay down every burden. The Sabbath is a holy or hallowed day for mankind to give thanks to his creator in celebration for the fruit of his labor given by God and to lay every burden down from past failures.
In today’s society there are questions concerning when a person should celebrate the Sabbath. You will notice that in the scriptures there is no specific day named but only the direction from scripture that says six days we shall labor and do all our work and rest on the seventh day. The days of the week were not given by God but by mankind (Julian calendar) in worship to other gods apart from the one true God. Considering that the Sabbath was created for man and not man for the Sabbath, it is understood that it doesn’t matter the day of week but rather the determination of the heart to lay our burdens down and celebrate Yeshua our creator and Lord. Jesus/Yeshua said in Matthew 12:8 that he is Lord over the Sabbath. We are living in a dispensation of grace where God rules over the heart and we are responsible for allowing him to be Lord over our life.
In addition, the old testament scriptures reveal many Sabbath days or Holy Convocations. These days were days of celebration for times and seasons of God’s miraculous works. There are many things we need to learn concerning this to understand the relevance of God’s grace fulfilled for his purpose. Jesus Christ is God’s grace working in our life. Jesus argued with the religious sects of his time over their interpretation of the Sabbath and the scriptures. Look at John 7:23,24 and John 9:16. There are many descriptions in scripture that define this matter. Let us consider Colossians 2:16 for example;
Colossians 2:16 (KJV) 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days.
Notice how the Apostle Paul defines the issue of Sabbath days because there are many. The weekly Sabbath is about the person. If we aren’t laying down our worries from the previous six days then we aren’t keeping the Sabbath. If we pick-up our past failures from the previous week and don’t give it to God, we aren’t keeping the Sabbath. Hebrews 4:3-11 tells us to labor to enter into Christ rest. Let us labor to do this through God’s grace and lay it down.
Pastor E.F. Collins