Our Daily Sabbath
Read: Matthew 11:28-31
Few of us take the Sabbath seriously. We rank it up there with evangelism as a “gold star” opportunity rather than the whole point of what it means to have made Jesus Lord and Savior. As we often do, we want to skip right over the need for a heart of restfulness and just settle for resting when we can. And when we do observe the Sabbath, we often think doing nothing is the point.
God introduced the Sabbath when he was raining down manna on his griping, hungry people (Exodus 16). He wanted to teach them that He was their provider, but perhaps more importantly, He wanted them to understand what it meant to not depend on themselves. The Sabbath was a sign that God was in charge. He doesn’t need our work but our worship. Sabbath breaking was punishable by death (Exodus 31:14) because it was a form of idolatry—human independence!
This helps to explain the Pharisees’ fixation on the Sabbath, and Jesus’ persistence in breaking their Sabbath rules. The Pharisees had turned a way to worship God’s sovereignty and steadfast love into an opportunity to achieve righteousness through religious works. No wonder Jesus was angry. And no wonder the punishment reserved for them was the true death of eternal hell. Jesus died so he could be our Sabbath every day, so that we could rest every moment in his total sufficiency for all that life throws at us.
Physical rest is good. But the real question is not whether you hold a Sabbath once a week, but are you resting in Christ daily?