As a part of our personal growth in our faith journey, we’ve come to understand about how the principle of Sabbath rest points to Yeshua. Oh how beautiful it is! Scripture tells us that Yeshua said:
“And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:”
This statement is known as the “Great Sabbath Controversy.” What Yeshua was saying is that man wasn’t made to see how many hoops people could jump through to please the Jewish leaders of the day with the many added laws to God’s Royal Law, The Ten Commandments. Rather, it’s for our good and benefit and it teaches us about Yeshua.
What are the 2 Ways that Sabbath Rest Points to Yeshua (Jesus)?
In the Old Testament Readings
Let’s consider the rudiments of Sabbath. What is a rudiment?
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
1. A first principle or element; that which is to be first learnt.
2. The original of any thing in its first form.
RU’DIMENT, verb transitive to furnish with first principles or rules; to ground; to settle in first principles.
There were many beautiful things that came about Yahweh’s act of creation. We learn in Scripture that after He spent six days creating, He rested on the seventh day. There is such significance in the planning and purpose in this. You see, we read in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 that Sabbath is a set apart day as a memorial of all of His works during the six days of creation. It’s a time when we honor our Heavenly Father who made it all. I think it’s a lovely thing to have a weekly memorial to do this. In addition, something of interest to note is that in Scripture all days are listed as first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day, sixth day… that is until we get to the seventh day, then it’s called by the name Sabbath.
To remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy (set apart) is one of the Ten Commandments for life written by God’s finger. It’s the highest and greatest summary of His moral law for all of mankind. And, it’s tucked in the middle of the other commandments… it’s the heart of them and His Story (History). This is because it points to Yeshua our Messiah… the heart… the focal point of History (His Story). A deeply sad reality is that this commandment that we are told to remember and do… is one that many people have forgotten.
In the New Testament Readings
As disciples (taught ones) of Yeshua the Messiah, we need to ask what Yeshua did and said about the Sabbath.
- Yeshua met for fellowship and public worship. In the Gospels, there are at least five references for meeting to honor God and bless each other. It was Yeshua’s custom, as He had been taught from the Scriptures and by His parents.
- Yeshua shared faith, hope, and love with family and friends in the meeting places. He also joined in the learning exercises of the day. Yeshua taught on the Sabbath. Many learned at His feet, just as we are to by learning of Him.
- He engaged Himself in the works of mercy and healing. The marvelous works of God showed up when Yeshua did miracles at Sabbath meetings. There are seven miracles that we learn about: He had cast out an evil spirit and healed six people on weekly Sabbath meetings.
So, we see that on the Sabbath, Yeshua met, taught, learned, gave mercy and healing, showed kindness, and blessed others. These are the behaviors which the Jewish leaders confronted Him about. He set the record straight about what is allowed for Sabbath. After all, He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8).
Yes, I know, what are the two points already, Heather? It’s exciting! The Sabbath is a picture/symbol of something far greater than the weekly Sabbath itself.
- 1. It’s a symbol of salvation rest in Yeshua Himself. It’s an expression of the fact that Yeshua is our Savior alone. How?
We are to do no work in it.
Salvation is not earned by works of the law/Torah.
Grace is a gift.
When practicing keeping the Sabbath, we’re expressing our faith that God is still at work. We’re trusting Him to work and fill in the gaps for us. This is not to say that there is license to sin. No, rather, it is to say that we are to choose self-government under Christ. While we acknowledge that there will be temptations presented before us, we have the choice to obey or disobey God. To slow down and remember to think cause to effect. My personal aim is to walk in the character of Messiah. I want to be conformed to His likeness.
I recently read again through His commandments in Matthew 5-7 (which point to the Ten Commandments). You know where He addresses worry (Matthew 6:25-6:34)? Yeah, I’m working on that one a lot. When I choose worry, how am I proclaiming faith in my Heavenly Father, that He is God? I’m thankful for grace as I learn and put into practice His commandments/Torah.
- 2. It’s a symbol of something greater than the day itself. We’re getting a foretaste of eternal rest with Him. What a perfect and eternal realization of weekly rest- an expression of our hope in Yeshua.
These are sermon notes that I took from church last Sabbath mixed with my own thoughts and studies. It was such a time of refreshing as we went over the heart of God’s Royal Law, the Ten Commandments. I pray that it refreshes you in your walk.