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Monday, August 10, 2009

Jesus is our Sabbath Rest

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Jesus is our Sabbath Rest - Updated in 2011

The sad fact is the subject of the Sabbath is a contentious one for many and it should not be that way.
I am not a teacher but I am a sharer and this is a study that I did on the subject of the Sabbath. I believe this is the understanding I have received by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

The Dictionary correctly gives a basic definition of the Sabbath as:
The seventh day of the week, Saturday, observed as the day of rest and worship by the Jews and some Christian sects.

Let’s go to the scriptures to read what they reveal about the Sabbath.

 Shadow of Things to Come

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” Genesis 2: 2, 3 KJV

God “ended his work” and “rested on the seventh day” and he "blessed" and "sanctified it".  This scripture is very significant as a foreshadow of what this “rest” and "sanctification" would come to mean under the New Covenant.

I understand that this scripture is a foreshadow of Jesus Christ who would come to be the fulfillment and the completion of God’s true “rest”.

God gave the Sabbath to the Israelites and it was established as a remembrance that God created the universe in six days and then “rested” on the seventh day. He wanted His people to follow His pattern and rest also. (Exodus 16:29, 30, 20:8, 9, 10,11). 

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  (Foreshadow of Jesus.)

It is very important to understand that the Old Testament represents types and foreshadows of God’s plan of redemption for mankind that would come to be fulfilled through Jesus Christ. I understand that Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection IS the completion and the fulfillment of God's plan and the end of our labors to save ourselves through our works. (Titus 3:5, Eph 2:8-9, Rom 3:28, Gal 2:16, Gal 3:11, and more.)

Jesus tells us in Mat 5:17 “Think not that I come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 
 The word “fulfil” is G4137 in the Strong's and means "to complete, end, to render perfect." 

Jesus renders perfect, fulfills, and completes God’s plan of redemption for mankind and therefore the Mosaic Covenant (Moses) that was given at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20) is no longer in effect (ended) under the New Covenant and Jeremiah confirms this:

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: [Refer to Exodus 20]
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The book of Hebrews reconfirms:

Hebrews 8:8  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Hebrews 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Consider this; If Jesus said that love is the greatest commandment, and if the law is now written on our heart, and scripture says that in the church age ALL of the law is now fulfilled in one word- love, then where does that leave the Sabbath day?

Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Jas 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

Jesus IS the Sabbath! Jesus IS NOW Our Rest!

Mat 12:8 “For the son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” 

Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. (Refer to Exodus 20:10) 

Jesus is the “Lord” and “master” of the Sabbath day. 

The Strong’s Concordance, Lord= G2962- he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.

Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Mat 11:28, 29

In that passage Jesus does not say--"all you who labor and are heavy laden take a rest on the seventh day like your fathers did." 

We are now obeying the 4th commandment by resting in our Savior Jesus Christ. HE IS THE REST!

The Substance Is In Christ

Paul tells the Romans: 

Rom 10:4 "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes." 

Paul tells the Galatians: 

Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 
Paul is also very direct in addressing the issue of the Sabbath in Colossians 2:16, 17-

“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

And for those who say Paul is referring only to festival sabbaths or feasts, the word “sabbaths” in that verse is G4521-sabbaton and the Strong’s definition is:

1) the seventh day of each week which was a sacred festival on which the Israelites were required to abstain from all work                                                                                              
a) the institution of the sabbath, the law for keeping holy every seventh day of the week                          
b) a single sabbath, sabbath day                                                                                               
2) seven days, a week

Paul reveals the broader concept of types and foreshadows from the Old Testament and how they are fulfilled under the New Covenant when he speaks about Jesus as the second Adam.

1 Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

In other words the natural/physical came first (Old Testament foreshadow), the spiritual came second (New Testament fulfillment.) 

The Early Church- What did they do?

I can find no scripture in the New Testament where either Jesus or Paul instructs the church to observe the Sabbath. To the contrary the book of Acts just mentions a few things that were given as instruction to the Gentile believers. 

Refer to Acts 15:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. Acts 21:25.

In fact, scripture says that the early church did meet on the first day of the week which has always been SUNDAY!

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Paul addresses the church in Corinth about taking a collection for the Saints on the first day, which is SUNDAY!

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

I recommend a reading of all of Romans chapter 14.

Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.


The scriptures seem clear to me that Jesus is our Sabbath rest and He fulfilled the law. I rest in Him knowing that by doing this I am obedient to His 4th commandment.

I am NOT saying that those who observe the Saturday Sabbath are in error. NO- I am not saying that. If you want to observe the Sabbath as a day of rest, then please do and enjoy your rest. But do consider these scriptures: Gal 5:1, 2, 3, 4.

Colossians 3: 23 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

Come on brothers and sisters, observing the Sabbath is not a requirement for salvation or to please God. There is only ONE Covenant and ONE Law of Christ (Gal 6:2) that is now written on our hearts. (Jer 31:31, 32, 33, 34, Heb 8:8, 9, 10.) It is a work of the Holy Spirit through sanctification and not of our flesh by the keeping of laws and Sabbath days.

Praise our Almighty God and His Son Christ Jesus!