Dear church,

One of the mistakes we make when we think about the Sabbath is that we frequently make into something that is only about “rest.” And yes, the Sabbath is about resting.  

But this was not the primary purpose of the Sabbath. The primary purpose of the Sabbath was worship. It was to provide a day in which God’s people were bound back to their Creator in faith and love. 

God created the heavens and the earth in six days and then he rested. And then he picked out a chosen people, Israel, and he gave them a way in which to worship him with the tabernacle and priests and all the rest. He capped all this off with a command to honor the Sabbath. The people  were to take one day out of seven and give it to God. It was a day that was “holy to the Lord.” 

The whole purpose of creation was aimed at God’s rest – and God’s people resting with Him. 

Christians sometimes debate the Sabbath. Should we do the same as the Israelites and rest one day per week? I think it’s a good idea. A regular pause to return in gratitude to our Creator is always a good thing. Practice does make perfect, after all.

But we ought not to forget the primary purpose of the Sabbath. Jesus is our new “tabernacle.” And our Sabbaths are focused squarely on him. He makes a way for us to enter into the final rest of God – the ultimate Sabbath that never ends (Hebrews 4:9-11).

The fascinating thing is that we already have entered into the rest of God by faith in Christ. We have stopped our “working.” In faith, we have received eternal life. There’s nothing more for us to do but to keep trusting in Christ. He, of course, is leading us.

So every day, in some sense, is a “Sabbath” for the Christian. We continually pray, continually praise, continually offer thanks. We continually are bound back to God in faith and love. Christ is with us all the time. We worship everywhere and always in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).

Take time today to thank God for the “rest” he has given you in Christ. And enjoy that rest!

Chris

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