Here’s the one thing you need to know about the Jewish Sabbath: it was meant to be a good thing. It was meant to be a gift, a blessing. But it didn’t turn out to be that for a lot of people. In fact, the day that was meant to be the best day of the week…became the worst.
The Sabbath became an evil day in the minds of many Jewish people, because what was meant to be a day to give you rest from your work…gave you no rest from your thoughts…which were often thoughts of condemnation. And that’s because all of this Sabbath keeping became ultimately about salvation – you had to keep the Sabbath if you wanted to please God, if you wanted to have eternal life. Judgmentalism and hypocrisy became the order of the day.
This is not what God intended.
Today there are many Christians who observe Sunday as a Sabbath day. Paul indicated that this was a fine thing to do (Romans 14:5), though he also said that not celebrating it as such was equally good.
Whatever your practice, here are two things to remember:
1. If Sunday (or Saturday!) is your Sabbath, celebrate it as a good day, and not an evil day of judgment on your own conscience and that of others. Rest, and delight in God’s goodness. Studies show that you’ll probably come out ahead for taking a day off each week. It’s the wise thing to do, even if you’re not under a law to do so.
2. And whether you observe a Sabbath or not, recognize that there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9)…Whose name is Jesus. Jesus fulfilled the Law, so that we could truly rest, and that means that those accusations that come to yourself and others should be gone forever.
So put the feet of those condemning thoughts up on the couch…and rest in Him. You may find yourself more refreshed than you have ever been before.
For tomorrow, Thursday, July 9th: Luke 7