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Sabbath is for man : The sanctifying bread from heaven Print E-mail
Written by Oshea Davis   
Thursday, 11 April 2013
     "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8.3

     The rest is resting from spiritual work from the law. Creation was reversed engineered from the gospel as an illustration of the gospel. Sabbath is about spiritually resting from the law and resting in hope, faith and joy in Christ who being imputed to us causes us to live by the "law of the Spirit of life." If on Sunday you rest in the gospel in faith and joy then you are fulfilling its purpose 10,000 times more than 10,000 Jews who physically rest on the Sabbath but do not rest from their spiritual work in Christ. Like the bread and cup it is to point us to the spiritual and so a physical rest while a nice practice to remind us about the spiritual rest it is not needed to fulfill the spiritual rest: faith in Christ is all that is necessary! Do not forget to be consistent with the application of the gospel in every area including physical rest on the Sabbath.

 

     According to Hebrews, God worked for only 6 days and then entered into an eternal rest. The spiritual work of pressing into the Kingdom is short, but the rest is eternal: this then is the lesson from Hebrews we learn. Abraham's life is a similar type of illustration: (6:15) "After he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise." Again, if Abraham's endurance really was not a hard spiritual struggle and the promise not sweet, then it would fail at being an intelligent illustration of N.T. believers in Christ: the same true with the 6th day creation and the day of eternal rest.

     And so like God did in creation and like Abraham's life, man's spiritual work is short (at most 120 years), but for them that trust in Christ their spiritual peace in knowing Christ is eternally restful and sweet and precious and wonderful beyond measure.

     Matthew 5:27, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.'  "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery..."

     Here Jesus makes the Ten Commandment about adultery more explicit and opens up its true meaning.  Jesus does the same with others in his sermon, but then in John chapter six does the same with the Sabbath.  Therefore, let us look at the context of when the Sabbath started.

     Exodus 16:29-30 "See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." So the people rested on the seventh day."

     This is the first appearance of the Sabbath in scripture, which is before the Ten Commandments.  It is in context of "God" having "provided" for them "bread" from heaven.  God heard their cry for food and by His own sovereign work, apart from them doing anything, God rains down food for them from heaven. On the sixth day God gives them so much food, again by "His" own working and power, that they get to sit at home all day on the Sabbath because their food is already provided to them "by God." The Sabbath was about an outward worship to God in that God provides so perfectly their needs they get to rest at home in faith and provision, while the rest of world toils and works for food, many not finding what they look for.  Then a few chapters later God expounds on this context and concept by connecting the providing to not physical food but spiritual cleansing.

     Exodus 31:13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you."

     Here, the just live by faith by physically resting on the Sabbath as a reminder that God cleanses them from their sins (in the O.T., faith that God will send the Messiah to do so, One greater than Moses).  And just as sovereign as God was in bringing bread from the sky, and just as not involved were the people in bringing this bread from the sky, so to God is as sovereign in spiritually cleansing them of their sins, with no thanks to them for they did nothing to contribute. 

     God does not rain down bread from the heaven anymore; rather, two thousand years ago He rained down Christ who was the true bread of heaven, and who we gather every morning in faith, hope and love.  Like the bread and cup it is to point us to the spiritual rest and so a physical rest while an appropriate practice to remind us about the spiritual rest it is not needed to fulfill the spiritual rest: faith in Christ is all that is necessary.  See, because God has so sovereignly provided our cleansing in Christ, without our involvement, then feasting and resting in Christ is the only thing left to do.  Indeed, God is our provider of bread today in Christ in the power of His Spirit, which in all accounts, as it comes to sinners and recreates them in Christ's image, is more of a miracle than physical bread coming out of the sky.

     Sabbath is not being double minded but being pure in trusting and resting God in all that He is for us through His Son who died for us and who is now at His Father's right hand.  This is why Jesus said the Sabbath is "for man" and not "man for the Sabbath."  That is, God sent His Son to provide for the church, now lost in sin, salvation and redemption.  God sent the sanctifying bread from heaven to cleans men of their sins.

     John 6:32, "Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven."  In other words, Jesus is saying in light of the Sabbath being about God providing sanctification, "You  have heard that is was said to those of old, ‘You shall Remember the Sabbath day,' but I say to you that if you do not eat My flesh and drink My blood in faith you will be guilty of profaning My Sabbath."

 
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