S2EP76 - Sabbath Part 1

Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 76 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes, or so, we are going to be kicking off our two-part series talking about The Sabbath. Here in part one we will be talking about the history and letter of the law that is The Sabbath. In part two we will talk about the spirit of The Sabbath and what it means for you and me.

There’s this event surrounding the The Sabbath and Jesus in John 5:1-10 CSB read, “[1] After this, a Jewish festival took place, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [2] By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Aramaic, which has five colonnades. [3] Within these lay a large number of the disabled—blind, lame, and paralyzed. {3b-4:—waiting for the moving of the water, [4] because an angel would go down into the pool from time to time and stir up the water. Then the first one who got in after the water was stirred up recovered from whatever ailment he had.} [5] One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. [6] When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?” [7] “Sir,” the disabled man answered, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.” [8] “Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your mat and walk.” [9] Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat and started to walk. Now that day was the Sabbath, [10] and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, ‘This is the Sabbath. The law prohibits you from picking up your mat.’”

This thing about The Sabbath starts early on, Genesis 2:1-3 says, “[1] So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. [2] On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. [3] God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it he rested from all his work of creation.”  Before we move on, it seems important, based on previous conversations, to note that Genesis does not say that God was tired and needed rest.  The scripture doesn’t tell us why God rested, but I think you’ll understand why by the end of part two.

Just to emphasize the point, that word “work” in Genesis 2:2 is the word:

H4399 מְלָאכָה melâ'kâh mel-aw-kaw' From the same as H4397; properly deputyship, that is, ministry; generally employment (never servile) or work (abstractly or concretely); also property (as the result of labor): - business, + cattle, + industrious, occupation, (+ -pied), + officer, thing (made), use, (manner of) work ([-man], -manship).

In Exodus 20:8-11 CSB it says, “[8] Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: [9] You are to labor six days and do all your work, [10] but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your livestock, or the resident alien who is within your city gates. [11] For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.”

Like it, Exodus 23:12 CSB, “[12] Do your work for six days but rest on the seventh day so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave as well as the resident alien may be refreshed.”

Exodus 31:13-17 CSB, “[13] “Tell the Israelites: You must observe my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, so that you will know that I am the Lord who consecrates you. [14] Observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Whoever profanes it must be put to death. If anyone does work on it, that person must be cut off from his people. [15] Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord. Anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. [16] The Israelites must observe the Sabbath, celebrating it throughout their generations as a permanent covenant. [17] It is a sign forever between me and the Israelites, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”

The Lord was serious about The Sabbath, Numbers 15:32-36 CSB says, “[32] While the Israelites were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. [33] Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses, Aaron, and the entire community. [34] They placed him in custody because it had not been decided what should be done to him. [35] Then the LORD told Moses, "The man is to be put to death. The entire community is to stone him outside the camp." [36] So the entire community brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD had commanded Moses.”

Deuteronomy 5:12-14 CSB, “[12] Be careful to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy as the Lord your God has commanded you. [13] You are to labor six days and do all your work, [14] but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or donkey, any of your livestock, or the resident alien who lives within your city gates, so that your male and female slaves may rest as you do.”

Back to our story with Jesus, John 5:10-15 CSB, “[10] and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, ‘This is the Sabbath. The law prohibits you from picking up your mat.’ [11] He replied, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ [12] “Who is this man who told you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?” they asked. [13] But the man who was healed did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. [14] After this, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well. Do not sin anymore, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.” [15] The man went and reported to the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.”

Congratulations, you’ve been very publicly disabled for the past thirty-eight years and now you’re not, but unfortunately you picked up your mat that you’ve been using as a pad while soliciting support from passersby, on The Sabbath.  Never mind this miraculous work of The Lord in our midst, that’s not as important as the fact that you’ve broken the law of The Sabbath.

I hope you see that problem here and are catching on to the overall problem with the letter of the law.  Romans 8:1-4 CSB says, “[1] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, [2] because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. [3] What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, [4] in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

This man was healed, and when he went to pick up his mat, the Jews around him who were just as much a slave to sin.  As much a slave to the law as this man was brought condemnation instead of celebration.  Instead of celebrating that he had been healed from thirty-eight years of this crippling disablement they used the law to bring condemnation.  Jesus came to change all that.  In the next episode we will talk about the spirit of the law and how through Jesus, through Christ, through the work of The Lord what The Sabbath now means to you and I.

This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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