S2EP77 - Sabbath Part 2

Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 77 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 wrapping up our two-part series talking about The Sabbath.  In part one we covered the history and letter of the law that is The Sabbath.  Here in part two, we will be taking a little bit different stance while we talk about the spirit of The Sabbath and what that means for you and me.

Like in the last episode, were going to take another look at this instance with Jesus and The Sabbath in John 5.  John 5:1-18 CSB, “[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. [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. [16] Therefore, the Jews began persecuting Jesus because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. [17] Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.” [18] This is why the Jews began trying all the more to kill him: Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.”

In the last episode, I made the point that the people were a slave to sin and slaves to the law.  Out of this reality they completely overlooked the miracle of God in this man’s life and focused on his violation of the law by picking up his mat.  Often, even though we’ve been set free from the Laws of sin and death and now live under the law of the Spirit, we react as if we're still slave to the law like those who reacted to this man in John 5.  There is a better way though, and no better place to practice than with The Sabbath.

Hebrews 4:9-11 CSB says, “[9] Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. [10] For the person who has entered his rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from his. [11] Let us, then, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.”  Some context there would probably help.  In Hebrews 3 the author spends the chapter comparing the children of Israel under the leadership of Moses leaving Egypt to the believers of the Christian faith under the leadership of Christ leaving darkness.  Whereas those who were in the assembly under Moses, some of them would never enter the promised land, there are those in The Church today who will never enter eternity with God.

At the beginning of chapter 4 of the book of Hebrews this point is made plain and a warning is given, it says, “[1] Therefore, since the promise to enter his rest remains, let us beware that none of you be found to have fallen short. [2] For we also have received the good news just as they did. But the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith. [3a] For we who have believed enter the rest…”

Choosing to set apart a Sabbath day of rest after 6 days of work is an outward sign of your inward faith.  It’s a weekly confession of your belief that there is more to life than the confines of your physical existence.  That you look forward to a coming eternity with The Lord.  The tone of Hebrews 4 suggests that anyone who isn’t observing a Sabbath day of rest after 6 days of work probably isn’t actually a Christian and is living a life of disobedience to The Spirit.  That’s when we arrive at verse 12 of Hebrews 4 when the author then reminds everyone that you can’t hide your true intentions from God, “For the word of God is living and effective…” “…It is able to judge the thoughts and the intentions of the heart…” and that “No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of…” The Lord.  You can lie to yourself, but not The Lord.

Isaiah 58:13b-14 CSB tells us to, “[13] ‘…call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy day of the Lord honorable;’”

Forget the letter of the law, forget the weight of Hebrews 4.  The Sabbath is, was, and always will be a time for you to set apart for you.  A time to withdraw from the demands of living and the world and take time to love yourself.  A time to remind you of the eternity with The Lord that waits for you.  A time to rest, reset, and recharge.

In closing Hebrews 3:12-14 CSB says, “[12] Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. [13] But encourage each other daily while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. [14] For we have become participants in Christ if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start.”

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

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