The Sabbath: A Gift From Eden (overview)
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11
It is actually the longest commandment and the only one which started with the word “remember”.
Can God ask you to remember something if He did not mention anything about it before?
Was the Sabbath only mentioned at Mount Sinai?
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3
Ellen G. White mentioned on page 307 of Patriarchs and Prophets:
“The Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution but as having been founded at creation. It is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the Creator’s work.”
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. … For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-20
Jesus-Christ never intended to change the Sabbath. On the contrary, He used to spend it at the synagogue.
“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.” Luke 4:16
Even in His death, Jesus-Christ kept the Sabbath. Indeed, the last supper was on Thursday night. He died on Friday noon. He rested on the Sabbath. And He rose up from among the deads on Sunday, the first day of the week.
Let’s have a closer look at Matthew 12:9:13
“Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him.
Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.” Matthew 12:9-13
Was these men working on the Sabbath? I’m pretty sure that NO. Well, think about it a moment, if you see your house burning on the Sabbath, what would you do? That’s exactly what Jesus-Christ meant.
Jesus-Christ is calling us to do good on the Sabbath. The idea of contemplating the nature which sometimes end-up by dragging people away from the Church to the skiing slopes or the beach, is a misconception of what is the Sabbath.
Jesus-Christ went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and He did good things. The Sabbath is a holy convocation to spend time with God.
And you, how do you spend your Sabbath?