Saturday, April 19, 2014

A weekly reminder of our creation and redemption

Exodus 20:8 (NIV, emphasis mine) says, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

The Lord rested from His work of creation, not because He was tired, but because he wanted to spend time with those that He created. On the previous 6 days, God created visible and tangible things, but on the 7th, He created a special day and set it aside for a holy purpose. His crowning act of creation was the gift of Himself.

Throughout his life, and even in His death, we can see that Jesus observed the seventh-day Sabbath. See here in Mark 15:42-16:7(NIV, emphasis mine), 42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid. 1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

If the One who created us, set aside the seventh day of the week to rest and spend time with us, observed that day throughout his life, and even in death, rested from his work of redemption on the Sabbath day and then rose on the first day of the week... who are we to do any less than to honor the seventh-day Sabbath that God hallowed, or in other words, set aside for a holy purpose?

Happy Sabbath friends! May you remember God's great love and mercy as you use this Sabbath day to reflect on God's creative and redemptive power. I'm so thankful for this weekly reminder of Who we came from, and where we're going... and all because of a God who loves us so much He chose to make us, to save us, and to set aside time to spend with us.

(If you would like to know more about the seventh-day Sabbath, as taught in the Bible, you can purchase a little book called When God said Remember by Mark Finley. Or, send me an email at or contact your local Seventh-day Adventist church.)
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