In the Garden of Eden, when the world was newly made and teeming with every good thing, God gave Adam and Eve two special gifts. Already he had gifted them with an entire planet, fully equipped for supporting complex and diverse forms of life, but He wasn’t done giving.
The first gift God gave Adam and Eve was marriage. By joining them together as man and wife and charging them to form a thriving family of their own God laid the foundation for every human relationship that would follow. We were created for relationships and those relationships were meant to exist within the context of marriage and family.
The second gift God gave Adam and Eve and by extension the human race was the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a space of time, set apart by God for communion and fellowship with each other and with Him. When Jesus was on this earth, the Sabbath was a gift He upheld and cherished.
Let’s look at what the Bible says about Jesus’ relationship to the Sabbath. Though many say He came to abolish it you will find that He actually sought to establish it.
Fact number 1. Jesus worshiped His heavenly Father each Sabbath.
The Bible says:“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.
Fact number 2. The Pharisees attacked Jesus’ Sabbath practices in an attempt to discredit Him.
The Bible says: Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, ‘Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!’” Matthew 12:1,2.
Fact number 3. Jesus responded to their criticism by asserting his authority over the Sabbath
The Bible says: “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:7,8.
Fact number 4. Jesus encouraged acts of healing and mercy on the Sabbath.
The Bible says: “Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:12.
Fact number 5. Even in death Jesus rested on the Sabbath.
The Bible says: “Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56.
Fact number 6. Jesus invites us to come to Him so that we might find rest.
The Bible says: “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
Fact number 7. When speaking of last day events Jesus counseled his disciples to pray that they would not need to flee during the Sabbath.
The Bible says: “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation.” Matthew 24:20-21.
Fact number 8. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for our benefit.
The Bible says: “And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath… (Mark 2:27)
So, here they are – 8 important facts about Jesus and the Sabbath.
1. Jesus worshipped His heavenly Father each Sabbath.
2. The Pharisees attacked Jesus’ Sabbath practices in an attempt to discredit Him.
3. Jesus responded to their criticism by asserting His authority over the Sabbath
4. Jesus encouraged acts of healing and mercy on the Sabbath.
5. Even in death Jesus rested on the Sabbath.
6. Jesus invites us to come to Him so that we might find rest.
7. When speaking of last day events Jesus counselled His disciples to pray that they would not need to flee during the Sabbath.
8. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for our benefit.
The Sabbath was created to deepen our relationship with God. By celebrating it and cherishing it we give ourselves the opportunity to set apart an entire chunk of time dedicated to worshipping and praising God.
Jesus said that He came to fulfill every part of the law and we see Him doing this in the way He kept the Sabbath. In fact, Jesus understood that He didn’t keep the Sabbath, it was indeed the Sabbath that kept Him.
Would you like to experience the joy of fellowship with Jesus? Why not make a choice to keep the Sabbath holy and experience its blessings first hand?