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1. Introduction

The purpose of God’s original Sabbath resting was physical REST from hard work.

Previously we learnt that when the Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, they also nailed the law to the cross. The Old Covenant had to die with Jesus for there to be a New Covenant.

We will find in this study that under the New Covenant, the sabbath rest is none other than faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

We can believe with full assurance that Jesus has completed all the work necessary for us to come right into the throne room of God. Now that we live under the New Covenant, we can do this boldly without having to obey any requirements of the law written down in the Old Covenant. And by this rest in faith, we will see the miraculous at work as part of the everyday Christian life.

So we can now say that the sabbath rest is simply believing in what Jesus has done, which is enough!


2. Jesus Completed the Work


A. We Saw in the study, The Law No Longer Applies,  that the Law is Dead.

having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Colossians 2:14

B. Satan was Cast Out of Heaven.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

Revelation 12:7-8

C. Principalities and Powers Fell.


In the next verse, when Jesus nailed the law to the cross, all the principalities and powers empowering the law fell.

Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:15


The devil, his principalities and powers, were kicked out of heaven and fell to earth. So now, one of Satan’s schemes is to persuade you to follow the law and its feasts. And if they succeed, it will empower the principalities and powers over you again.

Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

Revelation 12:7-8


3. Feasts and Sabbaths: A Shadow of Things to Come in Christ

A. The Greek Word: are, Can Correctly be Translated were:

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Colossians 2:16


g1510. εἰμί eimi; — am, have been, x it is I, was.

Therefore it should read:

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
which were a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Colossians 2:16

B. Let No One Judge You.

When writing Colossians, the church was transitioning from Judaism to Christianity, and the leaders asked questions like ‘should we be circumcised?’. And therefore, it was necessary to maintain unity instead of ‘being right’. While the church worked through the issues dividing them, Paul told them not to judge people when they thought differently from themselves.

We can apply this principle of not judging others in our present-day lives.

We should maintain unity in the body of Christ by extending grace to others who may need time to receive revelation from the word of God. Or it may be that we need revelation to see the truth when we are in error!


C. Liberty In Jesus.

Some still have not realised our liberty which is found in our belief that what Jesus has done is enough. They think that they must observe Saturday as the Sabbath. Although this is not theologically correct, we need to extend grace to people who do not believe the same as us.


D. The Substance is in Christ.

Now let’s look at how the New King James translates Colossians 2:16:

which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Colossians 2:16


The words IS OF cannot be found in Greek. So it would be written:

which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance: Christ.

Colossians 2:16

Now let’s look at the word substance:

sōma; the body (as a sound whole), literally or figuratively: — bodily, body,

So we can now say:

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
which were a shadow of things to come, but these things are found bodily in Christ.

Colossians 2:16


E. Jesus said “I Came to Fulfil the Law”:

When Jesus fulfilled the law, he released us from fulfilling any law requirements. Now our rest is the ‘rest of faith’.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

Matthew 5:17


4. We are Not to Observe Sabbaths or Feasts


A. So You desire Again to be in Bondage?

Paul teaches us that we go back into bondage when we observe days, feasts, jubilee years:

But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
You observe days and months and seasons and years.
I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Galatians 4:9

In Galatians; referring to those who wanted to try and keep a different element of the law – circumcision, Paul had this to say:

Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Galatians 5:11-12 NIV

B. When We Do These Things We Come Under a Spirit of Bondage!

And we as sons and daughters of God are not meant to be under this bondage!

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:15


5. Sabbath Rest Teaching By Jesus


A. Jesus Did Not Obey the Jewish Laws Pertaining to the Sabbath.

Still entrenched in their belief that obeying the law was the only way to please God, the Jewish leaders kept all the Sabbath requirements. After all, it was one of the 10 Commandments!
Therefore Jesus challenged them on the fact that they can never enter into the sabbath rest whilst trying to fulfil it through obeying the law.

Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain.
And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him:
And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Mark 2:23-24


In this scripture, Jesus was doing ministry work on the sabbath. The Jewish leaders had made so many by-laws about the sabbath that made it impossible to enjoy the day of rest.


B. Jesus Healed on the Sabbath.

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

C. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath both as the Son of God AND as the Son of Man.

Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

Mark 2:28

D. It is for Our Benefit that God Made the Sabbath.

Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath’s rest once he had nailed the law with all its requirements to the cross and risen from the dead.


God’s intention was always to have sons and daughters who would be holy and blameless in His sight.
God’s desire for us as sons and daughters is to be able to REST in His Presence.
Therefore the sabbath rest is meant to be for our benefit!

And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Mark 2:27


It is not to be an unbreakable law. That is why Jesus, the son of man, was able to break it.


E. Jesus loosed us from the Sabbath.

Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

John 5:18

The word Broke here in Greek is:

λύω lyō; a primary verb; to “loosen” (literally or figuratively): — break (up), destroy, dissolve, (un-)loose, melt, put off.

It is the same word used to loosen a sandal. Jesus has loosed us from the Sabbath requirements.

Some have mistakenly interpreted Jesus did not break but only loosed us from all the laws regarding the sabbath. However, this word is even more potent than broke or break. This word λύω lyō is also used by Jesus when He said this:

Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

John 2:19

Firstly, Jesus did not say that He would destroy the Temple. He said they would destroy the Temple, which is what happened. The Jews started a war with the Romans, so the Romans came in and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70CE.

When the law was nailed to the cross, Jesus released (loosed) the Temple. It self-destructed because it was no longer the heart of God:

“He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man;
who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck;
He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood;
He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol…

Isaiah 66:3

Jesus frees us from the sabbath of the law into the sabbath rest.


6. ‘Natural’ Purpose of the Sabbath Rest


A. Physical and Emotional REST!

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.

Genesis 2:2

B. Rest – Blessed and Sanctified.

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 2:3

C. Like the Blessing of Abraham Still Applies to us Today, so does the Blessing of the Sabbath Rest.

And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

Galatians 3:17


Both the Abrahamic Covenant and the sabbath rest existed before the law came into being. Therefore the action of resting our physical bodies still applies.

Some of us find it difficult to rest when we have too much work to do physically. The stressful workload of a detailed job description, or the constant daily workload of raising children, keeping a house and holding a job outside the home, can be physically and emotionally draining.
We need to learn to take time out to rest our physical body, including our mind.

Now let’s look at the spiritual application:


7. Sabbath Rest Fulfilment in Christ


A. Faith is Rest.


People often make things a lot more complex than they are: 
JUST BELIEVE.
Principalities and powers compel us to make it more difficult than it is

to please God.

 

For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,'”
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;

Hebrews 4:3-4

Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”

Hebrews 10:38

B. God’s Six Days of Creation Were Not Hard Work.

Jesus, the Word, just spoke it into being. Note the lack of work in the word LET. Let is a passive word.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Genesis 1:3

C. Faith is the Work

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

John 6:29

8. Summary of Sabbath Rest

  • Physical rest is blessed and sanctified.
  • Sabbath is part of the law and therefore was nailed to the cross.
  • We are loosed, that is, released from needing to fulfil all the laws regarding the Sabbath.
  • Jesus disobeyed the Sabbath in the eyes of the religious leaders.
  • Sabbath was made for man.
  • The Sabbath was not fulfilled until Jesus came.
  • Sabbath rest is the rest of faith.

Next, we look at how Jesus has already fulfilled ALL the feasts.



© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries/Dr Neville van Eerten 2022

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