The Blessing of the Sabbath

Even though we are living in a time of turmoil, uncertainty, and change, we in the church have hope for many reasons, the chief reason being we have the Lord. The Lord is our Comforter (John 14:18, 26) but He is Spirit and we are flesh. So how do we make the connection between the Lord's Spirit and our flesh? The answer is we need to rest in the Spirit.

When the Sabbath was originally instituted by the Lord as a specific day of the week, the Lord's ultimate purpose was to provide rest and to point to a greater rest to come through the Spirit. Remember the Law was given to teach us (Gal 3:24). The root meaning of the word "sabbath" is to repose, desist from exertion or intermission. God gave the Sabbath to Israel as a specific sign that they would know the Lord was their God (Ezk 20:12, 20). The Lord instituted the day of rest every week so that Israel would rest, contemplate the Lord and His works, worship Him, and be refreshed.

In the New Testament, true rest and worship is in the Spirit and points to the true idea of the Sabbath (John 4:23-24, 14:18). True rest comes when a person ceases from his work. Ceasing from work is more than stopping physical activity. Many people physically stop their work but their mind is still going so they really don't rest. True rest comes when our spirit rests.

Our Spirit only truly rests when we rest in the Lord. This is why the book of Hebrews states that in order to enter into God's rest, we must cease from our own works (Heb 4:9-10). The word "rest" in Hebrews 4:9 comes from the Greek word "sabbatismos" from which comes the word "Sabbath." The true Sabbath today for the New Testament church is not a particular day but a spiritual relationship with the Lord. If we rest in Him and on Him we can face the storms of life with confidence. Let's labor to enter into this "rest" and be partakers of the blessing of the Sabbath.