“The Sabbath Was Made For Man”

imageAbout four weeks ago I posted a blog entitled, On Being The Ten Commandments. What I wrote was basically my thoughts (the purpose for blogging) about the Ten Commandments.

I believe that these laws, when Christ came to earth, became very spiritual in nature, they were magnified by Him and written in believers’ hearts afterwards beginning on Pentecost. I wrote last week that we Christians, because of Christ’s presence in us, have become the Ten Commandments.

I believe that God’s commandments are not meant for the Christian to use as a checklist to constantly look over and monitor his progress for maintaining righteousness.

This is a huge topic that requires much study, prayer and meditation. And that said, no matter what understanding a Christian may have about this topic, there will always be disagreement about these laws from other Christians.

This is especially the case regarding the fourth commandment. Should Christians rest and NOT work – not earn a living – on Saturdays in order to obey this commandment? How is this commandment written in our hearts?

Jesus Christ made an interesting comment when He stated that the Sabbath was “made for man and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). What did Jesus mean by that statement?

The Sabbath was created by God immediately after the sixth day, after He created Adam and Eve. And God made the seventh day holy by having His presence in it.

So, why did Jesus say what He said in Mark 2? Answer: Note the context. Jesus was talking to the Pharisees. They were criticizing Jesus and His disciples for picking and eating heads of grain on the Sabbath and thereby breaking the fourth commandment (Mark 2 23-24). Apparently, the Pharisees had added other regulations and restrictions to this commandment making the Sabbath day a burden.

Also, when Christ said “the Sabbath was made for man,” why didn’t the Pharisees jump on that? If I were one of the criticizing Pharisees on that day, I would have exclaimed to Jesus that the Sabbath law was not made for all men but only for the Jews – not for the Gentiles.

The Jewish culture at that time viewed outsiders differently. One of the parables Jesus gave related Gentiles as being “dogs” spiritually speaking (Matthew 15:22-28). I would caution the reader to consider the context (again) and Christ’s Messiahship to the Jews here. Good Bible study verses here that I need to study further.

Although the Israelites did have an open door policy of helping the Gentiles traveling through the nation, the entire Law did not apply to them until they became converts to the nation, the culture and the religion of Israel.

What Christ was saying was that the Sabbath was intended to be a benefit for man, in this case, the Israelites, and not man created in order for him to satisfy the Sabbath.

Christians who say that all Christians must keep a Saturday Sabbath often quote Romans 5:13(b) …

… sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Their point here being made is that since the beginning of time, sin existed and therefore the law also existed – which, many believe, includes keeping the Sabbath day holy.

But, this verse they quote is only the second part of the verse. It was taken out of context from the first part, Romans 5:13(a):

… for until the Law sin was in the world,

What is this verse saying? Some of the possible answers are:

a) Sin existed before the law was written on tablets at Mount Sinai.

b) After and Eve sinned, everyone (except Jesus Christ) sinned and still sin.

c) If there is no Law, there is no sin.

question mark higheayNow, let me ask the following questions:

1) Were ALL Ten Commandments in existence before Moses?

2) Did God command Adam and Eve, before they partook of the forbidden fruit, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”? Think about it.

3) Did God command Adam and Eve, before they committed the first sin, “Thou shalt not murder (kill)?

4) Did God ever command all of the angels, even Lucifer before he sinned, to “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy”? Did God command this to them before He created the earth in six days? Do spirit beings ever need to recharge their strength by resting every seventh day?

In Hebrews 4:9-11 it says:

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

A Sabbath rest remains for me and for all Christians. I am a person today who, in order to get things done, would rather stay up all evening working on a project(s) until the next day, everyday, without sleep. After Christ returns and I become a spirit being, chances are, I will never go to bed and rest. I will most likely be awake all the time and never get tired. To take a day off in order to rest will not be needed by me.

Also, when Christ returns, all Christians will enter a rest – the Kingdom-of-God rest. That is what the apostle Paul was describing in Hebrews 4:9. He was not referring to an actual Saturday Sabbath. If he was, then there would be only one Sabbath day left that will be kept (note the singular case in the passage for rest).

You see, the Sabbath day was made for me to live it in the spirit of rest – now and forever.  It is Jesus Christ who is our rest. The Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ, is in us. He is our Sabbath.

And, if God, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, is in us Christians, we are considered righteous and justified – not because of the law.  As we hear Jesus’ voice in us, we choose to follow or not follow Him. It is not about working or not working at a job on Saturdays, but about having an intimate relationship with God who dwells within us on a daily basis.

“Remembering” God because of a day is no longer the issue, but getting to know the Almighty God who lives and reigns in us will be what matters – as we walk with Him.

Also, also and also, God is holy, and if the Sabbath day was previously made holy because His presence on that day made it holy prior to Christ, then we are a holy people today after His death. Why? We are holy – not because of our own actions – but (again, I repeat) because God is dwelling in us. We are His temple. Again, because God’s presence is in us, His laws are indeed written in our hearts. Amen, amen and amen.

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Snake Encounter

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Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass

It is now the dawn of time. God has just completed creating the Earth and we find ourselves in the pristine Garden of Eden.

Eve: (Speaking to the audience) Hi, y’all!  Welcome to my lovely garden! Oh, and what a beautiful day I am having! I just returned from having my hair done. That hairdresser in the beauty salon is so such an angel!

Do you what I need? (Looking down then back to the audience) I must go to the mall and buy me some sneakers! The grass in this here garden just tickles my feet! Hee, hee, hee.

Eve suddenly hears a noise nearby.

Eve: Is that a new creature I have not seen before? Oh, it’s just Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass.

Eve waves at him.

Eve: Yoo-hoo! Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass! Over here!

Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass: Hello, Eve. My, my, you sure look stunning!

Eve: You really like my hairdo?

Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass: Hairdo? …. Ah …. ah…. yeah, yeah …. right…nice hairdo. It makes you look beautiful.

Eve: You must say that to all of us – … well…..only me!

Grinning, Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass proceeds conversing with Eve.

Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass: Did God tell you that you are to work for six days and then rest on the seventh day?

Eve: Come to think of it, I meant to ask God about that. What is “work”? Do you know what God meant by that?

Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass: Ah…. work means getting paid for doing things in the garden, like weeding and planting. Doing hard labor, yeah, that is what God meant.

Eve: Really? To me working here is no chore at all!

Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass: What else did God tell you? Did he tell you that you would die if you worked on the seventh day?

Eve: Why, yes. What is “die”? What happens when you die?

Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass: (grinning) Nothing is going to happen! He was lying to you!

Eve: (puzzled) What is “lying”?

treeMr. Snake-in-the-Grass: Lying means…ah…. ah…. nevermind. Are you hungry, Eve?

Eve: Now that you mention it. I am!

Mr. Snake-in-the-Grass: This here is my tree that you are standing under. Have some fruit.

Eve plucked a fruit off a branch and ate it.

The End

 

 

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