From Pastor Brady
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28.
Jesus said “the Sabbath was made for man.”
God made the Sabbath to benefit man. It was a gift. An invitation to experience rest and thus experience freedom.
The Sabbath in Exodus 20.
8“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep 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, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11
As we mentioned in part 1, the Sabbath is an invitation to celebrate God’s finished work. No matter how much you think your work is unfinished and there is more to do, there isn’t. We should all be working from rest, not working from stress.
When God codified the Sabbath into the 10 Commandments, He was also instituting freedom. Read Exodus 20:8-11 again. Who gets to rest? Everyone. Not just the masters, but also the slaves. For one day a week, everyone is free! This would have been unheard of in that day. Slaves work all day every day. But not under God’s system. There is freedom in rest. Rest proves freedom and provides freedom.
The Sabbath in Deuteronomy 5.
15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. Deuteronomy 5:15.
Here God calls the nation to remember. Rest is about remembering. The Sabbath is for celebrating the finished work. It is about freedom. And it is about remembering your former position as a slave.
(Hopefully by now you are starting to see the spiritual parallels of Sabbath with our salvation.)
Deuteronomy 5 teaches us not just about rest but also about work. God did not intend for work to feel like slavery. Drudgery is sinful. If you are a “master” you should not make your work place like the de-humanizing drudgery of slavery. Never should we put people to work building monuments to our own glory like the Pharaohs of Egypt did. We must remember that we too were slaves and therefore we must give Sabbath as a gift to those who are under our care.
So give your employees a break. Give your kids a rest. Reduce the stress in your home or office. Remember, you were a slave and God brought you out of bondage. It was never His intention for work to become slavery. Don’t enslave others. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. Give them the freedom of rest.
Sin is exhausting.
The spiritual parallels here are becoming clearer. Work should not be to the point of exhaustion. Why? Because sin is exhausting, but work as worship is exhilarating. In part 3 we will make the connection of Sabbath to Jesus. But for now think about how tiring sin is. It takes a lot out of us. And it is tiring. I’m reminded of that great scene in the movie The Help. Miss Hilly, a racist, selfish, “godless woman” has spent the whole movie making life miserable for others due to her sin; basically enslaving the “Help”. At the end, Abileen the maid looks Miss Hilly in the eye and asks “Ain’t you tired Miss Hilly? Ain’t you tired?”
It’s a good question.