I think the sabbath rest is one of the most misunderstood and under-taught concepts in Scripture. It’s rich with symbolism, from God’s finished work in creation to Christ’s finished work on the cross. God rested from His work, and we should rest in Christ and stop trying to work our way to Heaven. But the sabbath isn’t just symbolic. It’s also very practical. God intended life to include a rhythm of rest, and when we don’t, we suffer – physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, socially, etc.
There’s a lot that’s been written and spoken on regarding the sabbath and why we need the rest. But here are a couple insights that jumped my brain recently.
First – Sunday is not the Christian sabbath. The Bible refers to Christians worshiping on the “Lord’s Day” (see Rev. 1), which is a reference to the day that Jesus rose from the grave – Sunday. However, it never calls Sunday the new sabbath. In fact, most Christians probably worshiped together on Sunday night because they were working Sunday morning – Sunday was a work day! So, don’t think that Sunday replaced Saturday as the sabbath. The basic idea behind the sabbath is a day of rest and worship. While many of you can use Sunday for rest and worship, others can’t. Some people work on Sundays (like me), so we have to rest on a different day, like maybe Saturday.
Second – ultimately the sabbath is a trust issue. Do you trust God enough to rest from your work for a whole day every week? Or do you think that if you stop your work everything will fall apart? See, God’s the one who’s really in control, not you. If you’re such a workaholic that you can’t stop and rest and enjoy God, family, friends, and Creation for one day a week, then essentially what you’re saying to God is that you don’t trust Him. You don’t think He will take care of things while you rest, so you don’t rest. Rest = trust, that’s why when we say we are trusting in Christ for our salvation, it means we are resting from our work of trying to earn our way to Heaven.
Do you trust God? Go take a nap.