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Lord of the Sabbath

May 2, 2021 Speaker: Mitchel Kirchmeyer Series: Luke: To Seek and To Save

Passage: Luke 6:1–6:11

Relax and rejoice in Jesus' rest for you.

How do you respond when someone gives you a rule to follow? “You need to do this.” “You can’t do this.” Do you pay careful attention to the rule so you can make sure you don’t break it? Or do you feel yourself recoil at the rule?

Some of us are naturally rule keepers. We hear a rule and we try our best to keep it. Maybe you feel like it’s the respectful thing to do. Maybe you don’t want to get in trouble. Some of us are naturally rule breakers. We hear a rule and we don’t respect it. Maybe you think, “No one is going to tell me what to do” or “who made them the boss of me?” Rules make you feel like someone is putting restrictions on your life. They feel suffocating. Some people’s motto is, “Rules are made to be broken.”

Personally, I tend to be a rule keeper. When I began growing as a Christian in high school, I was quite judgmental of other people. I attended a youth group on Wednesday nights and I would look down on fellow students who were claiming to be Christians and involved in youth group, but not living like they were supposed to. I felt superior to them. During my first year in college, I remember a friend asking me what book of the Bible they should read. I told them the book of James because it clearly told you what to do and what not to do. I liked having those clear “dos” and “do nots” laid out for me and I would use them to measure other people and compare myself to them. Perhaps you can relate.

Interestingly, I had a difficult time following the rules in school. In middle school, I don’t remember how many dictionary pages I ended up writing for talking when I wasn’t supposed to or for trying to make others laugh or how many sentences I wrote that said things like “I will not talk in class.” I also was given detention a number of times in high school. I think for some rule followers, if we see the value and purpose behind them, we will follow them. But if they don’t make sense to us, we don’t see the need to keep them. Some of you may react to that thinking: “The purpose of the rules is to follow them!” Others of you think: “Yeah! Why should we follow pointless rules!”

Let’s take this into our relationship with God. How do you react to God’s rules and laws? When you see a command in the Bible, how do you react? When you read the Ten Commandments, do you pay close attention so you can follow them or do they just feel constricting to you? There’s a part of us that wants to keep the rules to stay out of trouble with God. The human heart draws us toward proving ourselves worthy of love. There’s another part of us that resists rules. The human heart hates to be told what to do!

So what should be our attitude toward God’s rules, laws, and commands, especially the ones in the Old Testament? Was the Old Testament all about rules from God and Jesus is all about relationship with God? Was the Old Testament all about laws and Jesus is all about love? So what should our attitude toward God’s rules, laws, and commands be?

Today we are continuing our sermon series in The Gospel According to Luke called “To Seek and To Save”. This series gives us an up-close picture of who Jesus is and what it means to be his disciple.

In this passage, Luke 6:1-11, Jesus gets in a conversation with some rule keepers called Pharisees. The word Pharisee means “the separated one”. Pharisees made sure to separate themselves from everything that was bad, unclean, and sinful. They also tried to do everything right. Maybe you can relate to that. You try to keep yourself from things that are bad and sinful or at least that could have a bad influence on you. You don’t go to rock concerts. You don’t hang out at bars. You don’t watch movies or TV shows that have an R-rating so that you don’t see too much violence, hear too much swearing, or witness sexually explicit scenes. You rarely if ever swear, you don’t drink alcohol, you don’t wear offensive t-shirts, you wear your nice clothes to church services and you take your hat off, you pray before meals and before bed, you wear a one piece swimsuit, you have a filter on your computer to block inappropriate content. Do you do any of these? I’m giving you these examples to help us get into the mindset of the Pharisees because they often get misunderstood and we think to ourselves, “How could they act like that? They were so rigid. They were so legalistic. They sucked the fun right out of the room.” We often think we aren’t anything like them.

But we have to understand that they were trying to honor God with their lives. And if you do any of the things I listed, that’s what I’m sure you are trying to do as well. They were trying to obey God’s commands. In fact, they created a “fence” around God’s laws so that they wouldn’t even get close to breaking God’s laws. It was like a buffer. So they had human rules on top of God’s rules to keep them far away from breaking any of God’s. Even if they broke one of their rules, they wouldn’t be breaking God’s commands. We too will often put up a boundary or fence far away from what is bad, sinful, or inappropriate so we won’t even get close to it. We put them up to keep us from dishonoring and disobeying God.

The Pharisees paid attention to obeying God and we should be too. They were concerned with two things: the law of God and the kingdom of God. They believed that if they were faithful to the law of God, that they would see the kingdom of God. And it makes sense because God said if the people turned back to him from their sin, then he would restore them. And how better to show you have turned back to God than by diligently and carefully keeping his laws?

The command under discussion in these two stories is the Sabbath law. This topic came up a lot in Jesus’ interaction with the Pharisees. Now, you may not be familiar with the Sabbath. When God entered into relationship with Israel, he gave them the Ten Commandments as the foundation for the way they were to live. These were like their marriage vows to God. One of the Ten Commandments is to keep the Sabbath. Let me read it for you from 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)

Everyone and everything was to rest on the Sabbath day because God finished his work of creation and rested on the seventh day. Six days of work, one day of rest. The Sabbath day was celebrated from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. Before sundown on Friday came, they were to make all the preparations necessary to not work and rest on the Sabbath. This was a core part of Israelite religion and life. Everyone practiced the Sabbath.

With that introduction, let’s look at the first story in 6:1-5.

Lord of the Sabbath (6:1-5)

While Jesus and his disciples were traveling, they walked through some grainfields and his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands to remove the outer shell, and ate them. If you think about it, we don't stop on the side of the road and go into someone else’s cornfield to grab a quick lunch. That’s stealing. But God’s laws for Israel actually allowed for this activity. You weren’t allowed to take a sickle to the grain, but you could pluck it (Dt 23:25). God even commanded that the field owners shouldn’t harvest all the grain in their fields so that some would be left for the poor and the sojourners (Lev 23:22). Both laws are intended to benefit those in need in the community of Israel.

The scribes and Pharisees raise an issue about this activity, asking: “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” The issue is not what they are doing but when they are doing it. Work was not allowed on the Sabbath. Exodus 34:21 specifically states that even in plowing time and harvest time, work was not allowed and everyone should rest. The disciples are not only plucking, which could be considered harvesting, but they are also threshing and winnowing by separating the wheat from the chaff, and are preparing food. From that perspective, they are doing a lot of work!

Perhaps this seems like no big deal to us, but the Sabbath was something everyone practiced. Consider this. On August 26th, 2016, the Packers were playing the San Francisco 49ers. A picture was taken during the National Anthem. In it, you could see the 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, sitting on the bench while everyone else stood for the National Anthem. He had been sitting before this but this was the day it was captured and publicized. He said he was doing it to protest racial inequality and the oppression of Black people in America. Kaepernick received tons of criticism. He was booed. He was ridiculed. Why? Because everyone stands for the National Anthem. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. It’s part of being an American. Everyone does it.

This can help us begin to understand the Sabbath for the nation of Israel. Everyone does it. It’s what you do. It’s who you are. It’s part of being an Israelite, a Jew. This is why the Pharisees have so much energy and passion about the topic. Plus the Sabbath isn’t something Israel made up: God commanded it!

God made two things clear about the Sabbath: First, what’s to be avoided was clear: work. Second, the consequence of doing work was clear: death. A person who does work on the Sabbath is to be put to death. The Sabbath is not a suggestion or optional. It’s serious. God warned that if the nation walked away from him by breaking his commandments, they would be removed from the land so it could enjoy its Sabbaths that they didn’t give it (Lev 26:33-35, 2 Chron 36:21). No person or animal is to work but there isn’t a list of what is considered “work” that must be avoided. So it’s a big deal to do work on the Sabbath, but the law isn’t very descriptive about what is work and what isn’t.

So to fix this problem, the Pharisees and others defined what is considered work so they could honor God’s command. They took the small amount of detail in God’s Law and made it very detailed. The rabbis had an agreed upon list of 39 categories of activities that were classified as work. For instance, walking more than a half mile on the Sabbath was considered work.

Knowing the seriousness of keeping the Sabbath, now we can understand the Pharisees’ disbelief and perhaps anger and anxiety at what they see Jesus’ disciples doing. They’re harvesting, threshing, winnowing, and preparing food...on the Sabbath! “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?”

Jesus doesn’t get into a debate about what is considered work and what isn’t. He could have said, “Well, what we are doing isn’t actually considered work and here’s why.” He doesn’t get into a debate about that. He goes deeper than that. Jesus answers their question with a story from the Old Testament. This story occurs when king David had been anointed as God’s chosen king for Israel by the prophet Samuel but had not yet taken the throne. King Saul was still on the throne and he was hunting David and his followers down. While on the run from Saul, David and his followers entered the city where the tabernacle of God’s presence was and they needed some food. So David asked the priest for some food but the priest had no common bread. He only had the holy bread that was placed before God in the tabernacle. Only the priests were allowed to eat this bread. But the priest agreed to give them some of the holy bread (1 Sam 21:1-6).

Jesus asks the Pharisees “Have you not read…” then tells them this story. Of course they’ve read it. These are the Bible scholars of Jesus’ day! The question is whether they understand its implications, which is why Jesus is bringing it up. This story is an example of a time where one of God’s laws was “broken”.

Jesus’ point isn’t: “David and his followers didn’t follow the law so we don’t have to either.” Jesus is giving them an example of a time where something of greater importance was put above one of God’s laws. In this instance, David and his followers needed food and there was none to give except the holy bread. But in this case, showing mercy to the human need was more important than the law forbidding others to eat the holy bread. We used to do communion with a loaf of pita bread. It would be like someone coming in here starving to death and asking for something to eat and us saying, “Sorry, we have this loaf of pita bread but it’s only used for communion.” So is Jesus saying the law about only the priests eating the holy bread is dumb and should be ignored? No. Under normal circumstances, we don’t pass out the leftover communion elements after service for everyone to snack on. It is good and right to keep these things set apart and special. They are holy in that respect. But if there is an opportunity to care for someone and show mercy and this is all we have, then there is flexibility. In Mathew’s account of this story, he makes the need to show mercy clear.

It’s also important who is requesting the bread. David was the anointed king of Israel chosen by God, the Messiah, but he was not yet publicly recognized as the king. Now Jesus stands in a similar position: he is the anointed king of Israel chosen by God, the Messiah, who is not yet publicly recognized as king. Jesus is drawing a parallel between himself and David.

In verse 5, Jesus states his point clearly: “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Jesus is calling himself the Son of Man from Daniel 7 who is given authority by God and as the Son of Man, he is Lord over the Sabbath. In other words, the Sabbath serves him; he doesn’t serve the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not his master. He is the Master of the Sabbath. The next story makes his point clear.

What is lawful on the Sabbath? (6:6-11)

The second controversy occurs in a synagogue on the Sabbath. While Jesus was teaching, a man entered the synagogue with a withered hand, meaning it was shriveled and not working.

In verse 7 we are told that the scribes and the Pharisees “watched” him; they are spying on him and watching him out of the corner of their eye. Why are they watching him so closely? Verse 7 says: “to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath.” Why do they want to see whether he will do that? “So that they might find a reason to accuse him.” They are trying to collect evidence to build a case against Jesus. They want to catch Jesus doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath.

Was it unlawful to heal on the Sabbath? If there was a health issue that was life-threatening, then doctors and healers could heal but if it wasn’t life-threatening, it could wait a day until the Sabbath was over. The rule was: “Observe the Sabbath unless there’s a life-threatening need.” In Luke chapter 13, the ruler of a synagogue says to the people that Jesus is healing, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day” (Lk 13:14).

Jesus, knowing they are watching to see whether he would heal so they’d have a reason to accuse him, calls the man with the withered hand into the middle of everyone and asks a question: “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” The Pharisees’ tradition asked this: “Is this issue life-threatening or not? If not, it can wait.” But Jesus changes the options. He makes the choice either “doing good and saving life” or “doing harm and destroying life”.

After looking around at them to see if they’d answer, he told the man to stretch out his hand and when he did so, his hand was restored. In doing this, Jesus didn’t really do any work and neither did the man. All Jesus did was speak and all the man did was stretch out his hand. The fact that the man was healed shows God’s approval of Jesus. God is the one who heals and he is working through Jesus even on the Sabbath.

Verse 11 shows their reaction: “But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus” (Lk 6:11). So what kind of activity are the scribes and Pharisees engaged in on the Sabbath? Are they doing good or harm? Are they saving life or destroying life? It’s clear that while Jesus is doing good and saving life, they are seeking to do harm and destroy life. They are watching closely to accuse, they are building evidence for a case against Jesus, in their fury they plot how to get rid of Jesus.

The irony is that the Pharisees and scribes think they are the ones keeping the Sabbath and that Jesus is breaking it. The whole scene is one of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is when your actions don’t line up with your beliefs or moral standards. The Pharisees and scribes are super concerned with keeping these rules they have created for not breaking the Sabbath but they are less concerned with what is going on in their own hearts. They are extremely concerned with Jesus’ activities on the Sabbath to make sure he doesn’t break any rules all the while they are working to do harm and destroy life. Is this what God intended for the Sabbath? Who is doing what is lawful on the Sabbath? Jesus demonstrates in the second story that while the Pharisees are ultra concerned with avoiding work according to their man-made rules on the Sabbath, their hearts are in the wrong place and are far from doing God’s will. Jesus is not a Sabbath breaker. It’s clear from the story so far that Jesus keeps the Sabbath. But Jesus is rejecting the Pharisees’ traditions of interpreting the Sabbath. He is also challenging their hearts. Maybe they are keeping all their man-made rules about not doing work on the Sabbath, but their hearts are far from God.

God’s intention and purpose for his commands are to do good and save life - promote life, preserve life. When our obedience of those commands is doing harm or destroying life, then we know we’ve gotten off track. If the obeying of God’s command somehow makes us less loving, then we are doing something wrong. If we find we are able to obey God’s commands with our hearts far from him and his heart, then we have gotten off track.

So what does it mean that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath?

The Sabbath looks both backwards and forwards. It looks backward to God’s act of creation where he created the world in six days then rested on the seventh. For God to “rest” doesn’t mean he needed to take a little nap because he was all tuckered out. In the time and culture in which the book of Genesis was written, divine “rest” was connected to temple-building. This is saying that when God finished creating, the temple where his presence would be experienced was finished and he would fill it with his presence. That temple was the world where humans would live in the blessing of his presence, love, care, provision, and protection. When the Ten Commandments are later given in Exodus 20, the Sabbath is presented as a day to look backward to God’s act of creation and remember he is a loving Creator. We don’t have to work, work, work work but can trust he is good and will provide. We can rest in God (see Exod 20:8-11).

But this state of affairs was disrupted by sin in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve rebelled against God and they were sent out of his presence. Then God chose to bless the nation of Israel so they could be a blessing to the rest of the world. When they were slaves in Egypt with terrible working conditions and no rest, God rescued them. When the Ten Commandments were repeated in Deuteronomy 5, the Sabbath is presented as a day to look backward to God’s act of redemption when he freed them from slavery. They are no longer to work as slaves or work other people or animals like slaves. (Deut 5:12-15).

So on the Sabbath, you look to God both as your Creator and Redeemer. You can rest in his presence, love, care, provision, and freedom he has given you. This means the Sabbath is a day of remembering who God is and who you are in relation to him. This stops us from using work for the wrong reasons: to build security, to build our identity, to build our significance, to give us self-worth and value, to prove ourselves to God or other people.

The Sabbath looks backward, but it also looks forward. There was something lost in Genesis 3 that our hearts long for. We long to be in God’s presence. It’s what we were made for. We long for things to be made right. We long for connection and closeness with God. We long for things to be how God originally designed them to be. So the Sabbath looks forward to God’s future acts of new creation and redemption. What was lost in Genesis 3 will one day be restored. All the brokenness and curse of sin will be removed. God will make everything new.

In Jesus’ inaugural sermon in Luke 4, Jesus proclaimed that this time had come! On the Sabbath in the synagogue of his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus proclaimed that the Sabbath of all Sabbaths was here! He proclaimed that the time the prophets had spoken about had come: when people would be released from what holds them captive and pushes them down and they’d be restored! The time of God’s redemption and new creation was being fulfilled.

To say that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath is the same as saying God is Lord of the Sabbath because God is the one who created the Sabbath. He made the law so he stands above it. Jesus is the Son of God through whom and for whom all things were created, therefore he too rested on the seventh day. He’s also the one through whom God redeems his people. The Sabbath was given as a gift to God’s people to remember God’s gifts of creation and redemption, and Jesus is that Giver along with the Father. This means that Jesus knows the true intent and purpose of the Sabbath. He knows how to interpret and apply it.

As Lord of the Sabbath, it also means everything the Sabbath looks forward to is fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus fulfills the Sabbath. Whatever the Sabbath points to and anticipates, Jesus brings to reality. The Sabbath is a time to stop and remember that this world was not always broken and that one day God will heal what is broken. Jesus is the one who heals that brokenness. What is lawful to do on the Sabbath? To do good or to do harm? To save life or to destroy it? It’s to do good and to save life because that’s why the Sabbath was created and what the Sabbath remembers - God’s acts of creation and redemption. The Sabbath looks forward to the ultimate good and the ultimate salvation. It’s a “rest stop” on the way to the final destination. Jesus is fulfilling what the Sabbath always pointed to. Jesus is the Creator and Redeemer the Sabbath remembers. As Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus gives Sabbath. He brings to us the true Sabbath rest that our hearts long for.

That feeling when you finally flop on your bed after an exhausting day. The feeling of making it home after a long trip and saying, “Ah, it’s good to be home.” There’s a longing, an ache for it. The feeling of the realtor handing you the keys to your home after all the searching, all the contracts and paperwork, and you get to walk in the door and enjoy it. The work is done. Finishing a big yard project and standing back while leaning on your shovel to take it in and feel the accomplishment.

The thing is, in all of these scenarios, we did the work. We had an exhausting day because of the work we did. We worked to make it home from the long trip. We worked to buy the house. We worked to finish the big yard project. We did the work; we put in the effort. But when it comes to what Jesus is offering us, he does all the work. Jesus does all the work for us. Jesus gives us the rest as a gift. He’s the Lord of the Sabbath. We enter into the Sabbath rest he has for us not because we have done the work but because he has done it for us. We get to rest in what he has done.

What is the rest Jesus is giving us? In Matthew 11, Jesus says: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-3) Jesus offers us a soul rest - a whole being rest. We live in a sin-sick world with sin-sick bodies and sin-sick hearts. Nothing comes easy. Relationships don’t come easy. Parenting doesn't come easy. Work doesn’t come easy. Righteousness and holiness don’t come easy. We want to be free of it: the curse of sin, the difficulty of broken relationships, the pain of unfulfilled dreams and desires, the broken, messed up world of injustice, violence, sickness, and suffering. We want to be set free from the sin inside us, our selfish hearts, and our tendency to hurt the people we love most. It all feels like so much work. It feels like we are fighting for survival against a world that is set against our success. We live in a jungle of survival of the fittest and a minefield of dangers. And it’s all so tiring.

And let’s not get started on how hard it is to feel like we deserve anything from God. On our best days, when we look in the mirror we see someone who is falling short and not keeping up. Deep down we know we aren’t living up to what God desires of us. Even if we try to put on a good show to those around us, deep down we feel like fakers, failures, and frauds. In our most honest moments, we admit that we tend to live for ourselves at the expense of those around us. We think to ourselves: if people really knew the real me, no one would be my friend, nobody would like me, in fact they might even be disgusted with me and say I really need help. And if that’s true of other people, how much truer is it of God who already knows everything about us. There’s no way we will ever get on his good side.

Into all of this, Jesus says: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I am Lord of the Sabbath. I am Lord of your rest. I have done all you need to have it. The rest and relief you desire is found in me. I give it to you freely. There’s nothing left to do. I’ve done it all.”

The cross of Jesus Christ, his death on our behalf, opens up a whole new world for us. He paid for the sins of yesterday. He frees us from the power of sin today. He will free us completely from the presence of sin in the future. No more brokenness, no more sin, no more sickness, no more mourning, crying, or pain anymore for the former things will pass away and Jesus who is seated on the throne will say, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Jesus gives us the rest we hunger for. Jesus brings the release and restoration our hearts long for. And there’s nothing left to do except receive it, rejoice in it, and relax in it. Let your heart and soul unwind. No more carrying all that stress in your shoulders. Jesus is what you need.

Every spiritual practice - the Sabbath, silence, solitude, prayer, Bible engagement, worship gatherings - facilitates a relationship with God and is a means by which we put ourselves in a position to receive from Jesus. When you use the bathrooms here and go to wash your hands, if you just stand in front of the sink, no water will come out. You have to put your hands out in order for water to come. Just because you have to do something doesn’t make it any less free. That’s what spiritual practices are like: putting ourselves in a position to receive. Jesus has fulfilled the Sabbath. But we can still practice the Sabbath as a way to remember Jesus is the Lord of our rest. In order to take a Sabbath - 24 hours where you don’t do any work - challenges our faith. It’s a weekly challenge to us to believe that God is our loving and good Creator and our Redeemer. We can still take a Sabbath day to recalibrate our hearts to rest in Jesus - the one who fulfilled it.

Let me show you what I mean using the 4Gs:

  • God is great, so I don’t have to be in control. Stopping work and resting for 24 hours forces you to accept that you aren’t in control of your life or the world. You have to stop and rest in Jesus’ control of your life. You have to accept that everything will be ok if whatever it is you want to get done is left undone. To stop and rest in obedience to Jesus forces us to recognize that someone else is Lord over our lives.
  • God is glorious, so I don’t have to fear others. Others may want you to work and get more done. Maybe you only feel good about yourself when you are getting things done because then you have something to show the world that says, “Look, I’m valuable! I’m worth something because I get stuff done.” Stopping work to rest pushes us to find our worth, value, and identity in Jesus’ work on our behalf rather than in our work.
  • God is good, so I don’t have to look for satisfaction elsewhere. We often tell ourselves, “If I just got this done, then I’d be content. If I just had a little more money, I’d have enough. If I just finish this project, then I’ll feel like I can relax.” Stopping for 24 hours points our eyes to the true source of our contentment, rest, and relief. We use our to-do list or having more money or things as our source of satisfaction. We stop and look at what Jesus has done and admire him rather than our own work.
  • God is gracious, so I don’t have to prove myself. We are afraid that if we aren’t working, then who are we? If we aren’t doing stuff, if we aren’t productive, if we aren’t contributing, then we won’t be loved, accepted, embraced. We won’t be ok if we stop. We use what we do to prove we are worthy of whatever it is we want from God: love, blessing, kindness, salvation. Grace means we get what we don’t deserve. God loves us, period. It’s not based on what we do. He loves us because he loves us. That’s it. Did Jesus come to save rule keepers or rule breakers? The answer is both. And God loves both.
  • (Check out a great testimony on taking a weekly Sabbath and how the 4Gs appy to it by a couple in our church.)

Sometimes people say, “The devil doesn’t take a day off, so neither can I!” Do we really want to model our time management after the devil? Especially when God has already told us to model it after him? Sometimes we are afraid to stop because we are afraid of what we might start feeling or thinking when we do. We use busyness to push down the difficult feelings and thoughts inside us that we don’t want to face or deal with. Taking a Sabbath puts you in a position every week to decide who it is you are going to trust. It’s a weekly reminder of who God is and who you are - where your identity comes from.

We chase all kinds of things to give us a rest that we’ve already been offered. We work hard for a rest that has already been bought for us. Where are you looking for rest? Let me end with this one sentence: Relax and rejoice in Jesus' rest. Which means, relaxing and rejoicing in what Jesus has done, is doing, and will do for you. It’s his work that we rest in. We look backward to what Jesus has done on our behalf as our Creator and Redeemer. We look forward to what Jesus will do on our behalf as our Creator and Redeemer. He’s done the greatest work necessary to give you the rest your heart and soul long for. Relax and rejoice in Jesus’ rest for you.

More in Luke: To Seek and To Save

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Jesus and Sinners

April 11, 2021

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