First my husband talks about the commandments in general:
In our New Testament age, the real application of these commands belongs to the church. Sometimes Christians get confused when they remove the New Testament foundation from their understanding of these commandments and try to put themselves under the Old Testament law. The cross of Jesus Christ is the lens by which everything in the scripture must be viewed. We cannot go back and try to put our lives under the Old Testament law, but we must submit ourselves to the New Testament commandments that are applied through the law of faith. Jesus said that He did not come to do away with the law but to fulfill the law and then offer Himself as a redemptive sacrifice for us. This Bible, Christianity, encouragement, Jesus, justification, salvation, Sufficiency of Christ, The Gospelis affirmed and explained in Romans 3:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
After explaining more about this, he goes on to speak specifically about the sabbath:
Since we are looking at the Ten Commandments through the light of the New Testament and the lens of the cross, I decided that the Sabbath should be the first point of study. The reason being is that this is the most misunderstood commandment by Christians and it also points God’s people directly to Jesus Christ. Since Jesus is the focal point by which we view the Old Testament and all commandments, it only makes sense to begin from this point.
The Sabbath is not Sunday. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week which is Saturday. In the beginning, God created the heavens, the earth, and all that is in them in six days and on the seventh day He rested. God rested in order to provide an example for God’s people to follow His example and to rest on the Sabbath. This principle also points to a deeper spiritual understanding as we will soon explore. Many who oppose the concept of Sunday worship such as the Seventh Day Adventist frequently challenge all the other denominations to prove that the Sabbath was changed. One leader in this denomination offered $64,000 for anyone who can prove biblically that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday in the scriptures.
Don’t waste your time with this challenge for you will not find anything in the Bible where God changed the day in which we celebrate the Sabbath. The problem is that the question is flawed.
After explaining the concept of the sabbath, my husband goes on to the most important part of the message, which speaks of the meaning of the sabbath rest, and how it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Jesus made a point of shaking up the religious leader’s view of the Sabbath. If you read through the gospels, take note of the number of times Jesus blatantly violated the Sabbath in the sight of the Pharisees. As you do, keep in mind that the Pharisees were not condemned for questioning Jesus’ breaking of the Sabbath, they were condemned for rejecting Jesus. A little earlier I noted that the command to keep the Sabbath pointed to a deeper spiritual principle. Jesus broke the traditional view of the Sabbath in order to draw attention to the spiritual meaning of the Sabbath. He constantly proclaimed that He was Lord of the Sabbath and that the Sabbath was meant for man. Man wasn’t created for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was created for man (Mark 2:27). As we examine this law, keep in mind the teaching of Galatians 3:24-25
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
The law of the Sabbath pointed to what was fulfilled in Christ. In the Old Testament, breaking the Sabbath was punishable by death. Look at Exodus 31:14-15
14 'You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 'Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Not all the commandments carried a death penalty; so why did God put such importance on the Sabbath that any who broke it would pay with their life? To understand the reason we must understand the meaning behind the Sabbath which could not have been known before Christ revealed the covenant of the New Testament to the church. The above scripture also helps us to understand why the Jews had such a hard time accepting Jesus’ breaking of the Sabbath. Any work was punishable by death regardless of how miniscule it was, but when Jesus came, He intentionally broke the Sabbath for the purpose of bringing attention to His Lordship and the principle of the Sabbath.
What is that principle which is so essential that if we do not obey it, the end is death?
If Jesus was indeed the Lord of the Sabbath, then He had to have a reason for breaking the Sabbath and teaching His disciples to do so. In the Old Testament, God clearly instructed people not to gather food on the Sabbath and someone found picking up sticks for firewood was executed for breaking the Sabbath. Now Jesus and His disciples are walking through a field and gathering food on the Sabbath in the sight of all. When questioned, Jesus says that the Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath and then claims that He has the right to do what He is doing because He is also the Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus is making the claim that not only does He have the right to rule the Sabbath, but He is also changing the way mankind views the Sabbath.
The law of keeping the Sabbath clearly served a purpose that God reinforced with severe judgment, but as revealed by Jesus, the Sabbath was a tutor for a greater principle that was now being revealed by His ministry on earth. The Sabbath is the rest given by God and the promise to God’s people. Through the law, God taught His people to understand the promise but God did not permit God’s people to inherit the promise by the law. When God led the people to the Promised Land, He required faith before they could inherit the promise. Without faith, God delivered the people out of the bondage of Pharaoh; without faith God led them through the wilderness; without faith God defeated all enemies, gave them manna, water from the rock and showed the children of Israel many mighty works. However, when the time came to inherit the promise, God required faith.
God sent twelve spies into the land – one from each tribe. He did this to test God’s people. They spied out the land and brought a discouraging report to the people. The land was just as God promised, but the inhabitants were strong and could not be defeated. Even though God defeated everyone that challenged Israel and even humbled Pharaoh, the children of Israel still had no faith and rebelled against the Lord. It was not the law that prevented them from inheriting the promise, but unbelief. Keeping the law meant nothing if faith was absent. Look at Hebrews 3:
17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: "So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest,' " although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"; 5 and again in this place: "They shall not enter My rest." 6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts." 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
This passage of scripture is where the rubber meets the road. This scripture clearly makes a connection between God’s example of rest on the seventh day, the Promised Land of the children of Israel and the rest provided through Christ as it ties them together as being all a part of the same principle. Notice that God speaks of the ‘rest’ of God’s people as the ‘rest’ of the Sabbath. This passage in Hebrews provides an important key to understanding the command to keep the Sabbath for it links the rest of the promise of God with the rest of the Sabbath. God used the example of Israel to teach us the principle of our promise of salvation. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath because He is Lord of our salvation. We enter the rest of the Lord through the cross of Jesus Christ for He alone leads us into the promise.
Please read the entire message to see all the points my husband brings out.
Jesus performed many miraculous healings on the sabbath. I again submit that, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear His word, this is a clear message that our healing is accomplished by Him on a day of rest and not on a day of works. He is our Sabbath Rest, by faith and not by works.
1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“ So I swore in My wrath,
‘ They shall not enter My rest,’”
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“ Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.