Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Acts Day 10 - Sabbath Still?

1:9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.

So we left off yesterday with the promise that today we'd talk about the why of the Sabbath rather than the obvious when. Many today have accepted the longstanding view that the seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) is a Jewish relic like circumcision and now we worship on Sunday in celebration of the resurrection. It could be true if God set that up, but He didn't and in fact He couldn't because the purposes for which He created the Sabbath still remain. God never retires anything unless and until the purpose for which it was set up are completed.

Let me illustrate. Circumcision as a requirement for God's people is over. The New Testament makes that very clear. (Note by contrast that the Sabbath does fall into that category/discussion). Circumcision is over because it had a purpose and that purpose has been fulfilled. The purpose was to identify the family line through which the Seed, the Messiah, Jesus would be born. Now that He has been born circumcision holds no purpose.

Another example is animal sacrifices. We don't sacrifice animals anymore. Why? Because Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the whole world and He died once for all. To continue killing animals for sin would be a denial of what Jesus has done and entirely pointless.

All of this being the case, the only reason God would put an end to the Sabbath was if the purposes for which He created it were fulfilled. When the wedding is over you put the wedding dress away. For Sabbath to be "put away" the reason for its existence must be over.

All we have to do to test the ongoing validity or lack of validity for the Sabbath in the Christian era is test the purposes for God instituting it in the first place. First it stands as a memorial from the beginning that God is our Creator. Second it is part of the weekly work/rest cycle that makes for a balanced life and gives us time and space to spend with God and family.

When God gave the Israelites the two stone tablets the first time the Sabbath was there as the 4th commandment in the context of creation. (Exodus 20) Moses smashed those tablets and God wrote a second set to replace them. This time (Deut. 5) God framed the 4th commandment regarding Sabbath in the context of their rescue from bondage in Egypt. It was a memorial of their freedom. This was significant because the reason Moses smashed the first set is because He came down the mountain to find them dancing around the model of an Egyptian god. They had left Egypt but Egypt had not left them.

See the Sabbath is more than a memorial of creation (even though that alone is plenty of reason to keep it). The Sabbath is a weekly reminder that God has secures our freedom from Egypt and desires to get Egypt out of us.

Repeatedly God said things like "The Sabbath is a sign between Me and you that I Am the Lord who makes you holy".
(Ezekiel 20)

Let me make it real simple:

Until we have it firm in our minds and hearts that we were created by God, have been rescued from the bondage of sin and are living in perfect freedom from it the Sabbath remains intensely relevant. I don't know about you but I know I'm keeping it until I'm not only out of Egypt but Egypt is out of me.

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