Holy Sabbath

Holy Sabbath

 “Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you…you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you.” (Deuteronomy 5:12 and 14b)

It is always essential to re-eco what the scripture says so that we can better understand what God is telling us through His scripture. Let us take note of precisely what this passage is making home. 

What is the meaning of the Sabbath? It is a Hebrew word which means a day set apart for worship and rest, and it is in the book of Exodus where we have the Ten Commandments. This day is, first and foremost, a Holy day and second, a day of rest. This day must be hallowed because when God created the universe, he rested on the seventh day, so we must also find time to rest after a long work period. Most importantly, this day must be hallowed. 

The Mosaic law came with many restrictions, and the Pharisees were so much into it that the most crucial aspect of it was neglected. Jesus, in the gospels, makes it abundantly clear that it is a day that must be hallowed, a day where good things are done and made Holy to the glory of God. Sabbath is a day on which the focus must be on God and doing what pleases him; therefore, everybody in the household must be made to rest so that they can also focus on the things of God to make the day holy. The command is “Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy”.

The Pharisees watched Jesus closely to see whether he would heal the man with the withered hand on a sabbath day. He made the man stand amid the people and ask, 

“‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored(Mark 3:4-5)

My dear people of God, how do we observe the sabbath day? Do we do good or bad? We have been commanded to hallow the day; we have been commanded to do good; we are commanded to save lives on the Sabbath; we have been commanded to heal the sick on the Sabbath; we have been commanded to give food to the hungry on the Sabbath, we have been commanded to make God known in the Sabbath, we must fight injustice in our society on the Sabbath. The list goes on and on.

After this, the Pharisees went out and plotted with the Herodians to find a way to destroy Jesus. Jesus’ offence was that he healed the sick on the sabbath day. Doing good can annoy people; it can create a lot of enemies for you. The apostles also had many enemies because they went out doing good and proclaiming the good news of the man who was Master even of the Sabbath. We are no exception. We will endure challenging times because we have moved out to do good. This must not stop us from doing what is right but must encourage us because it simply means we are doing something right. 

… Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38). 

II Corinthians 4 tells us: In difficulty on all sides but never cornered, we see no answer to our problems, but never despair. We have been persecuted but never deserted, knocked down but never killed. This is all because 

“while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown.” (II Corinthians 4:11)

Dear people of God, Jesus is the Master of the Sabbath; the Sabbath must be made holy so that the lives of others would be better. Let us allow ourselves to be used to touch the lives of others and make our communities better places where the light of Christ that shines out of darkness will shine in our minds to radiate the light of the knowledge of God’s glory, the glory on the face of Christ. AMEN.