If there was a simple rule such as “you shall not do any work on the Sabbath”, it would seem to me like a fairly easy thing to follow. For six days God created and on the seventh He rested. Did God know something we didn’t? Talk to most experts in the field of medicine and they will tell you that a day of rest, complete rest, helps reduce stress, reduces inflammation and the risk of heart disease, boosts your immune system, adds years to your life, restores mental energy, you're more creative, you'll focus better and improve short-term memory. So, when I looked at what you can do on the Sabbath according to the Mishnah, there were a ton of things that were allowed so that life could go on and the Lord’s command did not get broken. They talked the simple rule of resting to death and got to the point where you needed a cheat sheet just to remember them all. There is more stress in trying to relax as God commanded then there was in the simple act of rest.
When we start to over-regulate the law, do we not create more opportunity to “sin”. As we cast judgment upon those who are breaking the law of man, are we not committing them to death on a spiritual level? Follow me if you will. God says rest, man defines rest and states what does or does not define acts against the law. So, what about the actions of Jesus in Matthew 12:9-12.
Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.”
This does not give us freedom to breach the law for it is written “love God with every ounce of your being and love your neighbour”. This means do nothing to bring grief to those around you. This is the difference between preaching (or living) spiritually alive or being mired in spiritual death. Rest in the Lord, know He has only your best interest at heart and do not add to His message; it is perfect already. God says rest, then rest – it is that simple. Spiritual life can be found in the message of the Saviour for the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.
Take some time to look up “The Story of Lazarus – Bud Robinson”. There is a free version on the web ( https://place.asburyseminary.edu/firstfruitsheritagematerial/96/ ) and plan to join us this Sunday for week two of what should be a fascinating series. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.
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We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.