I suppose since the Sabbath is a topic in both our Old and New Testament readings for today it deserves some attention.
In Exodus 31 we read God’s final words to Moses before he goes back down the moutain. It’s interesting that out of all commandments for God to repeat he repeats the commandment to observe the Sabbath. The 10 Commandments were given back in Chapter 20, and here God repeats that one commandment before Moses returns. The penalty for breaking the Sabbath commandment is pretty steep – death!
Then in Mark we fast forward to Jesus’s day. In Mark 2 Jesus is already questioned about his Sabbath practices when he and the disciples were picking grain to eat. Jesus says “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” And now in Mark 3 the Sabbath issue continues when Jesus heals on the Sabbath. After that event we read that the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. We know that they were trying to trap Jesus, but after reading Exodus 31 you see how they figured they had a good case against him. After all, Exodus 31 tells us the penalty is death!!
So… how seriously do I take the Sabbath? How seriously should I take it? To tell you the truth, it’s one of my least favorite Sermon topics. But here it is, my day to blog, and I have both Old and New Testament references so I am going to spend some time reflecting… Maybe it stands out to me because I’m just getting out of a season at work that required nights and weekends with no days off. Sometimes even nights ON the weekends! Maybe?? Maybe. I know that I need rest. I have experienced the physical and emotional toll that this season has taken.
I think eveyone gets the concept of rhythms of work and rest. But it’s good to have those reminders, that it’s not just good sense but it’s a commandment. And Jesus tells us that it was made for man. And God thought it was pretty important and even reminded Moses of it after giving him the commandments and lots of other laws.
Lord, help me to understand that this is an important law, and it is for my benefit. Help me understand this truth and live it out. As I complete this difficult season, let me get back to the rhythm of work and rest the way it was meant to be.