The Best Rest You Ever Had

law and salvation

The Best Rest You Ever Had

  • We were on vacation- great places to stay- but the thing I missed the most? My bed- We have an awesome bed. I highly recommend getting the best bed you can afford- makes a difference
  • When you think about bed, you think about rest- it’s a time of day when you don’t have to worry about anything- or work on anything or be in anything. Many a day I’ve thought about ‘this day will end’
  • Spiritually- God wants you to experience that every day- A reality that isn’t based on work or observance of rituals- but a spiritual rest where you experience God’s best, resting in his grace.
  • Mark 2:23-27

1.Realize you’re under grace

  • Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
  • What was happening here was that Jesus was along his way with his disciples and as they were going , they plucked some grain from a field and ate it-
  • This did not make these Pharisees very happy- because they saw it as breaking the law of the Sabbath- which was that you were to do no work on the Sabbath
  • Exodus 35:2 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.
  • Now- that’s a pretty convincing verse to encourage you to not do any work on the Sabbath
  • DEATH- Feel free to use that one next time you don’t want to mow on a Sunday
  • This was where they were coming from
  • Lev 23:3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
  • Jews today- still hold to these convictions- they do no work on the Sabbath. None
  • Jews observe Sabbath from Friday evening until Saturday evening
  • What is interesting about this observance- is that it becomes a religious ritual- that is no longer connected to its original purpose
  • Basic- Mental health- Squared away soldier- missed the point-
  • People begin to do things that make sure that they “observe” rather than “embrace”
  • Modern day Jews maintain this observance- They do nothing during this 24 hours other than read, pray, worship, and eat, but no food is prepared or made during this time
  • Orthodox will go so far as to remove the lightbulb in the refrigerator to ensure that no work is done. Set timers, set up appliances. They do nothing
  • BUT- except for this person known as a “Shabbos Goy” who is a non-jew that is allowed to do work for a jew on a Sabbath if the Jew does not ask them-
  • Guys will go outside their dwelling and say “Man- it sure is hot today” which will indicate to the shabbos goy to follow them home and look at the AC. Or “Horrible when a light is left on” and they follow them home to turn it off.
  • these guys are going after Jesus because work is being performed- these guys are harvesting!
  • What these guys attacking Jesus don’t realize is that they are talking to God in the flesh and if he wants to eat some grain on a Sabbath- he can do it- Its his prerogative
  • Their PROBLEM is that they don’t understand how this prohibition against WORK can be broken on the Sabbath by anyone-
  • What they don’t REALIZE is that even now- the Grace of Jesus is coming over these guys lives and Jesus is displaying the essence of the LAW not the LETTER of the law
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Even now- in Jewish culture- they determined that breaking the no working on the Sabbath is permissible if it involves illness, gross loss of money, or a great need
  • Jews still ‘break the sabbath’ under certain circumstances
  • Even now- there are religious and non- religious people who will challenge you about the fact that you do not “keep the Sabbath”. To them, its usually a spiritual “gotcha” in that they are really trying to make you feel bad, question your faith, discredit your witness, or put you in a spiritual conundrum. It is RARELY to honor God
  • What this verse describes- and what Jesus is making clear- 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.
  • We, as Christian people are no longer required to observe a Shabbat or a 24 hours of non-working rest to satisfy the Sabbath requirement- Jesus has become our Sabbath rest
  • We are now under GRACE Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • This bothers people who want to think that observance of religious rituals is what pleases God
  • Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
  • Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
  • Don’t become hyper-religious about Sabbath keeping- There is no NT Requirement for it
  • Matthew 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
  • The Sabbath served a purpose- but that purpose was to point us to Christ
  • Colossians 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ
  • Just like the Pharisees of old- some people will not understand your not keeping of the Sabbath, just like they didn’t understand Jesus- pay them no mind- you are under grace- not under law
  • Romans 6:14-15 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
  1. Relationship over Rules

People will take this non-sabbath keeping and disregard for the law- as license that there are now no rules-

This couldn’t be farther from the truth-

  • 25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?
  • Now- in this instance- David and his companions broke the law and ate that which was reserved only for the priests. Jesus defends this practice and says- you were OK with that weren’t you? How is this any different? David was doing the work of the Lord and food was required
  • Here’s the main point that Jesus is trying to make in this- the rules were never intended to be the relationship
  • When my wife and I have a disagreement, sometimes I’ll regress to a compliant attitude that is in essence being a “good husband” buy my true attitude comes out- “I’m doing what I should” You can follow the rules in your marriage and never be in relationship
  • David going hungry when there was food before him that was forbidden makes no sense
  • Jesus and his companions going hungry on the Sabbath, when there is grain, makes no sense
  • Jesus and his disciples were out MINISTERING and required FOOD- How is that benefiting God or anyone if they go hungry to simply
  • There are rules in the world of Jesus- but lets not miss the forest for the trees on this one
  • The problem that Jesus brings up is basically- what if the rules have to be broken for the sake of the individual? What if in the process of honoring God, you break law?
  • Disclaimer- Do no not go out and go on a sin rampage because it seems that I’m preaching that there are no rules in Christianity or if you can reason them away you get away with it
  • Jesus establishes that  Six of the 10 commandments in Exodus 20 are still in effect today- in Matthew 19:18, murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, honor parents, and worshiping God;
  • nine of them were reinstituted in the New Testament. (Romans 13:9, coveting. Worshiping God properly covers the first three commandments).
  • The Sabbath was the only one not reinstituted
  • There are still rules to Christianity, much to peoples chagrin- don’t think Jesus going soft on the Sabbath, or Jesus going soft on sin
  • Saw a sign at a church on vacation “No Rules- Just relationship” and that’s a lie- there are rules to being a Christian- You still cant Kill, cheat, lie, etc.
  • The point Jesus is making is that the law was broken to the benefit of people even though God had established it God wrote it, God can rework it
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Follow the rules of Jesus- but don’t rest in them as your relationship
  • Here’s the deal- there are things that God doesn’t want you to do and there are things that God wants you to do, but realize that people are important, ultra Sabbath is not

READ Luke 13:10-17 Jesus heals on the Sabbath- Shows everyone how important people are above the sabbath

  • But you don’t do them because you’re afraid of God or you want to get to heaven
  • You do them because you are thankful that Jesus saved you, and you know its good for you- AND some of them will land you in jail!
  • Its like this- going to church on Sunday isn’t a requirement of being a Christian- BUT we can’t live out the scriptures of the NT if we don’t go
  • Many a person I have met that claims to be a Christian but refuses to commit to a local church- UBER religious about not being religious. “ I don’t need to go to church to prove I’m a Christian” No one is saying that- but why wouldn’t you?
  • We can’t have corporate worship by yourself, or get preached at, tithe, serve, etc
  • But that can become RELIGIOUS in that you live like hell all week, and then think coming to church on Sunday wipes away all the sins of the week
  • Example- you can skip church and still honor God- but you can’t OMIT church and still honor God-
  • Just like the Sabbath- church was created for the believer not the believer for the church
  • Sabbath was created for you as well- why would you not take the rest? But neither one of those save you- only the blood of Jesus can save you
  • But going to church can’t sustain a relationship with God, just like observing the Sabbath can’t. You have to have your heart changed
  • 3. Rest in Sabbath of God’s grace
  • There are modern day Christians who still observe the Sabbath
  • Seventh Day Adventists, Seventh Day Baptists, Still are Sabbath keepers- and still today- they are speaking out against those who don’t keep the Sabbath as God’s eternal establishment for his people- They believe us non-sabbath keepers are going to not make the cut
  • This verse speaks so deeply to the crux of the issue- 27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
  • Men were not made so that Sabbath could be kept- it was made for the Benefit of man- that they would get rest- God did this for you
  • Did you know that the idea of recreation and the weekend is a modern day experience?
  • Years ago- recreation and relaxation was reserved for the ruling class- everyone was expected to work 7 days a week
  • But what has happened is that our “rest day” has turned into a work day- We do more on the weekends than we do during the week. We need to go back to work to get some rest
  • We never take a rest! We never relax! I get it- I have a hard time relaxing and doing nothing
  • God wants you to enter into a Sabbath rest that covers every area of your life
  • Hebrew 4: 9-11 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 rest means
  • We no longer have to follow the law to earn our salvation
  • We no longer have to follow the Sabbath rules to please God
  • We no longer have to live under condemnation of those around us who do no understand our freedom in Christ
  • But it also means- You need to schedule in “down time” where you’re not over scheduled, where you can rest in the presence of God.
  • Be a human being not a human doing
  • Exodus 33:14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
  • Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest
  • Jeremiah 31:25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.”
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