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  • Pastor Luis Cruz

Is the church required to observe Sabbath?

Hebrews 4:1-10

The key to understanding that this passage is about Sabbath is in Hebrews 4:9-10. “9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.”

1. Understanding the Meaning of Sabbath-Rest.

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” Hebrews 4:1-4, NIV.

· Sabbath means “to stop or cease from work.”

· The author used the example of God’s resting on the 7th day to establish, not only a day of physical rest but a day of rest from labouring.

The elements of Sabbath as they enter God’s promised land:

· God’s people to bring sacrificial offerings. Leviticus 23:12

· Israel to congregate in a worship service and focus on God’s holiness. Exodus 31:13

2. Sabbath was powerless to save.

9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.” Hebrews 4:9-10

· Israel had already take possession of the land of rest, and yet the opportunity to enter God’s rest remained open.

· It was offered during Moses’ time, repeated during David’s time, and continued to offer even at this time. It has not ended yet, and why is that?

· It was not physical rest that God offers but spiritual rest, God’s heavenly rest - salvation by grace.

3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4, NIV.

· Because people violated God’s decrees, the law of God can only produce sin and spiritual death.

· Many Jews sought righteousness by the strict observance of the law, and none was able to fully obey it.

· So, God sent Jesus to fulfill it, and gave His righteousness to those who believe in Him.

3. Sabbath-Rest finds fulfillment in Jesus.

5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” Hebrews 4:5.

· Like those Hebrews who failed to enter God’ land of rest, and died in the wilderness, the danger of unbelief is it brings people to their own demise.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28, NIV.

· When Jesus said this, he was offering rest to those who were justifying themselves to gain eternal life.

4. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath.

8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:8

· Jesus has all the right, authority, and power over Sabbath.

· He ended the physical Sabbath (as part of the Old Covenant) and initiated a New Covenant by his death and resurrection.

1 Corinthians 11:25, “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

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