Thought For The Day (July 24, 2011) – The Sabbath, Law Versus Fulfillment

The Sabbath: Understanding The Demand Of The Law Versus Its Fulfillment ….

Exodus 31:12-18
12 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ “
18 And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

The purpose of the Sabbath Day, including the sacrifices that commemorated the Sabbath celebration (see Num 28:9-10), was to point to a necessary day of sanctification that will be brought to fulfillment through the finished work of the Cross (hence the Sabbath sacrifices).

And, the intent of GOD was that He would use the Sabbath Day to sanctify His people. The Sabbath was a perpetual Covenant with YHWH-M’Kadddesh (the Sanctifier).

To be sanctified is to be made holy, so as to be set apart unto YHWH, so as to accomplish YHWH’s purposes.

And, the Law pointed to the need to be sanctified as an absolute necessity for the people of GOD; for without being sanctified they (and we too) would all die.

The Sabbath Law that proclaimed the death sentence for breaking the Sabbath foreshadowed this reality of death if the people of GOD did not find a sanctified state of rest in GOD by Blood Covenant.

YHWH pointed to this Blood Covenant, commemorated in a Shabbat-Shalom, being established through the two tablets of the Testimony, written by the Finger of GOD, being given to Moses (Ex 31:18). These two tablets were the work of GOD (Ex 32:16) pointing to the fact that actual fulfillment would only come through YHWH’s Righteousness being manifested into our inward parts (see Jer 31:33-34).

[In 2 Cor 3:3 (NKJV) the fulfillment of the Law, including the Sabbath Law is pointed to: < clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone (which were received by Moses) but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. > ]

Israel observed the Law of the Sabbath Day through most of their history (and they do so even today) and they have failed to be sanctified unto YHWH.

Centuries of observance of the Law of the Sabbath Day did not bless them for the simple reason that their righteousnesses were filthy rags (Isa 64:6, KJV).

Paul points to the spiritual reason of this failure in Romans 9:30-32, which reads: < What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. >

The key to the Sabbath Rest of Sanctification is CHRIST being formed in us (Gal 4:19; Phil 4:13) through faith, and our ability to function by the HOLY SPIRIT, in CHRIST JESUS (Rom 8:2; 8:1-4, KJV/NKJV); not the mere observance of a Sabbath Day.

Ps 46:10a describes the essential basis of this sanctified state of Rest: < Be still, and know that I am God … >

YESHUA says this about the Sabbath: < And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” > – Mark 2:27-28.

The ultimate aim of the Sabbath is to enable us to operate by the HOLY SPIRIT, in CHRIST JESUS, in a sanctified state of rest that is the “Shabbat-Shalom” of YHWH-M’Kaddesh and YHWH-Shalom manifested in a dwelling place that He has sanctified and consecrated for Himself – in us and amongst us, in fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

In John 14:23-27 (NKJV), YESHUA explains:
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The writer to the Hebrews (4:9-10, NASB) explains the Sabbath fulfilled as a Rest we must enter into where we cease from our works and becomes instruments of GOD’s work: < So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. >

Our understanding of the Sabbath Rest is a prophetic foreshadowing of a functional state of rest in YHWH, by the SPIRIT, in CHRIST JESUS, so as to be set free from the Law of Sin and Death (Rom 8:2).

Hence the declaration in Colossians 2:16-17 (NASB) which reads as follows: < Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day– things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. >

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NKJV) describes the awesomeness of the Sabbath Rest as follows: < For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. > Amen & GBU.