“For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his”  -Hebrews 4:10 (NIV)

As we discussed throughout the week, the Old Testament is filled with different types and shadows, events and ordinances which prefigure Christ and what He would do in salvation. One of them is the Sabbath, an Old Testament ordinance established after the Israelites left the land of Egypt. 

Today, we will be looking at the true meaning of the Sabbath.

The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word, ‘shavat’ meaning ‘to rest’. The first demonstration of the Sabbath was in Genesis where God rested on the seventh day after creating the world (Genesis 2:2-4). Subsequently, the Sabbath was instituted as a day of rest when God established His covenant with the people of Israel on their exodus to Egypt (Exodus 20: 8-11). They were to rest from all labour on the seventh day, keeping it holy unto God. 

The writer of the Book of Hebrews particularly emphasised the importance of rest in Biblical history. Chapter 3 of Hebrews speaks of the children of Israel and how their disobedience and lack of faith hindered them from entering the promised land which was symbolic of God’s rest to them.

The Sabbath was to prefigure our true rest in Christ Jesus, which is eternal. This means entering into a saving relationship with God releasing us from the works of the flesh that does not bring us to salvation. True rest in God is salvation by grace through faith In Christ Jesus.

The book of Leviticus chapter 17 tells us of the constant sacrifice needed to make atonement for sin. But in Christ, we cease from these practices because Christ has paid the price for sin once and for all. Now, through faith in Him, we enter our true rest in God (Hebrews 7:27).

This means that if you have put your faith in God, believing the Gospel, you can rest in Christ’s finished works (Hebrews 4:3). You have an assurance of your place in the kingdom of God (Hebrews 6:19).

God’s plan of salvation has been in place before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). Different ordinances have prefigured this great gift of God to us. Now in Christ, we see the manifestation of it. In believing in Him, we enter into His rest. We do not enter this rest by our works, what we do or not. It is by grace through faith in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-10). 

What a difference it makes to rest upon the Lord Jesus, to enter God’s rest, and to have inward joy (Matthew 11:28) and everlasting peace!

As you go about your day today and every other day, be conscious of God’s eternal rest made available to you.

Bible Reading Plan: Luke 15rews

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