The Preeminence Of Christ – Part 5
God established the Sabbath day as a picture of things to come.
When the reality of that picture came, the picture became irrelevant (Romans 10 v 4, Galatians 3 v 19 & 2 Corinthians 3 vs 6-7). Then, the early Church began to gather on the first day of the week to commemorate that reality; Christ (Acts 20:7).
According to Exodus 23 v 12, one of the purposes of the Sabbath was to give people and their animals one day of physical rest each week.
Deuteronomy 5 v 15 also clearly states that the Sabbath was to serve as a REMINDER to the Jews that they had been slaves in Egypt and were delivered from bondage NOT BY THEIR OWN EFFORTS, but by the supernatural power of God.
However, in the New Testament, an even CLEARER PURPOSE of the Sabbath is stated. In Colossians 2 vs 16-17, Paul revealed that the SABBATH WAS ONLY A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME AND IS NOW FULFILLED IN CHRIST .
Hebrews 4 v 1 says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering HIS REST, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.”
ENTERING INTO THE REST OF GOD ISN’T AUTOMATIC. We have to believe, just as it was with the Israelites who came out of Egypt. God intended not only to bring them out of Egypt but also to bring them into the land of promise, but it didn’t happen, because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3 v 19).
Hebrews 4 v 2 says, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”
The Israelites who came out of Egypt didn’t have the Gospel preached to them in the sense that they were told about Jesus by name and that He died for our sins. But they had that preached to them in a PICTURE AND TYPE through the Passover lamb.
THEY WEREN’T DELIVERED BECAUSE OF ANY HOLINESS OF THEIR OWN. They were saved from the death angel and from Egyptian bondage BECAUSE OF THEIR PARTAKING OF THE SACRIFICE. It’s the same with us, only now we have the real sacrifice of which the Passover lamb was only a type and shadow (1 Corinthians 5 v 7).
Hebrews 4 v 3 says, “For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
This is a quote from Psalms 95 v 11, which says, “Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” Then the writer of Hebrews spoke of God resting on the seventh day from His labors of creation. This sheds more light on what this rest of the Lord is.
God’s rest is different to the rest Israel entered into on a Sabbath. GOD RESTED NOT BECAUSE OF EXHAUSTION BUT BECAUSE EVERYTHING WAS COMPLETE. (Isaiah 40 v 28). There was nothing else to do. It was done perfectly.
THE SABBATH WAS SYMBOLIC OF THE REAL REST God was going to give those who would believe in Christ. The New Testament Sabbath REST IS SIMPLY A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD in which WE HAVE CEASED FROM DOING THINGS BY OUR OWN EFFORTS AND ARE LETTING GOD WORK THROUGH US (Galatians 2 v 20 and Hebrews 4 v 10).
JESUS HAS ALREADY PURCHASED SALVATION AND ALL ITS BENEFITS FOR US. It’s already done (Ephesians 1 v 3). We don’t have to pray and ask God to heal us or prosper us. It’s already a done deal (2 Peter 1 v 3-4).
We just need to REST IN WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN PROVIDED. There is a place we can reach where WE AREN’T STRIVING TO GET GOD TO BLESS US BUT ARE RESTING BY FAITH IN WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE. That is the Sabbath rest that is being spoken of in these verses.
In Ephesians 1 v 17-19, Paul prayed for believers to know what is already ours:
“.. do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may GIVE to you the SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND REVELATION in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of YOUR UNDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENED; that you may KNOW what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance IN THE SAINTS, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power TOWARD US who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.”
REST IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST – Hebrews 4:1-3!
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