God instituted the Sabbath for our good, calling us to set aside time each week for spiritual rest and renewal with Him through His Word. But the religious leaders of Jesus’ day defined the Sabbath with man-made regulations that clouded the purpose of the Sabbath. Jesus came to give us the ultimate rest to which the Sabbath points – forgiveness and eternal life – but they took issue with Him because He and His disciples broke their man-made laws. He corrects them, saying, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:23-28)
This is a matter of who is the authority. The religious leaders set themselves up as the authorities with their man-made laws, and in doing so they rejected the authority of Jesus. Who is the authority in your life? Who rules over what you say and do, how you think and form opinions? Do you accept Jesus’ authority…except for when it doesn’t fit your view of life? Do you set yourself up as the authority and redefine God’s commands with your own notions of right and wrong? We will never win when we go against Jesus and His Word. But here is what is truly overwhelming: Jesus used His authority to lay down His life for us to save us from our sins! This is the reason God made the Sabbath for us, that we might hear and believe this truth and find our rest in Him. Don’t neglect God’s Sabbath command, given for our good, and don’t despise the Lord of the Sabbath. Listen to Jesus’ authority in His Word: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25) LISTEN TO THE LORD OF THE SABBATH.
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Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.