Why Sabbath Rest Still Matters
Sabbath rest still matters. It matters for you.
If you grew up in church, or if you have read through the Bible, you know about Sabbath.
This was a weekly day of rest which God required His people to acknowledge during the time of the Old Covenant. This day was holy. It was blessed by God and set apart for rest and for relationship with Him.
When Christ came, He fulfilled God’s law. He brought forth a new and superior covenant founded on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). Now we are made right with God by grace through faith, not by the system of laws, rituals and sacrifices as under the previous covenant.
Nonetheless, I believe that Sabbath still matters.
Why Sabbath Rest Still Matters
1. It is (almost) as old as creation
God made the earth in six days; on the seventh day He rested. He did this, not out of need, but out of love for us. In this one act, He established rhythm and exemplified for us how life works best.
Sabbath is much older than the law given to Moses. In fact, it pre-dates sin!
We should pay attention to that.
2. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
Jesus’ disciples were walking through a field on the Sabbath day. They broke off heads of grain and ate them. To the religious leaders of the day, this constituted work. This meant that, according to their judgement, the disciples were breaking God’s law.
They questioned Jesus on the matter.
So, Jesus revealed to them truth about Sabbath: He taught them that Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around. He said that He was Lord over the Sabbath (not submissive to it).
Jesus gave us a clue about our need for this rhythmic rest.
Something about Sabbath fulfills a deep-seated need in our nature. This need is so inherent in our God-given design that God created Sabbath to meet it.
As Ruth Haley Barton writes,
“The point of the Sabbath was (and still is) to honor the body’s need for rest, the spirit’s need for replenishment and the soul’s need to delight itself in God for God’s own sake.”
Sabbath provides an opportunity for us to thrive, through rest and renewed connection with God.
3. Sabbath rest is deeply symbolic
As I studied the book of Hebrews in the Bible several years ago, I was amazed to learn about another deep and complex symbolism surrounding Sabbath. It is, in fact, a prophetic picture of our salvation.
Remember the rest God entered into on the seventh day? That’s where He is even now. This is the very rest we are seeking to enter as we trust in Him for eternal life. (Hebrews 3 and 4).
When we acknowledge Sabbath, we are partnering with God to enact and proclaim many truths simultaneous, and we also meet a real need in our own lives.
It makes sense that this ancient, God-birthed practice would bring new abundance and richness to our living, should we choose to walk in it.
4. Sabbath rest made a big difference in my life!
I’ve come to love my weekly Sabbath rest. It doesn’t look like it would have for Israel during Old Testament times, but we have freedom to live in Christ apart from the law (Romans 14:4-13), so that’s okay!
For me, intentional Sabbath rest was born out of a season of desperation. I was tired, anxious, overloaded and sleep-deprived. I wasn’t doing great mentally, emotionally or physically. Three little kids were pushing my buttons and preventing sleep, and my husband was busy and away a lot.
I needed to try something. Anything.
So… I made a plan. It wasn’t perfect or pretty, but I carried it out with stubborn resolve.
And you know what? It helped! It gave me the handle on my life, my weeks and my relationship with God that I so craved.
I not only began to see my over health improving, but I also (more importantly) found space in my life to be still before God, to sit in His word and let it wash over me, and to hear from Him. THIS is the true glory of Sabbath!
I want you too to know the benefits and beauty of Sabbath rest in your own life, but I also know that won’t likely happen without intentionality, planning and commitment.
That’s why I’ve put together the Sabbath Planning Guide resource bundle.
Sabbath Planning Guide
This guide and resource bundle was birthed out of all I’ve learned through my own study and exercise of Sabbath.
My Sabbath Planning Guide bundle includes:
- Printable Sabbath Planning Guide
- Audio teaching explaining the theological roots and modern day applications of Sabbath, plus how this looks for me practically
- Beautiful and inspiring scripture cards about rest
It also comes with a free bonus download
- “55 Ideas for How to Rest on Your Sabbath Day as a Mother” .pdf
I hope you’ll join me in taking an intentional step towards a simpler, deeper and more abundant life in Christ!
Get instant access here: SABBATH PLANNING GUIDE with free bonus download!
Have you incorporated Sabbath into your weekly rhythm? What does that look like for you? If not, will you try it?
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I love your Jesus , I love your article and I’m a believer in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was also brought up in the seventh day church. I’m married now but I still conform and my husband respects that.
I was brought up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, where we were taught to honor and keep the Sabbath Day holy. I still keep Sabbath and it’s the day I look forward to, the day I work all week towards where I can attend church and fellowship with others and then go home and enjoy the sweetness of the day by resting and reflecting on all God created for us to enjoy. He worked 6 days and then rested on the seventh…a beautiful example for us to follow.
I appreciate your writing. I think that taking a weekly Sabbath is so important; one cannot fully live according to God’s will when they are burnt out.
I would like to call attention to one thing: there are many Jewish people who are still around today to which this post could come across as offensive. Specifically, referring to the New Testament as “superior” to the Old. Also, it is important to remember that the Sabbath isn’t something that “was” observed by God’s people– it still is!
I believe that Jesus completed the law. However, that does not make the Old Testament inferior, else why would we still include it in the Christian Bible?
I know that you did not mean to come across anti-Semitic or anything. I am only bringing this to your attention because of a comment I saw on Pinterest about the wording, and the commenter seemed deeply hurt by it.
You have a lovely blog. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!
I’ve noticed just giving myself a break from cooking once a week has provided a much-needed “rest.”
I completely agree!