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Spiritual Direction #13

Sabbath (Part 2)

Sabbath (Part 2)

The fourth commandment (of the ten given to Moses) seems abundantly clear (Exodus 20:8-11). Since God worked six days and rested on the seventh, He expects us to do the same.

The seventh day is a day of rest – holy to the Lord. But for the Israelites, the Sabbath was much more than a rest day, it was part of their identity – a sign of God’s covenant with them (Exodus 31:12-18).

There are several covenants described in the Bible. All of them contain promises and requirements, and most of them have a specific sign. The Noahic covenant has the sign of the rainbow, the Abrahamic covenant the sign of circumcision, and the Mosaic covenant, the sign of the Sabbath.

But Jesus Christ came to announce a new covenant with a different sign, the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:6), and in doing so He brought a new perspective to the Sabbath.

For example, He healed people on the Sabbath, allowed His disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath, challenged the Jewish leaders about their rules concerning the Sabbath, and even proclaimed Himself Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5). Jesus Christ never sinned and yet His actions force us to relook at the fourth commandment.

Have we misunderstood the Sabbath commandment?

Have we fully understood Jesus Christ’s shift of perspective?

How can we obey the fourth commandment and yet embrace the new covenant?


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