the weblog of Alan Knox

The Sabbath for today

Posted by on May 18, 2010 in scripture | 9 comments

For the past few Sundays, we’ve been studying certain topics and how they relate to us as followers of Jesus Christ. This Sunday, our topic is “the Sabbath.”

In the next day or so, the person who will be teaching/leading our discussion will send out an email with a list of Scripture passages and questions to consider. I’ve put together a list of passages of consider as well.

But, I was also wondering what my readers thought. If you were going to study “the Sabbath” from Scripture and how it relates to us today, what passages of Scripture would you study and why?


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  1. 5-18-2010


    Mark 2:23-27


  2. 5-18-2010

    I’d follow along the reading of Hebrews 4 carefully. The author’s understanding of rest (Sabbath) is profoundly rich. It’s more than a “day of rest”, but a life of trust in God through Messiah. He seems to be arguing that the journey to the land of promise wasn’t so much about getting “the land”, but getting “rest”. All along, even in the OT, it was a spiritual journey (normally we speak about material blessings and goals in the OT, but spiritual and heavenly ones in the NT), one which Hebrews 11 outlines pretty well. Abraham was on the lookout for the city of rest, but never found it.

    I heard a messianic teacher once say that those who think that as believers in Messiah they are bound to take a “day of rest” in order to fulfill some sort of divine obligation have seriously 1) misunderstood the work of Christ to give us such rest everyday; and 2) misunderstood the prophetic message of Sabbath under the Sinai covenant. To observe Sabbath meant to observe that you didn’t really have “rest” like Adam and Eve once did in Eden. You always went back to work, restless. The message of Hebrews, and the OT, is that Messiah would bring back that rest which was lost.

    So, yeah, travel from Hebrews to Psalm 95 to Joshua and back to Genesis 1-2.

  3. 5-18-2010

    8For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. -Hebrews 4:8-11 (New American Standard Bible)

  4. 5-18-2010


    Yes, that’s one of the passages that I’m looking at, along with the parallel in Matthew. But, I think Mark includes a very important statement: Mark 2:27.


    Yes, I’m looking at Hebrews 4… actually, I’m starting in Hebrews 3. That’s a very important passage, actually.


    That’s my favorite part from my Hebrews 3-4 study.


  5. 5-19-2010

    I like the parallel drawn between the rest of Adam and Eve, and the Sabbath, and the reference in hebrews 4 regarding Joshua not having given them rest. As stated it was Christ that brought true rest, but its ironic how hard it is to JUST REST! The human mind is bent on being in control, and laying down control takes a lot of dying…to self.

  6. 5-19-2010

    Hebrews 4 Alan. Coupled with Colossians 2. I believe Hebrews 4 to be the hermeneutical key to understanding the Sabbath from a redemptive perspective.

  7. 5-19-2010


    I think I understand what you’re talking about, but can you explain about Adam and Eve and rest?


    Why just Hebrews 4? Why not Hebrews 3 also?


  8. 5-20-2010


    Adam and Eve originally lived in the garden, of course, and didn’t have to work for their food, etc. God provided, I assume, all that they needed. After the fall, they were forced to then work for their food by working the ground, and their rest was over. Speaking from a broader and spiritual perspective, before the fall all of man was in rightstanding with God. After the fall, man had to work to be as rightstanding as possible, eventually having to keep the law to have their sins atoned. (Of course, even in this time you had those who understood God’s redemptive plan and trusted in Him, and thus were counted righteous, but there still was not the same level of communion and rest (or grace) as we now enjoy. So, to make a long post longer, having once had rest and peace with God, Adam and Eve fell, lost that rest and peace, and Christ had to restore that rest by the cross.

    I find this a common theme in my study lately, as II Corinthians 3:18 discusses our gradual transformation into the image of Christ. Originally man was created in God’s image, but that was distorted by the fall. God now has restored, and is restoring, that “identical-ness” by the work of the cross.

    I hope that helps explain what I meant! Sorry its so long.

  9. 5-22-2010

    I’m a bit late with this comment, but want to give it anyway. I have enjoyed reading all the comments.

    I would start with Genesis 2:1-3 and begin working through the OT with the understanding that all was “shadow” and the “sabbath” as a prophecy of Jesus Christ.

    I would show how the OT folk had this prophetic statement everywhere and missed it – then go to Hebrews 3 & 4.

    Jesus is our Sabbath – and He calls us to enter a state of trust where all is rest and peace. Our stirrings, efforts and excitements are usually worthless. All that rises from faith (trust – an essential rest component) in our Lord and His rest will endure and be a matter of great peace.

    It is sad that we know so little of this in the church today and that it is still our efforts we are counting on.