April 4, 2015

Luke 23:56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

God’s timing is always perfect. Jesus was crucified the day before Passover, because He was the Passover Lamb, but also so that the high holy day would ensure that there was enough time between His death and His resurrection to quell suspicions that He hadn’t really died. (John’s report of the spear in His side (John 19:34) should have taken care of that, but that was simply an eyewitness report. Time passed is a little more objective.) It is very impressive to me that the women indeed rested on the Sabbath, though Jesus had said that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) Their intense emotional involvement in the circumstances notwithstanding, they went by the letter of the law. Legalism is often very dangerous, but respect for the Law of God is never a bad idea. The very idea of a Sabbath seems antiquated to most people, but it is one of the 10 Commandments, and as such is timeless. Jesus indeed put the Sabbath in its place, so to speak, but those commandments were given for our good, and we ignore them to our loss. Both physiologists and psychologists agree that we are designed for periodic rest, and failing to take it wears us down in every area. Sometimes circumstances preclude resting, but we must recognize our need and take that rest at some point.

It hasn’t been so many years since I started taking Mondays as my Sabbath rest (since as a pastor my Sundays are very busy), but I am very thankful to have done so. I do use the term, Sabbath, in telling people I don’t schedule things for that day, and I get some bemused responses. Recently I’ve been fasting breakfast and lunch on Mondays as well, and that has increased my level of blessing. When we think that our activity is indispensable to the kingdom of God, we operate in pride whether we realize it or not. The Sabbath is a reminder that God is God and we are not, that everything we have comes from Him and He is absolutely trustworthy. I’ve got to let go of things on a regular basis, refusing to be anxious, or I forget that.

Father, thank You for the example of the women. Help me be no less committed to obedience, whatever my mind and emotions are doing. As You told me years ago, help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You at all times, so that Your will may be done in and through me on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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