Sabbath is more than just a day off, more than just a day to rest from work. It’s an invitation, to share in the rest of God, a rest those who have been bought by the blood of Christ will one day enjoy eternally.
“What do you do?”
It’s one of the first questions we get asked when we meet someone new, and it’s a common question, even among Christians. The problem is that the question implies that what we do defines us, as if our work characterizes our identity. But as Christians, our identity is in Christ. Our identity in Christ determines the contours of our lives and helps us to understand who we truly are. It is what enables us to do the work that we do.
Work is only part of our story, and we’ll never really understand work unless we’ve understood rest. Rest is not work’s adversary; it’s work’s partner. They complement each other. And rest is not optional.
Rest in the life of a Christian
If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth ….
– Isaiah 58:14
From the beginning of creation, we were given a pattern of work and rest. Rest is a component of life for all people, and we are promised blessing when we do it.
And the rest that we do weekly is a reminder of a rest that is still promised to us. Ultimately, God didn’t make us for exhausting and tiring labor, requiring rest each night. He made us for an eternal rest, an eschatological rest, which God entered into on the seventh day and promised to add our names.
When God rested on the seventh day after his creation, he invited Adam and Eve to enter his heavenly rest. They were given a rhythm, six days of work and one day of rest, six and one, a reminder of the anticipation for a heavenly rest. God resides in the seventh day, and it’s more than a 24-hour period. It’s an epoch of time in which God, and from which God, beckons his people to enter.
Watch this video to hear more about sharing in the rest of God.