Summary: We can recognize the finished work of God in creation and His Sabbath rest as a foreshadow of Christ’s finished work on the cross and the rest we have in Him.
1. A work was finished.
a. In creation (2:1-2a)
b. In Christ (John 19:30)
2. A rest was entered.
a. In creation (2:2b)
b. In Christ (Hebrews 4:1-10)
3. A blessing was pronounced.
a. In creation (2:3)
b. In Christ (Revelation 21:6-7)
This morning one of the things we talked about was how the focus of the whole Bible is Christ. I used Alistair Begg’s explanation: In the Old Testament Jesus is predicted. In the Gospels He is revealed. In the Acts, He is preached. In the epistles, He is explained. And in the Revelation, He is expected. Tonight, we’re going to see a clear example of how Jesus is predicted in the passage we just read. This isn’t a prophetic passage like we’ll come to later in Genesis 3:15. But God didn’t only reveal His future plans by prophetic words. He also used pictures. For example, He used the sacrifice of a Passover lamb as a picture that pointed to the future perfect Lamb of God. Our passage tonight shows a picture that God painted to point to Jesus as well. Don’t get me wrong, it was an actual event that actually happened. On the literal seventh day after six literal days of creation, God literally rested. But that automatically begs the question—why? Why did an all-powerful God have to rest? Was He tired? Of course not. His rest wasn’t for His benefit, it was for ours. Jesus said as much to the Pharisees. Remember the time that the disciples picked some grain to eat on the Sabbath because they were hungry. The Pharisees came up to Jesus and accused them of breaking the Sabbath laws. Jesus came back and told them in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” So God rested for our benefit—not His. So that begs a second question. What benefit do we receive from God resting on the Sabbath? Is it primarily for health reasons? It’s true that we need to rest sometimes, but that’s not the primary reason. The primary reason God set aside the Sabbath was two-fold. He set it aside to look back on the marvelous work of His creation. And He set it aside to look forward to the marvelous work of His Son. Tonight, I want each of us here to recognize the finished work of God in creation and His Sabbath rest as a foreshadow of Christ’s finished work on the cross and the rest we have in Him. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three parallels between the finished work of God in creation and the finished work of Christ on the cross. The first parallel is that a work was finished. Look with me in verse 1 and the first part of verse 2.
A work was finished in creation. Those who hold to evolution have no choice but to eliminate, ignore, or rewrite the first part of Genesis. Especially our passage tonight. Evolution isn’t science. We are taught that it is, but it isn’t. Evolution is a philosophy. And then data has been collected to support that philosophy. It is a philosophy that teaches that things go from a less organized state to a more organized state. In other words, things get better and better all the time. That is wrong on so many levels. First of which is that it contradicts Scripture. There are dozens of different theories of evolution. Each one is a little bit different from the others, but one thing they all have in common is that they are continual, ongoing processes. By nature, processes never end. They are never finished. But what does the Bible say? It says, “The heavens and the earth were finished.” Look at the words God used: finished, ended, had made. There is no mistaking the fact that this passage teaches that when the six days were accomplished, creation was complete. That’s what the passage clearly teaches. So we are faced with a choice. Either evolutionary philosophy is true or God’s Word is. I believe the Bible. I believe the Bible when it says that all of God’s creative work was finished after the sixth day. Everything that could be or ever would be created was finished. Nothing could be added. There is nothing we could ever do to add to God’s creation. We can rearrange parts of it and use it, but we can’t add to it. I would contend that we can’t take anything away from it either. The doomsday environmentalists will disagree with me. But my Bible tells me that man will not destroy the earth. God will eventually judge the earth, but man won’t destroy it. We can dirty it up and abuse it and choose to live in our own squalor. But we can’t destroy it. We can’t do anything to add to or take away from God’s creation. Because it is finished. The work was finished. There is another time in the Bible when we read about a work being finished. Keep your place in Genesis and turn with me to John 19:28-30.