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Summary: Why in the world did God give us a "Sabbath"? There are some lessons we can learn from how Jesus observed the Sabbath while He was here.

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I want to take you on a trip. This is not a trip to an exotic location or a place of tourism; it is a journey through time. I want to take you to the beginning. Close your eyes and imagine nothing. There is no noise, there is no smells, there is no light, and all of your senses sense nothing. Right at the moment when you are about to burst with the feeling of claustrophobia, your senses are brought to life with a spoken sentence that echoes through the air. “Let there be light”. As you hear this, light bursts forth from the source of the sound. Suddenly, this light surrounds you. Even though it is just light, all of your senses seem to be able to take it in. Not only can you see it, you smell it. It is the sweetest smell you have experienced filling you with an aroma that penetrates deep within you. You can feel the light; it feels like a warm comforter on a cold winter evening, surrounding you in its warmth. You can taste it; it is like smooth honey on your tongue, yet not too sweet. As the light swirls around you a melody sweeter than a children’s choir fills your ear. All this happens instantly and you realize that you are witnessing something far greater than a glorious sunrise; you are in the presence of God Himself. Never had you imagined the great sense of comfort and safety you are experiencing, never had you dreamt of the great joy that fills your soul at the sound of His voice and the warmth of His eyes.

As you watch the earth take form and day by day each event of creation take place, you see it in a light that you have never seen before. It is not just an act of creating a world. Every single bird, plant and animal is created with such love and care. It is as if each thing is a gift from the Creator. You watch with anticipation as the climax of the week approaches and Jesus Himself prepares to create the crown of creation. He stoops down to the ground near the bank of a rolling river and begins His task. As the sound of the water bubbling over the rocks fills your ears, your eyes are met with a mound of dirt that is beginning to resemble a man. With great care the Master molds and forms the clay into the first man. He stands up and takes a step back to admire his craft, and then with one smooth motion, He kneels at the head of the man and breathes into His body the breath of life. Jesus takes Adam by the hand and rises up with Him to introduce to him all that He has created.

The act of creation was tiring to God, it was a good kind of tired, the kind that you feel after a long day of work, and you come home to your wife, or family. God had just come home from a long day of work to His new family. Because this was such a special moment to God, He wanted to make it special. So He took this day that He was resting on, and set it apart from the other days of the week, He made it a holy day. This is what the Sabbath is all about. It shows us how special we are to God, that He would not only make a memorial to the act of our creation, but He knew that we would need a rest from our own work.

As man fell from God, he lost sense of the true meaning of the Sabbath, and the true meaning of fellowship with God. By the time Jesus came into the world, Sabbath had become such an empty source of rituals and rules. Jesus came to bring to man, the true message of the gospel. True messages of God’s care and love for man.

(Mark 3:1-6 NIV) Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. {2} Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. {3} Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone." {4} Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent. {5} He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. {6} Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” Jesus uses this opportunity to reveal secrets of His fathers’ kingdom to man.

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