“On Your Mark”
The Sabbath Revisited (Chapter 2 Verses 23-28)
But is it not true to say that the behaviour and practices of many Christians is no different to that of the world? The Lord’s Day, the Christian Sabbath, Sunday, it is a positive blessing. It is time to spend with the Lord, in worship, in prayer, in meditation, in fellowship with the Lord’s people. Yes, we need to guard against the tendency to allow it to become slavish, a formality that denies all humanity. Like the fasting in the previous incident. Jesus’ disciples will fast, they will also keep the Sabbath, but in a proper spiritual fashion. The Sabbath was made for man says Jesus (v27), not the other way round. When the welfare of man and the Sabbath rest clashes, the latter must yield. There is another important point here (v28). The Lord declares his rightful control over the Sabbath day and law. He rises here to an even higher principle. Even if his disciples had broken the Sabbath law, they would not be guilty of sin. Because the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath, and has it at his disposal, and they are in his service. But the Son of Man, along with his Father, and the Holy Spirit, who equally, harmoniously instituted the law in its entirety for man’s benefit, would be the last to violate, or allow any violation of that supreme law.
The revelation of Jesus’ sovereign authority over not only the Sabbath, but in every area, we have seen throughout the chapter. With supreme authority over demons and over disease. The ability to read the hearts of men, the very intentions and motives. We have seen something of the awful state of men’s hearts in relation to Jesus Christ the Son God. As he looks into your heart today what does Jesus the Lord see there for him? Do you love him? We have seen his own declaration of how he would be torn from amongst his disciples, the wedding feast rudely and violently interrupted. Which speaks to us of his death, not for sins he committed, because the charge of Sabbath breaking was totally unfounded, he never broke one single Divine law. He was spotless, sinless (1John 3:5). He died for our sins (1Peter 3:18), to free us (Hebrew 2:14-15), to reconcile us (2Corinthians 5:18-21), to give us life (John 12.24), to renew us (2Corinthians 5:17). What a glorious Saviour! What good news! We have something to rejoice in if he is ours! Bow down before him and worship him!
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)