To Sabbath or Not to Sabbath: Fact#7

We conclude our study on understanding of the meaning of Sabbath; let’s examine the seventh and final fact of this important biblical word based on Genesis 2:1-3.

FACT #7: Hebrews 4:11 says, “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” Why do we have to work at resting? Some folks come alive in their Christian life learning early on how to flourish in rest. Still others try it and it doesn’t work for them. Why? The answer lies in what our Lord and Savior said in Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus says:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Looking closely at the text you will notice the word “rest” is used twice. The first “rest” is given—meaning that it is experienced when you first come to Christ by being saved, He gives you rest.

The second use of “rest” is found—meaning that after the thrill of being saved has worn off and you find your Christian life uninteresting and dull, even after many attempts to make more of an effort towards Christian activity, you grow bored and disillusioned with it all, you must, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you…and you will find rest for your souls.” This is the answer to your problem. You must be yoked up with Jesus.

This yoke illustration was one that was familiar to the Lord because He was a carpenter and He most likely made yokes for oxen. This instrument of harnessing the power of two is used by Jesus as a symbol of servitude. When an ox is yoked, he no longer is free to do what he wants to do. He is under the direction of the driver. To be yoked means the end of running your own life and seeking your own way. This is the truest meaning of becoming a disciple. When you yoke up with Jesus you expect God the Father to take over the molding, shaping, and direction of your life.

 The reason why you haven’t been experiencing the joy of the Sabbath rest is because in one way or the other you are protecting some area of your life, saying, “Hands off Jesus, this is mine.” As long as you do that you cannot have rest. Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls,” is the secret of life. It is God’s divine provision for us. There you will find rest — you will fulfill the Sabbath, for that is what the Sabbath is. When you find it you will be keeping the Sabbath as God intended it to be kept.


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