The Mythical Sabbath

As the first post in the series called Five Myths Keeping Us Legendary, our focus will be “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.”

But before that, let me tell you the journey I would like for us to embark upon each time we look to discover the Five Myths Keeping Us Legendary. Lets start it off with an inspiring video. It’s about the NBA Finals that start June 12!

If you’ve watched basketball at all, this voice will be familiar. The new owner of the LA Dodgers, Ervin “Magic” Johnson. He’s been a Champion. He has become a Legend. Years down the road kids will hear legendary stories of his games against the likes of Larry Bird and Michael Jordan and David Robinson. All Champions and Legends in their own right.

And ages later, stories will surface. Stories of myth. Stories like Magic Johnson wearing a sorcerers hat wielding his wand against the bull-riding Michael Jordan. His magic potion successfully gave him the Championship he was in search of. He used his wand to change a city to like the LA Dodgers, a baseball team that had nothing to do with the Lakers except they were both in LA.

When we see Champions, we begin to lift them up to the pedestal of Legends. When we share in legendary stories, mythological creatures and events can begin to be created.

But on the flip…

When we have heard Myths, we look for Legends to fill those spaces…because Myths aren’t real. Legends can be. So we begin to Champion the Legends we have seen put in place based off of the unrealistic Myths that have been told to us or shown to us.

So we begin…

Exodus 20:8-11 states the fourth commandment of the big Ten. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Set it apart. Make it different. Rest.

That has been a governing rule in my life since I can remember. Go to church on Sunday. Sunday is the first day of the week. It is the new sabbath.

Why was this the rule? Didn’t Christ come to fulfill the Law? Isn’t the Old Testament just that…old? Aren’t we a part of the New Covenant?

Besides, in Matthew 12, Jesus blatantly confronts the idea of the sabbath. He says that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. He then does something against the Law, he heals a man on the Sabbath. Or in Mark 2 where Jesus says, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Christ is the one who gives Sabbath. Sabbath was not created so that we would follow it, or stay within the rules of a day off.

God made the Sabbath for man to rest during the time of the Law. He gave that to the children of Israel for their health, for their land, for their growth and development.

And perhaps, the Sabbath was created for us. To see Him.

You see, Christ was in the grave on the Sabbath. He was not found on the morning after the Sabbath. Where was He? Why was He not in the grave? The Sabbath allotted time for the miracle of the Resurrection to take hold on His followers.

The morning after.

New.

New Covenant. New Testament. New Life.

No longer old. But new.

An OT Hot Spot

All through Acts, Paul and Peter and Barnabas and other apostles would move about and enter synagogues…on the Sabbath. A great meeting place for those who were connected to the Old Law. Jews and Gentiles alike would listen to the Apostles on the Sabbath. The Apostles would replace the Law with the Gospel.

The Holy Spirit would move around the Gospel and the Gospel would start the Church around Christ as the Head of His people. A third race, another realm was established by the power of the Spirit in and amongst His people.

Letter to the Church

Perhaps the largest Myth-Buster is a small contribution to a letter from Paul to the Church in Colossae. It is in chapter 2, verse 16 and 17.

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 NASB)

Paul is telling everyone who has “died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world,” they are free from laws and from decrees.

Can we believe that through the ministry of Paul, the law of the Sabbath is no more? If we have died to the principles of the world, can we agree with Paul that the substance of Life belongs to Christ?

The Journey to the Source

For years we have looked for a winner. We have found what we think is the winner. We have Championed the Sunday church service. We have communicated it in a way to where the Sunday church service has become Legendary. The speakers we elevate have become our living Legends.

We have a list of Legends of faith that have gone before us. All of these Sunday speakers have come from a Myth. The Myth of the Sabbath Day being something we are to commit to today. But I must say, there is more. There is a Source of the Myth that has kept us Legendary.

The source of rest is none other than Christ Himself. Hebrews 4 throws down a lot on the subject of the Sabbath Rest. The Sabbath, brothers and sisters, is not a day of the week.

The Sabbath rest is available to us today.

Verses 2 and 3 give insight into the Myth keeping us Legendary.

but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest… (Hebrews 4:2b-3a NASB)

The Myth-Buster is faith. Do we have the faith to enter into His Sabbath Rest? All we need to do is believe. There is no day of the week services we need to attend to fulfill the Law of the Sabbath Day. Remember, Christ fulfilled the Law. He is the Sabbath Rest.

The writer of Hebrews goes on to say:

Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good new preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He agains fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (Hebrews 4:6-10 NASB)

So championing the legend of a sunday service because of the myth that it is required to attend a service on a Sunday…that is our works.

True Sabbath rest is resting from our works, for Christ is the Source of Sabbath rest. Allowing God to work through us is true Sabbath rest. It is not on a day of the week. It is “Today.”

May we enter His Sabbath rest. May we cease from our works. May we be in Him Today. And may we no longer be Legendary. May we move past the Mythical Sabbath to the Source of Sabbath rest.

9 comments

  1. Trevor Honeycutt · June 11, 2012

    Wonderful word Mark! Indeed, Christ Jesus is our rest. And the more deeply we abide in Him, day-in-and-day-out, then the more rest we enjoy (SO much more beyond 1 day of the week) here in this age. And in the next age, 1,000 years of non-stop rest.

    I particularly enjoyed this sentence in your post: “God made the Sabbath for man to rest during the time of the Law.” So true! I had never thought of it like that: in the OT, works were the law, and so God made a law to rest or they would be forbidden from ever resting.

    Praise the Lord of the Sabbath, who is the Sabbath himself!

    • marklchampion · June 11, 2012

      Amen brother! Christ is the Sabbath! He is rest! If we didn’t have Christ, we would be servants to works for all time. Thankful for daily rest in Him. Thanks for reading and commenting! Enjoy rest in Him today.

  2. jimpuntney · June 11, 2012

    For years I kept the Jewish Sabbath, there was very little rest in striving to fully observe the OT law. The burden lifted when I entered the true rest, and the fulfillment of the law. In Christ each and every moment of each and every day is the Sabbath, we rest from our works and live in and through Christ.

    Absolutely love this post bro!

    • marklchampion · June 11, 2012

      Amen brother. Each and every moment in Christ is rest! Praise the Lord!

  3. Peter · June 11, 2012

    Amen, brother. Christ is our Real Sabbath Rest. I thought that you might enjoy the T. Austin-Sparks article that I recently posted on my blog: http://thekingspresence.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/entering-into-gods-rest-by-t-austin-sparks/
    Keep blogging Christ, brother!

    • marklchampion · June 13, 2012

      Thanks for the article Peter. I will read it. Continue in the Sabbath!

  4. Heather Proctor · June 13, 2012

    “The Sabbath allotted time for the miracle of the Resurrection to take hold on His followers.” –love this line and I love seeing it experienced as the Body continues to find it’s home in Christ and the miracle of the Resurrection become more and more evident in each member. Amen and Amen.

    • marklchampion · June 13, 2012

      Glad you were encouraged. The miracle is outstanding! Blessings.

  5. Pingback: Five Myths Keeping Us Legendary « marklchampion

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