Striving vs Resting
Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”. - Lk 6:5
The world’s performance-driven culture forces us to strive – for recognition, success, security, approval, provision, etc. But, grace teaches us to rest. All of the above and more, in their purest forms, have been freely given to us by the work of Jesus Christ.
God recognises us because He rejected Christ on the cross. God pronounces that we are successes, because on the cross the world pronounced that Christ was a failure. God approves of us, because on the cross He abandoned Christ. God provides for us, because on the cross, the blood of Jesus became the provision − the atonement for our sins.
The Sabbath in the Old Testament was a command, a part of the law. God said we should work for six days and on the seventh day we should rest. Overwork was pronounced a sin. And through the Sabbath, God instituted a cycle of work followed by rest −a week of work and a weekend of rest.
Does the Sabbath continue under the dispensation of grace? Yes, only we have a better Sabbath, just as we have a better Covenant and a better High Priest. Jesus Christ has given us a new Sabbath.
Here is how the Sabbath is better in the New Testament times. Earlier, a day of rest came after six days of work. Now, all work flows out of our rest in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Earlier, rest came after work. Now, work flows out of rest.
Now, every day is a Sabbath. Because all the work we need to do, Jesus had finished on the cross. It is finished. Our work now flows out of love, joy and gratitude. There is no striving in it because, in Christ, we are at rest even when we are at work.
Father, teach me to worship You as the Lord of the Sabbath. Help me to come to You and find rest. Then, I will learn to rest in you, even when I am at work. Amen