Have you ever wanted to spend some quality time with someone and decided to invite them on a date, where you were planning to provide everything: transportation, food, and recreation? All you needed was for them to keep the date and make themselves available.
Yahweh had a standing date with the children of Israel on the seventh day of every week but even a greater time at the end of every six years. Yahweh had ordained the seventh year as a Sabbath year of rest, where the children of Israel cease from the toils of life and bring Him sacrifices and offerings so they could rejoice together and reflect over all they had been through together and the blessings that lay ahead if they would continue to cleave to Him through obeying His commandments. These sacrifices and offerings were more like party dishes brought to a place God had chosen, so that everyone including the poor and less fortunate could celebrate during this time as well. He even commanded that indentured servants be released from servitude and given a bounty, so they could also rest and rejoice. Yahweh sponsored this whole event by increasing the fruitfulness of the gardens and vineyards sown in the sixth year so that there would be an abundance to last the children of Israel through the Sabbath year even unto the sowing and harvesting of the eighth year. He wanted to make sure He could have some quality time with His beloved Israel. You can find all of this in holy scripture, particularly the book of Deuteronomy.
Moving forward into the new testament, we see that the heart of God had not changed. Still longing for quality intimate time with His children, He offers the best opportunity ever made available; an opportunity to enter into an eternal Sabbath, an eternal time of rest and fellowship with Him. Yahweh hand delivered this invitation through Yeshua the Messiah. Yeshua came as the eternal Sabbath, that if any man entered into Him, he could rest for eternity in sweet communion with God. Again, Yahweh would sponsor the whole event but since this was for all eternity, He would provide the perfect sacrifice and offering; the Lamb of God. We have been commanded to “take no thought for tomorrow” for in Christ all things pertaining unto life and godliness are provided. Selah…
All of our debts have been paid and the ordinances that held us as captive have been blotted out with the blood of the Lamb. Colossian 2:13-17 reads:
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
I have been reflecting on this as I turned forty-nine recently. This is my seventh Sabbath year as a man in the earth. I accepted the invitation to enter into the eternal sabbath of Yeshua the Messiah (also referred to as Jesus Christ) when I was much younger, so I have had the joyous opportunity to lay my burdens down at the feet of Christ and to accept the eternal rest that He offers. This rest has been to me a liberating of my soul, as I have found that all I will ever need has been purchased for me through the Love of my Heavenly Father by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. I don’t have to earn anything else, I just need to learn how to receive. Selah…
To live, I have to obey Life. I don’t make it any more complex than that! Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” I have to do what ever it takes to make sure I remain in the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thankfully I don’t have to do that alone, in my own strength. When Christ ascended into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, into the earth to empower all those who receive His testimony and believe in Him. The Holy Spirit nurtures me in the Love of the Heavenly Father: inspiring me, motivating me, instructing me, correcting me, restoring and rejuvenating me.
You don’t have to wait until the seventh day or the seventh year to enter into the holy rest. All you need to do is decide that you are done with your own works; your own way of making a living and getting what you need. When you surrender from your own works, you become eligible to take His yoke upon you. We see the invitation in Matthew 11:28-30,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I will leave you with Hebrews 4:1-11,
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’”
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”
Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”