Celebrating Life

A day to Remember

The Sabbath guarantees a weekly pause to celebrate life and to worship
the Creator. It symbolizes a Christ-led emancipation
from the shackles of sin’s bondage.

“The Sabbath was made for man,
Not man for the sabbath.

MARK 2:27

“The Creation,” by Nathan Greene, ©, All Rights Reserved, Used by Permission

Built-in circadian rhythms mandate human sleep every 24-hours
and the security of a spiritual rest every seventh day.
The Sabbath offers humans a break from stress;
elevates the dignity of every person; and
builds a bulwark against slavery. 
The Sabbath guarantees a weekly pause to celebrate life
and to worship the Creator.
It symbolizes a Christ-led emancipation
from the shackles of sin’s bondage.

A day to remember

More than a ritualized time tradition, the Sabbath’s sacred moment memorializes the creation miracle; the dignity of human labor; mankind’s liberation from the shackles of sin and God’s promise life eternal to all who obey His commandments “and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

The soul is hardened when towers of steel and concrete replace nature’s pristine beauty. The Sabbath pause opens the doors of the mind to catch a glimpse of the inspiring love and power of God, the Master designer and creator of all things.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 It was a time when “The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job 38:7 In a living display of His awesome power, glory, and perfect love, the heavenly Father created man. “God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…’” Genesis 1:26

“God saw everything He had made, and… it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. Crowning this landmark moment in cosmic time, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that He had done.” Genesis 2:3

This day of “delight” is a sacred, sanctified moment in time, honoring God, creator of all things. “Through Him all things were made by Him; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:3 Sabbath observance demonstrates allegiance to and love for the Creator.

A newborn baby’s birthday is celebrated annually. Parents are honored by a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day. Americans celebrate the birth of a nation every July 4. Dates of events worthy of celebration don’t shift. God commanded celebration of the creation miracle weekly, every seventh day.

Observance of the sacred Sabbath honors the power and glory of the Creator. It demonstrates allegiance to our heavenly Father. When this day of remembrance is blurred with onerous rituals, or ignored completely, the Sabbath becomes a casualty of the war between good and evil, raging on battlefield Earth ever since Satan rebelled against God and sin corrupted human culture.

After God delivered Abraham’s descendants from Egyptian slavery, He presented the uneducated multitude with ten rules for happy living, written on stone. At the center was the command to “remember the Sabbath” and to “keep it holy.”

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…The seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God…The Lord blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11 This landmark moment in time not only memorialized creation but also memorialized deliverance of Abraham’s heirs from physical bondage.

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” Deuteronomy 5:15

Ever since the beginning of time and the creation of man, the Sabbath “rest” was “made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27 Despite the intended glorious opportunity to communicate with God, unbelievers defied by trampling on this golden moment while God’s people so ritualized its practice as to render it unpalatable and virtually meaningless.

Jesus, "Lord of the Sabbath"

God doesn’t change. His unlimited power doesn’t change. Nor does His perfect character of love and justice, as reflected in His ten commandments, change. Nor can His command to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy, be modified or shuffled around arbitrarily to accommodate human fickle human whims.

A patient God the Father sent His “only begotten son” to Planet Earth to demonstrate God the Father’s perfect character and to fulfill the promise of a Messiah.

Jesus “went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day, He went into the synagogue, as was His custom.” Luke 16:4 While ignoring restrictions imposed by religious leaders, He asserted “the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath” Mathew 12:8 and reminded accusers that the Sabbath “rest” was “made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

When critics accused Jesus of defying ceremonial rituals that pointed to a promised Messiah, He replied, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Mathew 5:17 As the promised Messiah, Jesus made clear “my kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36

Once the Messiah fulfilled his mission, the Temple ceremonies pointing to the promise of His coming had no further purpose. Christ’s sacrificial death fulfilled the promise of a Messiah and deliverance from evil but did not abolish the weekly Sabbath honoring the Creator and His master plan to redeem sinners.

Paul’s familiarity with the Jewish faith offered a unique insight into God’s master plan of salvation for all people. Rites and rituals such as circumcision had no relevance to Christianity. Led by 4 the Holy Spirit, Paul shared the big picture of Christ’s ministry built on God’s character of love and justice.

Christian Sabbath “rest” not only honored the Creator of life but also celebrated Christ’s conquering death’s sting; His power to break the shackles of human sin; and award life eternal to all who obeyed the “commandments of God and remained faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

The key to the heavenly kingdom required repentance and inviting the Holy Spirit to create a new personal ID, committed to growing in grace while reflecting God’s character in daily life. guided by the Holy Spirit. The commandments written on tablets of stone would now be written on the hearts of believers.

“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22, 23 “Clothe your selves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12,13

“On the seventh day, God rested from all His work…It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in because of their disobedience. Therefore, God again set a certain day, calling it Today…” Hebrews 4:4, 6, 7

“To whom did God swear that they would never enter His rest if not to those who disobeyed?” Hebrews 3:18 “Since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it…Now we who have believed, enter that rest, just as God has said.” Hebrews 4:1, 3

“There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest, also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that, no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active…” Hebrews 4:9-12

Worshipping God “Today” becomes a growing in grace Sabbath “rest” by walking in the footsteps of Christ, 24/7. When God’s commandments come alive in the human heart, the ten laws inscribed on tablets of stone are not abolished or replaced but are animated dynamically in Christian lives.

Ever since Lucifer rebelled against God and was banished to Planet Earth where he (Satan) introduced sin by deceiving the first humans. The Sabbath became a prime target of the devil.

For nearly three centuries after Christ’s death, Christians kept the true, seventh-day Sabbath. When perceived to be affiliated with rebellious Jews, Christians faced martyrdom by the pagan Roman government. To display a distinction, some Sabbath-keepers began to also honor resurrection Sunday concurrently.

Constantine, an astute political Emperor, sought citizen unity by mandating Sunday observance in 321 AD. He intended to bring together Christians honoring Christ’s resurrection with pagans who worshiped the sun. By the time the Papacy had emerged in the late sixth century, Sunday worship had become a common substitute for the Christian Sabbath.

The Sabbath,
A Sign of Allegiance to God

An inspired Paul predicted a challenging future. “But mark this: there will be terrible troubles in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” II Timothy 3:1-5

In an era when the winds of strife are approaching hurricane force, and collapsing cultures offer chaos, there is a “peace that passes all understanding” experienced by millions of Christians who still worship God on the true Sabbath of creation.

Fresh from the Seminary in 19511, a young grad showed up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as an Assistant Pastor. He arrived armed with a Bible, ready to preach the truth about God in the form of the Christian gospel. He soon discovered his carefully crafted sermons, broadcast locally, were no match for the living sermons preached daily by devout parishioners.

Interstate truck driver Wheaton, showed in church every Sabbath, thanks to the example of his dedicated Christian wife.

Long retired, elderly gentleman Travis, who had once served a prison term, not only showed in church each Sabbath but, his grandfatherly heart tapped his limited means in order to give the young pastor a Thesaurus reference tool.

And then there was the always smiling Mr. Salisbury, a former railroader, when on the brink of retirement lost his job and all retirement benefits because of his personal commitment to honor God, by worshipping in church, every Sabbath day.

Three, almost forgotten names, known only to God, and a young minister inspired forever by their humble example of faithful worship of God, every Sabbath.

Looking to the future, John the Revelator pictured the simple beauty of membership in the family of God. “This call for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

In the everlasting Kingdom of God, “From one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me, says the Lord.” Isaiah 66:23

Warren LeRoi Johns

The Sabbath

The Desire of Ages, Chapter 29
Ellen White, Author

Audio by Meyers Media Group, Ari Meyers, narrator

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