Read Matthew 28
The Sabbath day is one of the most significant days in Jewish life. Apart from humanity being the crown of creation, the significance of the Sabbath is the first declaration in Genesis 2. Today I am struck by the fact that Jesus’ full day in the tomb is the Sabbath day, the day of rest.
In Hebrews 10, the author makes this connection between the work accomplished by Christ. His once for all sacrifice for the sins of the whole world ushers believers into a “sabbath rest,” the reality that we no longer have to do ritual sacrifices to gain forgiveness. Instead, we rest in the assurance of faith in Jesus Christ and that we are heirs of eternal life.
It is no coincidence then, that Jesus resurrection happens on the first day of the week then, the same day that God begins work on creation, the day that New Life is sealed in Christ’s defeat of death itself. The work of God in creating the world and the work of Christ is redeeming it, bringing new life out of death are intimately related, and the theme of Sabbath flows through both.
Too often we subscribe to the idea that we have to do a lot of work for ourselves to earn a place in God’s Kingdom, to repay Him for what He did for us. We Christians set up laws for ourselves, never saying that we have to earn salvation, but often implying it. Certainly we are called to live out our faith, fulfilling the great commission to make disciples, but we do this out of grateful obedience, not to earn our salvation. When we act as though we need to earn the grace we are given, we unknowingly diminish the power and work of Jesus on the cross.