The Sabbath and the Gospel

The Sabbath Preaches the Gospel

Leviticus 23; Hebrews 3, 4

All Scripture prepares for (dead ends and bridges) Christ’s person and work.

How does the Sabbath prepare us for Jesus’ person and work?

1. Chapter 23 gives the three national pilgrim feasts that the people were to observe.

The festal calendar of Israel taught in Leviticus (Lev. 23:1–44) is based on the three national pilgrim festivals of the people.

a. Weekly Sabbath and a holy convocation (basis of the festivals)

b. Passover (also called: Feast of Unleavened Bread)

1. The Passover celebrated the Lord’s killing the firstborn in order

to secure the escape of his people from the slavery of Egypt.

c. Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks (In the NT it is called Pentecost)

1. The purpose of this celebration is to recognize the Lord as the

provider of all crops and as the One who deserves the first fruits of all produce.

d. Feast of Booths

1. The Feast of Booths was a weeklong feast that began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. It celebrates the people’s salvation from Egypt. It was fitting for them to cease from work and to worship before the Lord.

2. The foundation of each feast is the Sabbath

a. The Sabbath is day of solemn rest based on the Lord’s ceasing from his

work in creation

b. verses 2, 3, 4, 7, 21, 24, 27 & 28, 35

3. Along with the Sabbath is the observance of a “holy convocation”.

a. The “holy convocation” was a public assembly for worship

Why is the Sabbath a dead-end?

1. Matthew 12:1-8

a. The Sabbath is a dead-end because man took the law as beginning and

ending in itself when the law was given to lead them to God for rest by

revealing their sinfulness and inability to do anything about it.

How does the Sabbath become a bridge to Christ’s person and work?

Hebrews 3 and 4

1. Jesus is greater than Moses 3:1-6

a. Moses, a servant testifies to the things that would be spoken later 3:5

b. Jesus, Messiah, is the one Moses testifies about who is the full revelation of

what Moses was testifying to 1:1-4; 3:6

2. Unbelief caused the Exodus generation of Israel to not enter the Promised Land which God refers to as “rest” 3:11, 18 (cited from Psalm 95:7-11)

a. Unbelief causes people to fall away from God 3:12

b. We must press people to run from unbelief and run to Christ and hold on

to him at all costs 3:7, 13

c. Sin should be dealt with seriously 3:13-19

1. Entering God’s “rest” is only done through belief in Christ Jesus

3. There is still a standing promise of entering God’s “rest” 4:1, 6-7

a. Psalm 95:7 is God’s beaconing call to anyone who hears his voice to repent

and believe and enter rest.

4. The promise of entering “rest” is called “Good News” 4:2

a. The “Good News” came to the Exodus Israelites just as it has to us 4:2

1. They did not believe

2. They did not enter “rest”

5. God’s Sabbath “rest” on the seventh day and ceasing from his work is connected to his “rest” offered to those who believe 4:3-5

6. Entering God’s “rest” or “Sabbath” is to cease from work as one’s basis for knowing God and being saved from the slavery of sin 4:6-10

a. Joshua’s conquest of the “Promised Land” was not “rest” 4:8

Conclusion

1. The Sabbath was never a tool to earn favor or to manipulate people with

2. The Sabbath has been built into creation as an open invitation to all who will believe to come, believe, rest from works and know God and be loved by God

3. The Sabbath is a reminder of our mandate to preach the “Good News” of God’s “Sabbath Rest” i.e. Jesus to the nations from right here in Rome, Georgia.

4. The Sabbath is a reminder to purge our belief structure from any form of legalism (belief that God is more or less pleased with me affecting my righteous standing based on what I do or do not do)

5. The Sabbath is a reminder that the Old Testament still communicates the Gospel and perhaps may be our greatest ally on the final frontier of the Great Commission

2 comments

  1. The Sabbath is the intermediary between God and His people. It’s where we meet with Him, where we are restored and find rest. That’s why it comes where it does in the 10 commandments, between Loving God, and Loving God’s people. The Sabbath is Christ; we see His shadow in the Old Testament law that leads us to Jesus. (Gal 3:19) The Jews were restored and rested on the promise of the Sabbath in the Old Testament, as they went into the temple on Saturday. We are restored and rested in the promise of the Sabbath fulfilled in Jesus Christ, as we come to live in Him everyday. Thank you Jesus, that it is everyday!

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  2. I like how it points to his omniscience as well since His Sabbath was before the fall yet was pointed to as an example of rest after the fall. Why do it if He didn’t know what we were going to do? That said, I’ve never seen the Gospel in the Sabbath. Thank you!

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