Many people today suffer the effects of a hurried, stress filled life. This is often seen in our yearnings for simpler times and even in our nostalgia. Retro automobiles, remakes of old TV series and comic book characters all speak of our desire for a more peaceful, less hurried life.
The toll we pay for living in this fast paced society is tremendous, in terms of health issues, depression, and broken relationships.
Scripture tells us G-d wants us to have life and to have it (experience it) abundantly. So how come we are suffering so much stress, ill health, depression, and relationship issues?
The answer may surprise, and the cure certainly will.
Our fallen nature, along with many temptations of the adversary, have created an environment which breeds stress, depression and discontent.
Why you ask?
The reason is simple, if he can get us stressed out, overworked, tired, depressed, and discontent, he can keep us from hearing G-d and living the life G-d calls us to.
We all must slow down and take a breath. We must regain the ability to hear that small still voice that G-d speaks to us with. The first step to achieving that breath is the Shabbat.
Yeshua said, "The Shabbat was made for man". We get so hung up on the second part "not man for the Shabbat" that we fail to recognize a great truth. G-d gave Shabbat as a blessing, not a curse.
That is why to observant Jews and Messianic Jews, the Shabbat is not a burden, it is a precious jewel.
Imagine, stopping one day, no TV, no running around busily from place to place, no running off to the store. Just a day to sleep late, study scripture, pray, enjoy family, and worship G-d.
I remember in my previous life, leaving worship and rushing to a restaurant to stand in line to eat. As I look back, that was not rest. Running home to cook and clean-up is certainly not rest for the one cooking and cleaning. Running children from place to place (the Mom & Dad taxi company) certainly is not rest.
I was listing to the radio driving to work Tuesday (I work by the Airport so its a good hour drive) and I believe G-d brought a very important point to my mind.
"Even the Master (Messiah) after His crucifixion rested on Shabbat"
As I thought about it, and checked it against scripture" it began to dawn on me that it was very true. Messiah kept every Shabbat of His earthly life. While many try today to say He broke Shabbat, they are sorely mistaken, for had He broken Shabbat, He would have broken Torah and thus not be the Messiah.
We know scripture states over and over Messiah went to the Synagogue on Shabbat. Scripture even notes, as He was accustomed to do. That means He did it consistently. While He did heal on Shabbat, that is not one of the 39 prohibited classes of actions forbidden on Shabbat, thus He kept Shabbat perfectly.
Now moving forward to His crucifixion, we know He died on either Thursday (our teaching) or Friday (traditional teaching) either way, before sundown. Thus He was in the tomb from the beginning of Shabbat through the end of Shabbat. With the resurrection clearly occurring sometime after dark on Saturday, or before dawn on Sunday (remember it was still dark when they found the tomb empty).
Yeshua said "It is Finished!" on the cross as He completed His work of redeeming us. He entered His rest awaiting His Glorious resurrection.
If our Master kept His Shabbat rest in both life, and in death, should we not learn from His example and strive to do the same? Remember the Shabbat was made for man, not man for the Shabbat. We should not be slaves to this world, with all it's associated stress. We should be yoked to the Master, observing His rest, and resting in His finished work.