Although many refer to the seventh day as the
Jewish Sabbath, the Bible reveals that the Sabbath predates the Jews by many centuries. Its roots go back to the Creation itself.
Genesis 2:1-3 declares that after God had completed His acts of creation in six days, He rested on the seventh day and then
blessed the seventh day and made it holy (NIV). This clearly shows the high place of the Sabbath in God’s creation. In addition to the blessing, the Sabbath was also
made holy. In other words, God applied some of His own qualities to this monument in time.
The most notable difference between the two commandments is the rationale for Sabbath observance. Exodus makes a direct reference to Genesis 2:3 as it elevates the fact that God both
made holy the Sabbath day. On the other hand, Deuteronomy 5:15 points to Israel’s divine deliverance from Egyptian bondage as being a rationale for Sabbath keeping. On the basis of the Deuteronomy text, many believe the Sabbath is only for the Jews. However, this argument totally ignores the fact that the Exodus text points to the Creation, when God established Sabbath for all humanity.
Furthermore, the Deuteronomy 5:15 reference to deliverance from Egypt is symbolic of the salvation we have in Christ. Hence, the Sabbath is a symbol not only of Creation but of Redemption, two themes that are linked with each other in the Bible (Heb. 1:1-3, Col. 1:13-20, John 1:1-14). Only by the fact that Jesus is our Creator could He also be our Redeemer, and the seventh-day sabbath is symbol of His work as both.
Anyone can claim to be resting in Christ. In your own experience, how does keeping the seventh-day sabbath help you to find that rest?