10 Days with Jesus – Day 6
Where’s Jesus? Seriously. Where did he go? Has anyone seen him today? This is a BIG week and he’s gone. Shouldn’t he be in the Temple again today giving them some fiery words like yesterday? Shouldn’t he be out healing? Or feeding? Or something?
But disappearing isn’t cool.
Have you ever felt that way? I have. More times than I’d like to admit I’ve internally asked those very same questions. But on this Wednesday before Good Friday, Jesus had a unique lesson that he wanted to teach us. Perhaps, Jesus wanted to show us what Sabbath looked like by not showing up to the party.
10 Days with Jesus is an online journey that will immerse you into the final days of Jesus the Messiah. One thing is for sure, if you spend 10 Days with Jesus – you’ll never be the same again!
Jesus is REST.
The Absent Savior.
As you already know, 10 Days with Jesus is a journey into the final 10 Days of Jesus the Messiah. But on this Wednesday of Holy Week . . . the scriptures give us absolutely no record of where Jesus was.
No teachings. No miracles. Nothing.
Really? How can the Savior of the world just disappear at a time like this? This is go time! It’s Holy Week. For crying out loud – it’s 2 days before your crucifixion. But here’s the truth about the absent savior . . .
He’s God almighty. The creator and sustainer of the universe. The Alpha and Omega – the Beginning and the End. He’s the God that is present even when we don’t see his presence. And on this Wednesday of Holy Week, perhaps Jesus wanted to show us the priority of Sabbath. More than likely, Jesus was practicing Sabbath in preparation for the grueling days ahead. Often we read that, “Jesus sent the crowds home and went up into the hills by himself to pray.” ~ Mark 6:46
The First Sabbath.
Sabbath isn’t a Jewish thing – it’s a God thing. Long before the Jewish nation ever existed, God instituted the Sabbath as a reminder of who’s in charge. A reminder that pointed to HIM. The world was only 7 days old when Yahweh God spoke the words of Sabbath over his creation.
On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it Holy.
The Hebrew word for Sabbath was Sabot which means “To rest. To stop. To cease from working.” And right there in the Garden of Eden, at the very beginning of all time – God spoke the blessing of Sabbath into his creation.
Why would God take a rest when things are just getting started? Why would he stop the momentum of creation with a giant pause? I thought God was super strong and never got tired? Isn’t this the God that can do anything? Why would he stop what he had just started? Here’s why.
God knew way back at the beginning that life would get difficult. He knew that the stress of family, and work, and ruling the earth would become tiresome. He knew that day-after-day of doing would not be good for mankind. God had created us as Human BEINGS and Sabbath was a weekly time to just BE. In fact, God was so adamant that the practice of pausing would be part of our weekly rhythm, that he included it in his top 10 Commandments.
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God.”
A Command? Don’t we have enough commands already? But this command was different. This command wasn’t a burden. It wasn’t one more thing to put on our to-do list. In fact, it was just the opposite . . .
Sabbath takes WORK.
The truth is that Sabbath takes work! We can’t just kick-up-our-heels and hope the universe takes a break along with us. Is it possible to Sabbath in our modern day culture? Even the weekends are jam packed with stuff. Not to mention the constant stream of media that follows us like a shadow.
And that’s a logical argument if we we’re the only ones working – but we’re not the only ones working! We’re not God and it doesn’t all depend on us.
Jesus said, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”
I first read that passage 20 years ago and was moved forever by the truth that God is working when I am resting. That God works on my behalf when I’m not working. That God can accomplish “Infinitely more than I could ever ask or imaging.” ~ Ephesians 2:10
1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.
11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins.
12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Jesus said, “It is finished!”
The Rhythm of Sabbath.
Sabbath is about Resting in the work that God has done, can do, and will do. Resting in the truth that God can change their hearts even if you can’t. That God can restore your marriage even if you can’t. That God can provide for your needs even if you can’t. That God can break your addiction. That God can bring them home. That God can forgive. That God can _______. (fill in the blank)
Sabbath is about RESTING . . . and resting is WORSHIP.
Jesus said, “Come to ME, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens – and I will give you rest.”
For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
My friend – let’s worship today by resting in God. Let’s carry His truth and His power into the everyday stuff of life. Let’s practice the Rhythm of Worship.
The Rhythm of reading, praying, and listening has proven to be a helpful guide to practicing Sabbath. Use the resources below to help you get started.
Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish . . .
For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now!
I am ready to save Jerusalem < your name
and show my glory to Israel. < your name
1 Those who live in the shelter
of the Most High will find rest
in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your
armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of
the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease
that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents
under your feet!
14 The lord says, “I will rescue
those who love me. I will protect
those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”
By: Farrell Mason ~ The Pocket Cathedral – A Collection of Prayers
Remind me again in Your tender,
holy way that I am not alone –
That You are with me always.
I feel fragile and afraid,
I know it is part of being human,
But it squeezes my spirit.
I cannot face another day relying
on my own limited strength and powers.
If only I could trust in the larger,
mystical and redemptive plan at work.
Give me the courage to
close my eyes, bow my head and
surrender over my heart to You.
Teach me to quiet my life enough
to allow You to speak a word of
clarity, hope and love into my depths.
Anoint me with Your divine understanding
so I would rest assured that whatever
I must face today or tomorrow
will not overtake me.
When the pangs of loneliness,
uncertainty and fear come –
and they will . . .
In Your most tender voice,
speak to my inner being:
Be still, and know that I am your God.
Have stitched you in before and behind
with my love. There is no place you can go,
even the darkest deep, that I will not
be with you.
Stardust my life with signs
of Your transcendent presence –
And I will finally dare to take faith’s leap.