A study in a certain small town revealed that the average time per day that fathers spent alone with their youngest sons was 37 seconds! Yes you read that right, 37 seconds! At the turn of the 20th century, with the introduction of automation, computers and technology, there was much anticipation that humans would now have more time for leisure as robots would take over and crunch out most of the work. However, ironically it has turned out that life today is much more frantic, fast-paced and families are burning out under the strain.
Jesus understands the problems of pressured individuals and families and He wants us to experience that spiritual rest which is central to a good quality life. He says “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29. As we look at the life of Jesus we notice that He had a very busy life, crowds were constantly seeking His attention and presence; but however, He always managed to maintain a calm and tranquil spirit. What was His secret? He depended continually on His Father, He says “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me” John 6:57. Each day, Jesus found special time to commune with His Father and this would equip Him to meet life’s challenges. Likewise, we also need that daily communion with Christ to tap spiritual strength to meet life’s pressures.
From creation God knew our need for physical and spiritual rest. When He finished creating Adam and Eve and whole host of the heavens and earth, He designed a weekly twenty-four hour appointment with them, where they would set aside their usual labor and spend quality time with one another and the Creator. Scripture says “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3. On the seventh-day of each week, the Sabbath, humanity would dedicate this time to seek God’s presence and from communion with Him gain physical and spiritual refreshment. The entrance of sin into the world only made the Sabbath more necessary to us as the human family. After paying the price of our redemption on the cross, the Saviour rested in the tomb on the Sabbath, as He celebrated His completed work, (John 19:30).
The Sabbath is God’s wonderful gift to us, on this day we celebrate His work in creating us and the redemption He accomplished when He died as our substitute on the cross. We rest in the assurance of salvation because of what Jesus has done for us. God gives us the special Sabbath time to turn from the distractions of the world, spend quality time with our loved ones, experience the joy of worship and fellowship, and in quiet reflection communion with God through the lovely scenes of nature. The Sabbath is a weekly foretaste of the joy and rest the saved will experience in heaven.