Keeping the Faith - By Dick Rentfro
The Heart Of Worship That Transcends Time - By Dick Rentfro
I believe that the Sabbath is one of God’s choicest gifts to mankind. It was brought to earth by Jesus Himself, as the crown and glory of His finished creation. Wondrous in beauty must that first Sabbath have been, as Jesus, at the end of the six days, stopped His work and enjoyed what He had made. The heavens were studded with jewels, and the earth was filled with a thousand delights. Earth, sea, and sky proclaimed the glory, and power, and love of God. It would seem that love could do no more than Jesus had done for the children of men.
The heavens and the earth were indeed finished, and yet Jesus was not satisfied. He had provided all that heart could wish; and yet there was one more thing He wanted to do, one more gift He wished to give. Wonderful as the earth was, surpassingly lovely as was the garden, there was still something more glorious, more wonderful, and Jesus wanted to give Adam and Eve a foretaste of it. On the seventh day of creation week, Jesus decided to give them the Sabbath, a bit of heaven, a day upon which they might, in a special way, commune with Him, a holy day of fellowship and special blessing. The seventh day Sabbath was the finishing touch of creation.
“And the evening and the morning were the seventh day.”
The first sunset Adam ever saw was a Sabbath sunset; what exquisite beauty. For thousands of years, mankind has seen the heavens bathed in slowly changing color harmonies; creating a picture of unsurpassed loveliness. It is doubtful that there has ever been a sunset comparable to the first sunset, when Jesus and man together witnessed the ushering in of the first Sabbath on earth. Indeed, Adams and Eve worshipped their Creator in the “beauty of holiness.”
Once a week the Sabbath was to come to earth; once a week Jesus would, in a special manner, meet with His children; once a week heaven’s peace would rest on the whole creation. Coming down from God out of heaven, the Sabbath would descend with healing in its wings, bringing to man rest, peace, and blessing, yes and Jesus Himself. It was the golden clasp that bound heaven and earth together, the golden chain that bound the soul to man. As Jesus and Adam and Eve communed together, their first Sabbath on earth, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy!”
The Sabbath has always been part of God’s divine plan to heal the broken relationships with His human children. The Sabbath continues to signal God’s call to the human soul.
In the Bible it completes its picture of the Sabbath by giving us a preview of life to come, the future life, in a perfect universe.
“As the new heavens and the new earth, that I will make, will endure before me, so will your name and descendents endure. From one new month to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down to me,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:22, 23.
This makes the Sabbath unique. Throughout changing customs and varying dispensations, amid the passing of empires and the crash of nations, surviving flood, famines, and even “the end of all things,” the Sabbath stands unmoved and supreme. Made by Jesus and given to man for an everlasting possession, it endures eternity itself. This makes it a divine-human institution, fitted to beings made of clay, but in the image of God, partakers of the divine nature.
Mark 15:42 and 16: 1-7 tells us that even in death, Jesus rested on the Sabbath day. Very early Sunday morning, the Son of God ascended to His Father and to our Father.
The Sabbath is the memorial of Lord’s creative and redemptive work. It is a part of His design for the future of the human race. From the earth, as it came from the Creator’s Hand, to the perfectly restored new earth, the Sabbath stands as a sanctuary in time, transcending history and projecting its promise of rest into the eternal future.