“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Exodus 20:8
What it means to honor and keep the Sabbath day holy? Many different theories exist attempting to explain what this commandment entails. Pastor Mark Mitchell says it’s wise for Christians to think twice before jumping to conclusions.
“I think we need to be careful how we apply this commandment. One of the things that’s really important to recognize is that the Sabbath was around before the ten commandments were even given.”
The Sabbath dates back to creation, when God rested on the seventh day.
“Jesus made it very clear that the Sabbath was made for man; man was not made for the Sabbath. There’s something about us and our humanity that really needs this rhythm of work and rest and not to get completely overwhelmed seven days a week with work.”
As human beings, if we work too much we can’t experience the the fullness of what God has for us.
“We are people, not machines, so we need time to rest, reflect, worship, play, all those things are important for who we are. We live in a society where we spend so much money on vacations, fun, and looking for escapes and yet we’re people that don’t know how to rest.”
Mark wants to remind all Christians of our true source of rest.
“Rest begins with our relationship with our God. It begins when we rest in His presence from all of our works and we recognize that it’s his work and we just rest in Him and in the work that he has done on our behalf.”
If we attempt to find rest from anything else than our heavenly Father first, we will soon discover that we are not experiencing rest at all.
“The book of Hebrews talks about entering into that rest that only Christ can give us because his work is sufficient, and there’s nothing we can add to his work.”
Mark Mitchell is lead pastor of Central Peninsula Church, a multi-campus church on the San Francisco Peninsula and he also serves as the Chaplain of the San Francisco Giants. He is a graduate of Denver Seminary and earned his doctorate at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Key Scripture: Psalm 27:4
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