By David Yim, Youth Director
Passage: Mark 2:2
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
The fourth commandment is to remember the Sabbath and to keep it holy. We are to work six days and are commanded to rest on the seventh day. The Pharisees followed this commandment fervently, but they were missing a key element of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a time to remember the Lord and have God-Centered rest. In Mark 2, the Pharisees criticize and attack Jesus because he picks grain, however Jesus responds that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. A key element to understanding the Sabbath and rest, is by understanding biblical peace Shalom. The word Shalom means peace but it is a peace and harmony of the entire cosmos. Shalom is found when humanity's relationship with God, with one another, and with nature exist in perfect harmony. Shalom is also found when all the disharmonies of life found in humanity and in nature are healed. I find Shalom to be much more powerful than our cultural understanding of peace because our culture at times implies that peace is simply tranquility and stability. But how can we say we truly have peace within ourselves (tranquility and stability) when we see others face injustices in the world? How can we say we truly have peace within ourselves when we see the world as it is physically decaying? How can we say we truly have peace within ourselves when we see a world that is filled with hurt and pain. Peace as a Zen-like state of mind is a counterfeit peace because it does not consider the world as a whole in its dying nature. True peace comes from God. The reason that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath is because He is the One who will bring Shalom to our hurting and broken world. He will make all things right and will bring harmony to all the disharmonies of life. The Pharisees key missing element of the Sabbath was Christ Himself, because Christ is t0he one who brings true rest by bringing peace in our tainted world.
During this COVID-19 pandemic we might find ourselves having a little more time having rest because we are spending much of our hours at home. But God commands us to have true rest by keeping the Sabbath. On this day God is not only commanding us not to work, but He is calling us to remember Him. If you find yourself looking for peace this morning or find yourself restless; rest in Christ and the story that He has brought you in. Redemption has come and He has written the rest of our history. Our world is held by a sovereign and loving Father. His word will come to pass. In this we can rest.