from my up-coming commentary on John 18-21
The fact that Christ’s Body was hastily embalmed is also powerful testimony concerning the importance of the observance of the Sabbath. In the Old Testament, when the Tabernacle was being built (and later, when Solomon’s Temple was being built), when the Sabbath arrived (sundown Friday) all work ceased—even on God’s very House. That fact was powerful testimony to how holy God declared the Sabbath to be. Nothing in our personal lives could be of any more importance than the building of God’s Holy House (which also we are). Therefore, if all work ceased in all of God’s Projects (even as God Himself rested after the 6 Days of Creation), then all of our work should cease in all our projects. We are told in the Scriptures that our bodies are not our own, but that God owns us twice (firstly as Creator and secondly as Redeemer)—and that our bodies are God’s Temple (I Corinthians 6:19,20). Thus, all work concerning our individual “temples of God” (every work of our body) should likewise cease on the Sabbath (not any old day we choose)—what part of Holy do Christians not understand (or refuse to understand)...?
[Excuses can be devised ad infinitum; but that does not make them valid—rather, they serve as indicators of false gods in our lives (those things we deem more important than obeying God). As a result of the sin nature in rebellion against the Law of God, a plethora of “important” things that “need” to be done will always seem to “arise” on the Sabbath. These are both temptations from Satan as well as tests from God. Who our God/god is, will be determined by who we yield to.
“16Wherefore the children of Israel shall [emphatic, imperative] keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual Covenant. 17It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the Seventh Day He rested, and was refreshed. 18And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the Finger of God.” (Exodus 31)
What part of... perpetual Covenant, Sign, shall keep, observe, the Sabbath, the Seventh Day, throughout all their generations, for ever, Commandment—written with the Finger of God... do Christians not understand...? Christ did not change the Sabbath. No one else had authority to do so after Him (and He could not have done it because He is one with the Father, in submission to the Father, and God clearly said for ever). No New Testament passage changes the Sabbath to Sunday or “fielder’s choice” (any old day you choose when it is convenient for you)—or even could. Thinking the New Testament changed the Sabbath only arises from a profoundly cross-eyed reading of the Scriptures in which the person is looking at his own other eyeball and day dreaming instead of reading what Scripture actually says. Perpetual Covenant. What part of perpetual is difficult to understand. This was not a “conditional” Covenant, but unconditional—a Commandment. It is also a Sign we are His people. If we violate the sign that we are His people, is it any wonder that God Himself has turned His back on us to let us reap the Judgment for the sin we have sown, until we again repent and be obedient children, doing what He commanded us...?
“6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 7As they were increased [grown fat on His blessings], so they sinned against Me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.” (Hosea 4)
They are not the “10 Suggestions” or the “10 Options” and there are not merely 10 of them: The 10 Commandments are 10 categories of Law under which all the Laws of God are organized. None of them have changed, but this evil world (including most churches) seem to have thrown them all away; starting with the very one that God said was a Sign that we are His People. Is it any wonder then, that we face extinction as a people? —when we violate one of the very Signs that He established, based on wet-tissue theology that only makes sense if you keep your eyes closed and do not think about it. Is it any wonder that we have no rest from our enemies or oppression or sickness or tragedy? —when we violate His very Command of Rest on His (not “our”) Sabbath?
"And I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart." (Jeremiah 24:7)
"6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 8For My Thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My Ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways, and My Thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55)
"12Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for He is Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil. 14Who knoweth if He will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind Him [instead of the curse of Judgment we deserve]...?" (Joel 2)
"11And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 12And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 13If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My Holy Day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the Holy of the LORD, Honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 58)
"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 11:15)
It seems like a small matter to sinful man. God makes it clear that it is not a small matter. If all of the work stopped on God's Tabernacle or Temple, when we pursue our own pleasure on His Sabbath, we exalt ourselves above God and are guilty of idolatry.]
This is just one of our many sins; and they are ALL so easy to remedy. Who will do it? Those who do not have no excuse and should not be surprised when calamity and judgment come upon them—and all those around them for whom they could be setting the example.
"... the curse causeless shall not come." (Proverbs 26:2)
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7)