Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Old Testament reading for this week is God’s Sabbath command from Deuteronomy chapter 5. Here God not only directs his people to take a day of rest, but also to work hard on six other days (v. 13). We often hear reasons for taking a day of rest. Frequently they seem self-centered. We take a day of rest because we need it. However, let’s notice the reasons given in Deuteronomy chapter 5.
First, in verse 14, it is so those who work for us can rest. It’s good for other people. Our rhythms of work and rest want to care for those around us. Second, it is because God gives rest to his people. The example of this is the people of Israel, who were rescued from bondage in Egypt. They received the rest they needed.
From a New Testament perspective, we who believe on Jesus for salvation have entered into rest from our sins. This is the fulfillment of the Exodus. Like God rescued his people from bondage in Egypt, he rescues his people from captivity to sin. A day of rest, then, is a chance to remember our freedom from sin’s bondage and to proclaim that same liberty to others. This is true rest.
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