Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.Genesis 2:3(NASB)
For six days the Lord had spoken creation into being. He called forth light and separated it from the darkness – naming it day and night-time. He made the firmament in the midst of the heavens and divided the waters above from the waters below, and then He called the dry land into being.
Grass and fruit trees, green foliage and different herbs sprang forth, before the Lord placed all the starry lights in the heavens, together with the sun and the moon. He used them as signs, seasons, days and years and they were commissioned to give light upon the earth.
Then God brought forth all manner of fish, water creatures, birds, insects and other flying things. Then came the land animals, cattle, creeping things and all sorts of different beasts of the field – and finally, God fashioned man in His own image and likeness.
He made them male and female, on that sixth day of creation, and authorised them to govern the earth as His chosen superintendents. They were to care for the land and tend the various animals and creatures as the Lord’s ordained ruler. God commissioned them to be His representatives on earth. And God saw everything that He made, on this sixth, spectacular day of creation, and saw that it was very good.
And so it was that God arrived at the seventh day. His work of creation had been completed to His satisfaction and so God blessed the seventh day and consecrated it. The Lord sanctified that seventh day, because He had completed His creative work, and so He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
The seventh day was a day of rest. It was God’s Sabbath and He blessed it and made it holy. The Lord set apart the Sabbath unto Himself and it represented completion, perfection and rest. God did not rest because He was weary but because He had finished creating a perfect world and was satisfied with all that He had done.
Had man not sinned in the garden, it is likely that God would still be resting today. But man DID sin, which required God to begin working once again. However, the work in which the Lord is engaged today is the work of redemption. God's ongoing work today is the making of a new creation that is made in the image and likeness of Christ.
Although the Lord rested from His work of creation His work to redeem mankind began. Indeed, Jesus reminded us My Father is still working, and I am working as well. And we praise God that His work of redemption was finished at Calvary, when Jesus cried out with a loud voice – Telestai! It Is Finished! But God has ordained that it will come to full and final completion with the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.
God rested from His creative work on the seventh day. Christ finished His work of redemption at Calvary and a day is coming when everything that man lost at the fall will be fully redeemed and finally handed back to God, when God’s enemies have been subdued and Christ is all in all.
When God made His covenant with Israel, He used this seventh day of creation – His sabbath-day rest, as a ongoing, repetitive, weekly reminder to the nation that a true, Sabbath rest was coming for the people of God. God’s Sabbath rest in Genesis and the commemorative commandment He gave to His people Israel to "remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy", is a beautiful picture to us all of the truth Sabbath rest. CHRIST JESUS is the full and final Sabbath rest, Who will one day bring ALL things back under God’s righteous jurisdiction.
We who are saved by grace through faith have already trusted in Christ for salvation, and in so doing have not only found our rest in Him already, but as the writer to the Hebrews reminds us, there remains a sabbath rest for ALL the people of God – an eternal Sabbath rest, in the ages to come, that is ours by grace through faith in Christ Jesus our Saviour.
Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus is my Sabbath rest and that in Him I have peace with God and the peace of God that passes understanding. Thank You that I am a new creation in Christ and eternal rest is the promised possession of all who have trusted in Him for salvation. We pray that many more will come to an understanding that faith in Christ’s sacrificial death and glorious resurrection has secured for them eternal rest, if they will but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved – thank You in Jesus name, AMEN.