Imagine that you have a date. It’s a regular date, but this is a very important relationship. How would your “significant other” feel if you let any little excuse disrupt that date? What if you never showed up? Left early? Were tired, so you never quite made it? Or perhaps you turned up, but you were busy and distracted — say on the phone — instead of giving this important relationship your undivided attention? I dare say that your “significant other” wouldn’t feel particularly significant after all?
HaShem has a date for us. He has had this regular date with His children from the very beginning of time. It is, in fact, the very first thing that HaShem made “kadosh” — holy. Actually it is not a “thing,” not a place or an item, but rather a space in time. It is a time that He is very serious about. When He set the Shabbat as the sign of the Covenant at Sinai he told His people Israel that they were to keep this day Holy, they were to guard this space in time for relationship with Him. This was the seventh day of the week when He commanded no “melacha”. Most versions of Scripture translate that word melecha as work. But that is so inadequate a translation it deserves a post all of its own. HaShem was so serious concerning this that the penalty for ignoring His prohibition of melacha was death! (Ex 31: 14) He was so serious that the prophets tell us that ignoring Shabbat was reason for the exile and scattering of the Children of Israel. (Jer 17:27, Ez 20:21, Neh 13:17)
So if HaShem is that serious about this “date” with His people, then how is it that we can read the stories of Yeshua and the Shabbat in the Besorot (e.g., Mt 12:1-14) and make of it that he is teaching that we can make of Shabbat whatever we want? Or how can we decide that those legalistic Jews just could not understand Shabbat and Yeshua had to correct them? Yeshua’s message concerning Shabbat must be much deeper than that. If the Father took Shabbat that seriously, the Son who did His Father’s work must have taken Shabbat seriously too, don’t you think?
…To be Continued…
So Bnei-Yisrael is to keep the Shabbat, to observe the Shabbat throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and Bnei-Yisrael forever, for in six days ADONAI made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from melacha and rested.’” – Ex 31:16-17, TLV