HaYesod: The Sabbath
Lesson One: A Sanctuary in Time
The Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments, but long before the giving of the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath has been blessed and holy since creation. On the seventh day, God “ceased” from creating the heavens and the earth. God blessed the Sabbath day by appointing it as a day for divine good. Like salvation, the Sabbath is a gift from God. The reward for keeping the Sabbath is the Sabbath itself.
Lesson Two: The Appointed Times
The Bible contains an ancient calendar of “the LORD’s appointed times,” holy days that He has set aside for meeting with man. The seventh-day, biblical Sabbath is the first on the list of the LORD’s appointed times. Each of them symbolizes a significant historical event from the past, and each one of them prophetically alludes to the work of Messiah. The Sabbath foreshadows the coming Messianic Era.
Lesson Three: A Taste of the Kingdom
The Sabbath day provides us with a foretaste of the kingdom and the World to Come. The kingdom will be an era of peace, abundance, fertility, prosperity, and the universal knowledge of God, the Sabbath uniquely embodies and rehearses those things. The Sabbath signifies God’s eschatological rest. In this way, the Sabbath provides us with a picture of salvation.
Lesson Four: Sabbath and the Jewish People
The Sabbath day offers holiness and blessing to everyone, but the Jewish people have a special rela- tionship with the Sabbath. God gave the Jewish people the obligation of observing the Sabbath day holy in every generation as a sign that He has sanctified Israel by setting the Jewish people apart from all other peoples.
Lesson Five: Sabbath and Gentile Believers
Although God gave the Sabbath to Israel as a sign of their set-apart status, that does not mean that Gentiles cannot participate in the Sabbath as well. They can, at the very least, remember the Sabbath day and honor it, just as the God-fearing Gentile believers in the New Testament did.
Lesson Six: The Day of Delight
Sabbath observance is a lot more than just taking a day off from work. The Sabbath-keeper turns his foot back from seeking his own pleasures because of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is to be celebrated, not merely observed. By treating the day with honor, being selective about what activities he engages in, the Sabbath-keeper honors the day, and the LORD rewards the Sabbath-keeper.
Lesson Seven: The Day of Rest
The Jewish people are to cease from work on the Sabbath day. However, the Hebrew word we translate as “work” (melachah) does not refer to hard labor or making a living; it refers to various acts of creative production. For six days man is permitted to take mastery over creation. On the seventh day, we stop and remember that God is the true creator.
Lesson Eight: The Sabbath Breaker
In this lesson we will learn about Yeshua’s attitude toward the observance of the Sabbath. Why would a Christian be interested in keeping the Sabbath? Because that’s what Yeshua did. He kept the Sabbath, according to the commandment.
Lesson Nine: The New Sabbath
In this lesson, we will learn about how the church abandoned Sabbath observance as a way to distance itself from Judaism and the Jewish people. The transition from Sabbath to Sunday began in the first century, but the transition was not really completed until the fourth century. Sunday is a perfectly appropriate day for worshiping together so long as we don’t refer to it as the Sabbath day.
Lesson Ten: The Day of Eternity
In this lesson we will learn about how, in the coming Messianic Kingdom, all citizens of the kingdom will observe the Sabbath. The Gentile nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship the LORD from Sabbath to Sabbath. We will also learn that restoring the Sabbath is part of four key prophetic restorations.
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