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82 Worth the Confrontation

Why does Jesus risk hatred of the religious leaders by attacking their Sabbath observance? Is it that important?

Sabbath was a sign of God’s love, of His children’s connection with Him.* It wasn’t first given at Sinai. This gift was given in the Garden of Eden.

The first Sabbath was also Adam and Eve’s first day on Earth. Before they had done any work, God gave them a day of relationship and rest. Rest wasn’t needed, it was a celebration; celebrating love–theirs and His.**

Satan hated it from the beginning. Knowing it was symbolic of God’s creative power, he knew that if men observed it, they would always celebrate relationship with God–be bonded to Him through it.

After becoming captives of other kings, Israel came to realize that obedience allowed God to protect and prosper them. Did they know about a cosmic war? That obedience gave God rights? Perhaps the war was masked by God’s enemies.

Satan saw an opportunity to twist it–get them to see obedience as the requirement for God’s love, as though they were earning it. Then make obeying impossible by loading up the Sabbath with rules. Soon God looked like a tyrant rather than a loving Father.

So Jesus comes converting Sabbath into rest, rescuing it from Satan’s oppression, from man’s hard-hearted cruelty, to the true picture of God’s tender-father love.

Jesus obviously thinks it’s worth the risk. Once again, Sabbath becomes a symbol of God’s love and interest–His faithfulness, willingness, and power to restore us to His original blueprint.

**Genesis 2:1-3, *Isaiah 56:6,7; 58:13-14, Colossians 1:13-16

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