Shabbat: For six days you shall work and on the seventh day you shall do no work both you and the Alien amongst you. Exodus 20:10.
Before we look at the main festivals let us look at the first and most common festival, the Shabbat. The first festival ordained by God was the seventh day of the week, the day our Heavenly Father rested from His work, the day He even forbade the Hebrews from continuing the work on the Tabernacle Exodus 31:13-16. How marvelous is our God who knows we require a day of rest. But should this be a celebration of rest from our works or a celebration of the rest of the works of the Creator God the Father? In fact it is a celebration to God’s provision, that He will supply our needs and salvation while we can do nothing to gain salvation but rest in Him and enter His rest. Hebrews 4:1A.
In Jerusalem, this day known as the Shabbat, the seventh day, the day when things stop. To different people this can mean different things; to the very religious all work must stop before the Shabbat starts in the evening, some of the secular people have a day off at the beach. The Shabbat starts on Friday night as the day goes from sunset to sunset as in Genesis.1:5. Even El Al, the International Airline does not fly on this day. Walking the streets in the cool of the early evening, when people are getting ready for their family gathering and Shabbat meal, it is hard to believe it is a land struggling to survive all these years after the Almighty, through the United Nations, gave these people back their land again. In the Synagogues many people are worshipping, the tables are being set up at home. The flowers are being purchased and given to the wives, so all is set for a day with the family and of worshipping the Lord and one of rest.
The word of God says: If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and for doing as you please on my Holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight, and the Lord’s Holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord. . Is 58:13
It is not a Jewish holy day or even a Gentile day, but a holy day unto the Lord. Exodus 20:8. The main reason we want to obey our Lord is that we want to please Him in all things, obedience is pleasing God in the way He commanded. John 14v15.
In many ways God the Father and His commands are much forgotten in the Church today as we try to please people instead of God. Inter-faith worship would be a prime example. This act is totally against God’s word, 2 John 10,
1 Timothy 5:22 and Romans. 16:17. Many traditions of man have been allowed to enter the Church while many have ignored the commandments of God. People are trying to please people, to fill the Church, but they forget the first commandment. Exodus 20:1-11, to love and obey God.
It is said that Yeshua never said to keep the Shabbat. However in Luke 10 v 27, Yeshua said the greatest commandment was to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself”. The first commandment is to love God. Should not all things be done to the glory of God and not man? If we look at the first four of the 10 Commandments we will see that these all relate to loving God.
These are all about loving and obeying God. Exodus 20:1-11, which includes the commandment to keep the Sabbath day - seventh day - Holy unto God. The final section of six are about loving your neighbour, all these written by the finger of God. Ex.31:18. Commandments we keep when we love Him. John.14:15.
The Jewish people who do worship God, look on the week differently from us. They see the week as a prelude to the Shabbat when they can once more worship God, and worship him they do. A day commanded by God to be kept holy, a day that will go on forever, a day sanctified by God and never changed. Isaiah 66:22-23. All people will be blessed if they keep this day. Isaiah 56:1-8
So why is God’s Sabbath so important to our Lord? Why would Yeshua say He was Lord of the Shabbat? Luke 6:1-5 Why should these things be hidden from us?
There are several reasons for this, which I will try to outline.
1) If we look back in to Genesis 1 we see that God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. It also can be seen as prophetic to the millennial reign of the Messiah. Each day representing a thousand years, six days being six thousand years, which are nearly passed, since Adam. These are the days of man. Now the seventh day or seventh millennium, which will soon begin, will be the Lord’s rule here on earth. This six days and then the one day of the Lord is a pattern for that millennial reign.
2) Yeshua and the Father are one, John 10:30, therefore Yeshua is part of the Creator. The Sabbath is a memorial to the Creator God and His creation, Genesis 2:2-3. “In Him all things were created” Yeshua was before the creation and therefore as He and the Father are one, was involved in the creation process. So to separate Him from the Shabbat is in a way to separate Him from the Creator God. One of the main reasons why the early Jewish people wanted nothing to do with the early Church, was the removal of worship from the Sabbath. To them removing the Sabbath was taking the heart out of the Word of God.
3) Yeshua said that He was Lord of the Sabbath. Matthew 12:8. In other words the Sabbath was His and it can never be taken away from Him.
4) In Leviticus 24:5-8, it talks about the show bread placed on the Altar in the Holy Place of the Temple. This bread was to be placed there fresh each day. On the Shabbat twelve special loaves were to be placed before the Lord. On the sixth day of the week, the people were to gather a double portion of manna in the wilderness; this was the bread that gave physical life (Neshim). The bread on the Altar was called the “Bread of Presence”, the presence of the Lord. In Hebrew the word used - Hai’im - means spiritual life that only comes from the Father. So when Yeshua said “Do this as often as you do to remember me” and “I am the bread of Life”, He was saying He was the Messiah, the one that gives spiritual life. 1 Corinthians 11:26 says; that whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. His resurrection confirmed the promise, but it was His sacrifice for our sins that gave us the ‘Hai’im’ spiritual life and one day He will return to usher in His millennial Messianic reign.
5) And they nailed Him to the cross and He breathed His last and died, as it was nearing the Sabbath, the end of “Preparation Day” (which is always the 6th day, Yom Sheeshee (Friday), they took his body and laid it in the grave. ‘And on the 7th day, the Shabbat, He rested. Because His work was completed, He cried out “It is finished”. So now he could rest from His work. The Lord’s Shabbat, that we also are to enter into. Hebrews 4.
6) Every Erev Shabbat, Friday evening, the Jewish Family sits down to a Shabbat meal to welcome in the Shabbat and give thanks to God for what they have through and in our Creator God. They break bread giving thanks to God who gives us the staple food, bread and say “Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheynu Melech HaOlam HaMotzi Lechem Min HaEretz”. “Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the Universe who brings forth the bread from the earth”. After this they take the wine and say “Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheynu Melech HaOlam Borey Pre HaGefen” - “Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine” We can clearly see Yeshua in these actions. However it does not end there, for the Shabbat meal the family dress in their finest clothes and during the meal the Psalms and scripture readings are the same ones that are read at a Jewish wedding. In fact a description of this day, in Jewish tradition, is it is a day of rehearsal for a wedding. This shows that the Shabbat meal is in fact a rehearsal for a wedding, a wedding that will include the Messiah Yeshua. In fact 52 times a year they rehearse for a coming wedding.
The act of taking the cup of wine in Hebraic tradition, from the Bridegroom to be, is an act of betrothal. The full meaning of the Shabbat is just that, a betrothal to the Bridegroom to come.
The Shabbat is a day of worship to the Creator God, Yeshua and the Father are one. John 10:30.
There is not one feast on the Christian calendar that glorifies the Father God, for who He is.
Easter...................... The Son and salvation through the blood of the Lamb.
Pentecost .............. The Holy Spirit