Scott Aniol on What Does Rest on the Sabbath Really Mean?

The requirement for Israel of specific times and rituals for worship, both weekly and annually, established a fundamental principle for God’s people that did not end with Israel.

God’s creation of these worship days and festivals was not arbitrary; rather, in establishing these days, God clearly articulated their purpose. For example, when God founded the annual Passover observance, he proclaimed, “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statue forever, you shall keep it as a feast” (Exod 12:14).

In calling this feast a “memorial,” God meant more than simply a passive remembrance of the first event of Passover; this is clear by the fact that the Hebrews were meant, not merely to recount the event of the first Passover, but to actually reenact the event. In so doing, the people of Israel for generations to come would not only remember the facts of the Exodus from Egypt, they would be formed by the event as if they had been there themselves as a means to renew their covenant with God. God explains this later in verse 24 of Exodus 12: “You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’ And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.”

God uses the same root word when he commands, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Exod 20:8–9).

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Scott Aniol