Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Your Life Is Worth More Than The Sabbath!

(MAR. 2: 23) One Sabbath he was going through the grain fields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.

The disciples were hungry, so they ate. They were preserving human life. Food is one of the basic necessities of life. And “your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” (MAT. 6: 32b). So they were preserving human life in what they were doing and God Himself approved of this.
You would think that would be a good thing, right?

(MAR. 2: 24) And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look,why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”

No. The Pharisees were not well pleased with preserving human life on the Sabbath.
Jesus Christ, Lord and Judge, did not condemn; He pleaded these men's case. Jesus proceeded to make His point from the Old Testament. He had pre-loaded the scriptures with an example from David specifically to prove His point.

(MAR. 2: 25-26) 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”

Who can find a better example than King David? Even in his days, in the golden age of Israel, it was better to preserve human life than it was to demand strict and inflexible adherence to legal code.

You see, to Pharisees, as you are worth more than many sparrows (MAT. 10: 31), so the Sabbath was worth more than many humans. They thought that they were pleasing God in what they did. They thought, “God Himself is going to kill you, and has authorized us to kill you on His behalf, for violating the Sabbath.”
But that isn’t God’s position on the matter.

(MAR. 2: 27) And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

In the eyes of the Author, a human life is worth more than the Sabbath law.
To prove this out and make it inescapable, He gave His life for us.

(JON. 3: 14-17) 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

He died for you – God died for you – to prove your worth to Him. He didn’t die for the Sabbath; He died to ransom your life.
Your life is worth more than the Sabbath!

Keep this in mind as men try to turn this right around again and tell you how much more the Sabbath is worth than your life.
“God is going to cast you into Gehenna fire for violating the Sabbath!” they say. Have you not seen that your life is worth more than the Sabbath? It was worth more than the Sabbath in David’s day, and it was worth more than the Sabbath in Jesus’ day, so why would you think it will not be worth more on Judgment Day? Yet somehow we are to believe that, no, “God Himself is going to kill you, and has authorized us to disfellowship you on His behalf, for violating the Sabbath.”
When did Jesus change His mind about your value? Do you think God was more concerned with the preservation of physical life than eternal life? If your physical life is worth more than the Sabbath day that the Sabbath law could be violated to preserve it, how exceedingly more will your eternal life be worth?

(JON. 3: 16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

He died to prove your value to Him. Don’t take that lightly, oh beloved of God. Don’t misunderstand or underestimate the worth that is conveyed to you by the price He paid for you. He died so that you wouldn’t have to. And you are worth more than many Sabbaths to Him.

Modern Pharisees work to undo this. Thy want Jesus to change His mind about your value. If you can believe that you have less value, then perhaps you can believe your value is in them! "What will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (MAR. 8: 37). What will you not give to them if they will only let you preserve your life?
So they start right here with Mark 2: 27. While Jesus is yet demonstrating the value of your life above the Sabbath they begin to undo the lesson completely.

They say, "Jesus means that the Sabbath was made for all of mankind, so it is mandatory."

If Jesus said the Sabbath was for all men, the Pharisees would have stoned Him. All involved understood the Sabbath was for the Jews only. Jesus had not died yet and the Old Covenant was still in full vigor. Gentiles were strangers to that Covenant (EPH. 2: 12).
The Pharisees were condemning Jesus and His disciples for preserving human life on the Sabbath, because the Pharisees had raised the importance of the Sabbath to a height above life. In response, Jesus was putting the Sabbath back into its proper perspective.
[LITV] "The Sabbath came into being for man's sake, not man for the Sabbath's sake."
(Mark 2 has more examples of Jesus showing the importance of life over law than just this.)

A key comes from the parallel account in Matthew 12: 7 “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” The life of men is more important than the regulations in the law – even the 4th Commandment. If He had said the Sabbath was binding on all mankind that would have been agreeing with the Pharisees point that He was violating the law, and thus He would have indicted Himself.
Consider it. If the Pharisees were accusing Jesus, "Why are your disciples violating the Sabbath?" and His defense was, “The Sabbath is binding on all mankind,” what sense would that make? God is not a fool!

But the proper interpretation of the verse does certain people little good, so they move to the next verse:

(MAR. 2: 28) So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.

"See?" they explain, "Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, so you must keep the Sabbath or you will lose your life." And thus they completely up-end the lesson Jesus just taught us. His lesson was not even over before they undid it.

Beloved of God, oh, but the one who declares your value is indeed Lord of the Sabbath! Do not fear this, but triumph in it! Glory in it!!
He is superior to both it and us, and all other things. The Lord of the Sabbath has authority over the law and has declared your value to be superior to that of the Sabbath. Who can undo His sure judgment? If the very Lord of the Sabbath Himself is on your side, who can be against you?

(ROM. 8: 31-39) 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing will separate you from His love! No not any thing.

He did not give His life for yours lightly. He will not simply toss His hard-earned victory aside. “I died for you, and if you don’t remember that between the hours of sundown Friday to Saturday evening then the deal’s off!” No, sought after by God, that isn’t what the Bible says.
It is easy to get confused and fall into the trap of letting slick-talking people convince you that the Sabbath is worth more than you. It is so easy to lose sight of what you have seen here and fall for their arguments. It is so easy to misunderstand righteousness in the New Covenant. It doesn't help matters that Satan, who wants you to think you are nothing, is whispering in your ear to remind you of your failures and to sow seeds of doubt about His love for you.
Don't listen to him! Give no place to his pernicious attacks. Our Lord has overcome him. You are not nothing. You are very much something, in Him.

Never forget that even your temporary physical life is worth more than the Sabbath law. Compare that to the words of the people who try to tell you otherwise. Who do they sound like - Jesus, or the Pharisees?

What does Jesus say?

(MAR. 5: 36b) “Do not fear, only believe.”

It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; ) Acts 17:11

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