Up until Jesus’ resurrection the Sabbath was on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. The Sabbath began at sundown Friday evening and ended sundown on Saturday. As Jesus died on the cross midday Friday, Nicodemus requested the body of Jesus be taken down before the Sabbath began. He embalmed his body in linen and spices and laid Him in the tomb. On the Sabbath, having completed every work, Jesus rested from all His labors.
On the third day, at sunrise, He rose. The Son of God broke out from the tomb; death could not keep Him, the bonds of injustice could not hold Him down, the fierceness of hatred could not stop Him, sin and all its power was broken and conquered. A new season began. A season of rest.
Even as I reflect on this one fact, I am affirmed in the reality that this kind of rest from our struggles and labor is available for each of us on this side of the cross.
The first day of our week begins on Sunday. Our day of Sabbath rest is now on the first day of the week. Jesus shifted our season. He ushered in a new era. This season is marked by freedom and victory. He moved us out of the past and into a glorious new day in Him. If we live in Jesus we are in a new season. The past cannot hold us back.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?.. But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 8:35-39
Walking in the victory of rest
In Christ we are conquerors. However, many of us are struggling to live from a position of victory. In our heart we are still living in an old season, struggling to reach a day of rest on the seventh day. But Jesus comes to declare a new season. In Christ we begin in a place of rest. This means we start our week from the place of victory — resting in victory. The one who lives in us has already conquered every challenge and drawn us into His heart. We are never alone, we are never defeated, and we are never separated from this great love.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
– Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
If you are facing challenges that are conquering your heart, let Jesus reset your season. You may not be feeling this kind of peace and rest right now, but press into Christ and allow Him to set your heart at rest. Ask Him to renew your mind so that you can see how He conquerors what has conquered your heart. Every issue of fear, stress, worry and disappointment must bow its knee to the one who has conquered all. Let His great conquering love take over your heart, then walk in His new season.