We need to develop righteous judgment about what constitutes a genuine Sabbath emergency and what may be a deceptive rationalization of our human nature.
In the Gospels, questions about the Sabbath center on how to keep it, not whether it should be kept. The way Jesus approached the Sabbath gives us an example.
In the gray areas of applying God's Law, extending mercy and easing of burdens trumps legalism and hairsplitting.
How and why a person keeps the Sabbath determines whether this test commandment is really a sign between God and His people or an act of futility.
The work required on the Sabbath is to prepare for the Kingdom of God, fellowshipping with our brethren, serving where possible, and relieving burdens.
God gave the Sabbath to His people so they can know Him intimately. Idolatry, scattering, and captivity are the natural consequences of Sabbath-breaking.
Jesus magnified the Sabbath, giving principles by which to judge our activities. Each time Jesus taught about the Sabbath, He emphasized some form of redemption.
The reason for refraining from many activities on the Sabbath is not labor or energy, but the overall motivation. Certain works are perfect for the Sabbath.
The Sabbath is a special creation, a very specific period of holy time given to all of mankind, reminding us that God created and is continuing to create.
Benign neglect of the Sabbath covenant can incrementally lead us into idolatry. We must treat this holy time as different from the other days of the week.
In our hectic culture, we commit far too little time to God, depriving ourselves of the Holy Spirit and attenuating the faith required to draw close to God.
Jesus teaches the difference between works that cause burdens (work that profanes the Sabbath) and works that relieve burdens. The Father and Son never stop working.
Jesus didn't break the Sabbath, but he did break extra-legal fanatical human custom applied to the Sabbath apart from God's Law.
The Sabbath rest depicts the miracle of conversion, in which the transformation of mankind into God's image brings about a rest in which God takes pleasure.
Christ emphasizes that the internal, weightier matters, which change the heart, take precedence over external ceremonial concerns that don't change the heart.
Many say that God's laws have been abolished, even though Jesus taught that until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle of the Law will disappear.