The Sabbath - What is it?
"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. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." (Exodus 20:8-11 ESV)There you have it. The Sabbath clearly explained. Take a day off. Don't work for one day each week. This was one of the Ten Commandments given to the nation of Israel.
Think about taking a day off in their cultural context. Food and water weren't the easiest to come by: You had to work for them each day. (They received this commandment in the desert after all!) But God was telling them to follow his example and rest for one day each week. Whether they thought they needed the rest or not was irrelevant. Also irrelevant was their perceived need to work to provide their necessities (even real necessities, not just desires).
So a Sabbath is a day off. Resting. Not doing any work. It's so simple, yet I see hardly anyone actually doing it. Be honest with me: When's the last time you literally and completely did ZERO work for a whole day? (This includes work work, at-home work, church-organization work, etc.)
Your answer should be less than 7 days ago... shouldn't it?
Now I know Jesus didn't repeat this commandment, and in multiple instances he "broke" the Jewish rules of the Sabbath by healing, allowing his disciples to eat, etc. But while he didn't repeat this commandment, he also didn't reverse it by telling us to work seven days a week.
And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27 ESV)
Possible Future Sabbath Posts...*
More Scriptures on the Sabbath
What does a Sabbath mean for today?
Why take a Sabbath?
What does a Sabbath look like practically?
*I reserve the right to edit and alter all of these potential posts.