Preparation For Shabbat
The quality of an occasion and the success of it is often determined by the amount of preparation that goes into it.
In the Scripture, the day before the onset of Shabbat is called “Preparation Day”
And now when the evening was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Shabbath,
MARQUS (MARK) 15:42
And that day was the preparation, and the Shabbath drew on.
LUQAS (LUKE) 23:54
The Yahudiym therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Shabbath, (for that Shabbath was a high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
YAHUCHANON (JOHN) 19:31
To be able to keep the Sabbath properly, adequate preparation is necessary which means planning ahead. Preparation to avoid working on the day and have it free from work-related activities, needs to be done on the Friday.
All provisions, stores of goods to last over till the next time available to purchase them, needs to be undertaken beforehand. As business activities are prohibited, foresight may be needed to care for events or payments due on the day to avoid such transactions that involve handling money.
YAHUSHA set us an example of keeping Shabbat according to the spirit of the Law and not the letter. He rebuked the legalistic traditions of His day with all their prohibitions in keeping the Sabbath which made it a burden on the people.
It is not right to make a lawful issue of keeping the day and making the Sabbath a heavy burden on those who do not wish to observe it, and/or who would begin to go through some ritual form of observation to avoid the disapproval of what they perceive to be an angry deity who is demanding something burdensome of them. This type of observance always becomes a form of religiosity which cannot please YAHUAH.
It is not legalism to teach that observing the seventh day Sabbath is profitable for all Believers, but it becomes legalism when we try to force observance in some particular manner, or to observe it without it being a thing which comes from the heart. It is legalism when we impose and enforce rules about observing the Sabbath.
The real issue is balancing a sense of awe and deep respect for YAHUAH’s word with a proper understanding of our liberty in Messiah.
The Epistles to the Galatians, Colossians, and Romans teach us that following man’s dogma, or human interpretation of the practical details of the observance of rituals, are not conditions for our acceptance by YAHUAH.
Our specific ways of dealing with the practical matters of application must apply the spirit and intention behind the principle of His Word to our society and culture.
The commandments concerning the Sabbath are few, and they are simple, and amazingly, they are purposefully vague.
They leave much for us to work out for ourselves – Remember the Sabbath Day. Keep it Holy. Don’t work on the Sabbath.
The Sabbath is given for our benefit.
Through history, the practical application of these commandments has varied. We know that there was no such thing as a Synagogue before the return from the Babylonian Captivity. Hence, there was no Synagogue service.
We see little indication in either the Torah or Jewish literature that any sort of public worship was a part of Sabbath observance before the return from captivity.
People stayed at home and read the Torah. They rested. They centered their attention on YAHUAH. No Scripture specifically defines “remembering the Sabbath day” and keeping it holy as gathering together on that day for public worship.
Participating in a public gathering for worship is not the only way which we may remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy!
We should not argue, or destroy one another over the issue of how we are to observe the day.
YAHUSHA summarized the commandments with:
YAHUSHA said unto him, You shall love את eth YAHUAH ELOHAYKA with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Torah and the prophets.
MATTITHYAHU (MATTHEW) 22:37-40
For all believers, Shabbat is a picture of how YAHUAH has blessed us; it should be a joy and delight for us.
We need to be on guard that our fleshly desires toward worldly interests and other people influences us to put aside the Sabbath.
We are called to a faith walk that includes trusting YAHUAH that six days of labor each week is sufficient to accomplish what needs to be done and meet all our needs if we honour Him as the Master of the Sabbath.
The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week and is to be a day of rest (BERE’SHIYTH/GENESIS 2:1-3).
The Sabbath is a sanctified (Set Apart made Holy day) unto YAHUAH (BERE’SHIYTH/GENESIS 2:3). The Sabbath is the day of YAHUAH (YESHA’YAHU/ISAIAH 58:13-14). The Sabbath is a festival (appointed time) of YAHUAH which is to be kept on a weekly basis (VAYIQRA/LEVITICUS 23:1-3).
Spiritually, we experience Sabbath rest when we obey YAHUAH, keep His commandments, and believe the promises made by YAHUAH to His people in His Word (VAYIQRA/LEVITICUS 26:1-12, TEHILLIYM/PSALMS 95:6-11, IVRIYM/HEBREWS 3:7-19, 4:1-12).
The Sabbath is an eternal covenant between YAHUAH and His people and is to be kept forever as an everlasting ordinance (SHEMOTH/EXODUS 31:16-17)
The Sabbath is a spiritual picture given to us by YAHUAH that is a shadow of Messiah YAHUSHA (QOLASIYM/COLOSSIANS 2:16-17; IVRIYM/HEBREWS 4: 9-10).
YAHUSHA is the spiritual rest of the believers.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
MATTITHYAHU (MATTHEW) 11:28-30
The Sabbath is personified as a bride whose bridegroom is YAHUSHA HA’MASHIACH/The Messiah and is a spiritual blueprint of the Hebraic Age.
The Sabbath will be kept in the new heavens and earth and for all eternity (YESHA’YAHU/ISAIAH 66:22-23, CHIZAYON/REVELATION 21:1-3).
How we keep Shabbat is a reflection of our commitment to YAHUAH ELOHIYM and a sign of our faithfulness to The Covenant.
If ye love me, guard את eth-my commandments.
YAHUCHANON (JOHN) 14:15
Gerald W Thomas in New Hebron, Mississippi