SITTING WITH CHRIST
While researching “the Sabbath,” I came upon a writer who, after presenting many facts, began to wax eloquently about spending time with CHRIST. It was as if his heart took over his pen.
I’ve heard the phrase, “swimming in the ocean of GOD’s love” as a description for fellowship with GOD, but since I’m afraid of water, it’s not a word-picture that calms my soul.
I am always searching for word-pictures to help my mind grasp a concept and William Law’s words have done that for me. This is the quote that carried me back to a serene scene in my past:
“Heaven is one ocean of repose. No billow heaves. No storm affrights. No foe can enter. No change can cloud the calm expanse of the unruffled sky. But what is heaven, but to see Christ, as He is—to gaze forever on His unveiled beauty—to sit with Him—…Heaven is heaven, because it is an eternal Sabbath by the side of Jesus” Henry Law (ref#214).
How often I have attempted to find a simile that describes a get together with CHRIST—some thought of a scene that would place me in His presence. This quote has reminded me of one and it is one that is real; it comes out of my past.
It was the summer I signed up for a graduate class from a university far away from my residence. It required rising at 4:30AM but I felt it doable until I was thrust into an interim position as a YWCA camp director that required evening meetings with camp counselors until as late at midnight.
Our cabins sat high on a bluff above Lake Eire. And I knew the responsibility of camp director plus the lack of sleep was wearing me out when the white noise of the waves interrupted my sleep.
When the camp’s swimming classes for the day ended and I had a moment free I would walk down the makeshift stairs to the water’s edge. It was the only place I knew that offered solitude. The most exhilarating time there came when the lake was calm. How no noise soothed my fragmented, frazzled mind.
“Heaven if one ocean of repose. No billow heaves” Henry Law (ref#214). This is my word-picture safe-place! This is the vision I will bring to my mind when I sit with CHRIST. For me sitting in the arms of CHRIST overlooking an endless calm sea conjures up a snippet of my eternal Sabbath.
THE SERIOUSNESS OF KEEPING THE SABBATH
“If you value your lives, don’t do any work on the Sabbath….” (Jer 17:21 CEV).
“Take heed to yourselves; the Hebrew is, Take heed to your souls, intimating to us that the sanctification of the Sabbath is a great thing, where in the welfare of our souls is concerned” Matthew Poole (ref#112, p550, [Jer 17:21]).
“This message has life-or death consequences. The Sabbath is a day of ceasing from work, thus a time for physical and spiritual renewal and a gift to mankind” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1406-1407, [Jer 17:21]).
“Earth, spoiled of Sabbaths is a rapid road to hell” Henry Law (ref#214).
THE SABBATH OF REST – SINCE TIME BEGAN: UNTIL TIME ENDS
“…the Sabbath entered Eden by man’s side. In its origin, it stands the firstborn of all ordinances. It is a portion of primary law. Its date precedes the date of sin. Away with the vain thought, that it is a short-lived flower of ritual field” Henry Law (ref#214).
It arose not as a ceremony among ceremonies. Sinai was not its birth-place. The wilderness was not its cradle. Therefore Calvary is not its tomb. “It is no passing rite. It is the transcript of Jehovah’s mind. It shines a jewel in the high crown of moral law” Henry Law (ref#214).
It is God’s first command. The Patriarchs kept it. Sinai preached it. The holy tables gave it central place. The holy Ark encased it. The Jewish church revered it. Prophets enforced it. Jesus upheld it. The Apostles sanctioned it. The Christian church throughout all time has prized it. The prophetic finger still points to it as a last-day blessing. Is. 66:23. Eternity waits to be an eternity of Sabbath” Henry Law (ref#214).
“Jesus comes Himself. The mighty God instructs in human form….’The Sabbath was made for man.’ Mark 2:27. This is a mighty word. It looks backward, and forward. It seems to say, It always has been, for man always had need. It always shall be, for man will always need. Thus Jesus decks the Sabbath with undying freshness….It must march on, until time is lost in one Sabbatic rest” Henry Law (ref#214).