Is Jesus our Sabbath? (Part 1 of 2)
By Marsha Basner
Many people today say that they don’t need to keep the Sabbath using the argument that “Jesus is my Sabbath.” This may sound good to them and to others, but is this true? Can this be proven from the scriptures?
Did Jesus ever say that He was the Sabbath or that He somehow replaced the seventh-day Sabbath? Let’s look at the scripture which people use to support this belief. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
The Greek word for “rest” in this text is: anapauó or ἀναπαύω. It means to give rest, give intermission from labor, by implication to refresh.
Scripturetext.com gives a more complete explication of the term anapauó ἀναπαύω, which is condensed from several lexicons. “anapaúō (from 303 /aná, “up, completing a process,” which intensifies 3973 /paúō, “pause”) – properly, to give (experience) rest after the needed task is completed; to pause (rest) “after precious toil and care” (Vine/Unger, White, NT).
Word Origin from ana and pauó Definition to give rest, give intermission from labor, by impl. refresh NASB Word Usage give…rest (1), refresh (1), refreshed (3), rest (3), resting (2), rests (1), take your ease (1). take ease, refresh, give rest. From ana and pauo; (reflexively) to repose (literally or figuratively (be exempt), remain); by implication, to refresh — take ease, refresh, (give, take) rest.”
Notice that not ONCE in the MANY definitions of this Greek word, can we find the word “Sabbath”! When analyzing the Greek, Matthew 11:28 fails to provide support for their position that “Jesus is the Sabbath”.
This type of error is called isogesis which is an interpretation of Scripture that expresses the interpreter’s own preconceived ideas, or bias, vs the seeking the actual meaning of the text.
Let’s be mindful that Jesus NEVER claimed to be the Sabbath. So for those who claim that He did are “bearing false witness against Him”. That is a serious offence.
Additionally the Apostles NEVER claimed Jesus was their Sabbath. We actually read of the Apostles keeping the Sabbath 85 times in the New Testament!
We will continue this next week!
Marsha Basner served on the board of the BSA for many years. www.biblesabbath.org