AND THE REST
The seven days of the creation week are not days in the human sense of days. The creation week is not a week as people reckon a week. The day on which God rested, the Sabbath, is not how people reckon the seventh day- it is not a Saturday, nor is it any Sunday or any other day of the week. Genesis is speaking in pictures using days as a way of portraying what it has to say. That which was considered to be a Sabbath is only a shadow of the real Sabbath. The human sabbath is only a copy of the Sabbath in Genesis. Colossians 2:16-17 reads "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of... a sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come but the substance belongs to Christ." (Abridged)
Although God completed his work from the foundation of the world in so far as the world stands now the Sabbath is yet to become. When Jesus healed people some were healed on the seventh day of the Jewish week. This brought him into conflict with the religious people of Judaism. In chapter five of John's Gospel Jesus heals a man who was an invalid, he did this on their sabbath, and answered those who objected in verse seventeen, "My Father is working still and I am working." If God is working still then that day could not have been the Sabbath, because God rests in the Sabbath. God is working still; God was working at the time of Jesus and has not ceased to up to today. God is working still because God has not finished Creation, (although where God is it is complete). God completed his work from the foundation of the world, (Heb.4:3), yet in John 4:34 Jesus says that God's work is not complete; "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work".
Verse one of Genesis chapter one sums everything up and is actually a complete unit of itself- "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". This verse is spoken in the past tense, and is the end of the matter. The next verses are spoken in the present tense where God is creating. The first verse is spoken from the seventh day when creation is complete, where God is no longer working, that is creating,-it is done! God is the beginning and the end of everything and God does not have a beginning and end, God is eternal. That is why from the foundation of the world God's works are finished, Heb.4:3, the Sabbath rest in. Genesis is this "time".
Psalm121:4 says "Behold, he who keeps Israel will not slumber nor sleep." and Phil.1:6 tells that the Lord who began a good work in a person will be faithful to complete it. If the work began in a person is not complete and God is still working, then it can not be the Sabbath spoken of in Genesis. Obviously there have been many more than seven days as days are counted on earth; the days in Genesis are not earthly days. When Jesus replied, "My Father is working still and I am working", to those who asked why he broke the sabbath, he virtually told them it was not the Sabbath.
The human sabbath was instituted as a sign and also gave balance to a community's and individual's life. The gospels tell how Jesus, at times, took the disciples to a deserted place in order to rest and pray after a hectic time of "ministry", see Mk. 6:31-31. Work and career are not the main pursuit and purpose of life. Many possessions and a lot of bread, in the end, will not satisfy. "'Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that which endures for eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.' Then they said to him, 'What must we do, to be doing the works of God?' Jesus answered them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.'"John6:27-29. Ultimately coming into God's rest and ceasing from one's labours is what is to be striven for. The Israelites were given in the Law the command to rest on the seventh day as a sign of the good to come. This rest on the seventh day of the week, as already stated in Col.2:l6-l7 is only a shadow. Hebrews10:1-"For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near."
The Jews were also given circumcision as a sign. Physical circumcision is made with hands; the real circumcision is done without hands and is internal, not external. Physical circumcision denoted the severing of carnality from the person, and was given in lieu of the severing of carnality from the person. True circumcision allows a person to live to the Spirit and not for the flesh: physical circumcision is not needed anymore but being born again is. The Church is the true circumcision. When what is real comes to be then that which until then portrayed it ceases to be needed, it is obsolete and will pass away, cf. Heb.8:13. In lCor.13:10 it says "but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away." and 1Cor. 15:46 states, "But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual." The Jews observed the physical sabbath whereas Jesus is the harbinger of the real Sabbath, the Jewish sabbath is just a copy.
In Luke 6:6-11 Jesus asked the scribes and Pharisees if it was lawful on the sabbath to do good or harm, to save life or destroy it? Then Jesus healed a man's withered hand on their sabbath. If Jesus had not healed the man his inaction would be the same as doing harm, the same as destroying. Proverbs 18:9 "He who is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys." In Luke 13:10-17 Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on a sabbath day and he healed a woman who had been bent over for eighteen years. When he healed her she praised God. The ruler of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed on the sabbath and told the people to come for healing during the other six days not the sabbath. Jesus refuted this and said that they break the sabbath because even they untie their ass or ox on the sabbath, so all the more this woman, a daughter of Abraham, should be and loosed from bondage, so that the work of the Devil is undone. Not working on the sabbath is not good if it works for evil, the Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil- see John3:8. The works of healing Jesus did on these sabbaths was in the spirit of the real Sabbath, to give repose and rest to the weary, see Is. 28:12.
Hebrews 3:7-4:13 says there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God. That if the people under the leadership of Joshua having entered the Promised Land had acquired this rest then that would be it. However the people leaving the oppression of Egypt, the land of bondage, to receive a promised inheritance of land serves as an analogy to instruct. The writer of Hebrews explains that the people under Moses were offered this opportunity to enter this land failed to because of their unbelief and disobedience; this is encapsulated in Psalm 95. Israel's tragic failure and consequent disaster and punishment should serve as a warning and example to whom Hebrews was written, (and to us today). They and we are advised not to harden our hearts if today we hear his voice that is the good news.
If the sabbath rest spoken of in Genesis was an actual day in time then Hebrews could not say there remained a sabbath rest for the people of God to enter, this day would already have been and gone! If the days in Genesis were earthly days after twenty-four hours of coming into God's rest a person would no longer be in God's rest! The author of Hebrews is not disputing the Genesis account but substantiating it. This substantiation disputes some people's rendering of Genesis. The bible shows what the true rendition of Genesis is and what is to be believed about it.
Now using Hebrews as our launch pad lets explore deeper where this Sabbath rest resides. Hebrews 11:10 speaking of Abraham's faith states; "For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Hebrews 11:16 referring to the people of faith states, "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." When did God prepare this city? Answer in the beginning- "A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary."-Jeremiah 17:12. And the name of this city is the New Jerusalem, established at the beginning, to come at the end. To be at the Sabbath, even be as the Sabbath and God is still making this city from living stones, that is the members of the Church are being built into it.
The true Sabbath is that state of being and belonging in Revelation 21:3-4 where the dwelling of God is with his people, that is the heavenly Jerusalem. As things are now we are still in this present creation, which is the present age, still in the working days of the Genesis week. For some the love of God has already been poured into their hearts, God is love and God is not something created. The love of God is not something created, not part of this creation. For some the Sabbath is here because the peace of God resides and reigns in their hearts; Jesus Christ the substance of the Sabbath is already in those who believe into him. For those who have received the Spirit, the Spirit is God's love, the next age has already embarked, not an age of time but eternity. And God will finish his work on the seventh day, (see Gen.2:2a). The separating curtain has been torn between us and our sanctuary- which is the next age; (Lk.23:45, Heb.9:8-9 and 10:19-20). The way to the Sabbath is open through Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus came and shared our earthly life and existence so too will we share his heavenly one. Just as we house the Holy Spirit and are his temple, so too will the Lord Almighty and the Lamb be the temple in the new Jerusalem housing us, where we rest completely in him and he rests wholly in us.
Look at some Old Testament scriptures that pertains to this; Isaiah 62:6-7 "Upon your rules, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth." God can not rest; the Sabbath can not be, until this is so.
Jeremiah 3:17 "At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart."
Even the text in Genesis disputes an earthly time frame, if the time frames were literal earth days then Adam and Eve would have to of filled the earth and subdued it before the Sabbath. Examine Gen.l:26-2:3, on the sixth day God made man and blessed him and instructed him to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it. For God to have finished his work man would have to have multiplied and filled the earth and subdued it, because God would still be working in his blessing upon man. God's work could only be complete when the earth was replete. According to earthly time it takes around nine months to bring another human being into the world, it just can't be done in an earthly twenty four hour day, let alone the world populated.
But it will be done in a day! "Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered a son. Who has heard such a things? Who has seen such a things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in a moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her sons."- Isaiah66:7-8. The son mentioned in these verses from Isaiah is Jesus, the land is the heavenly country, and the nation is the congregation of God's people (taken from many nations). The sons brought forth by Zion are those who share in Jesus Christ's sonship, they make up Christ's body and so are part of him. The multifaceted wisdom of God is seen because these people are the living stones that compose the heavenly city which is the Bride of the Lamb and also these people are the members of this nation- a royal priesthood and holy people. God's time is not Planck's time. To suppose the Sabbath where/when God rests is an actual day in time is a misnomer, it is the day of eternity.