Reflections: Wednesday the Fifth Week of Lent

March 29,  2023

Today’s Reading:  Luther’s Small Catechism – Ten Commandments – Third Commandment

Daily Lectionary: Ex 4:1-18, Mark 15:1-15

Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy. 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God wasn’t tired after making everything. The Sabbath isn’t a chance to parrot God catching His breath. The focus on abstaining from work on the Sabbath day misses the point.  The point of the Commandment is in the word holy.  You will not be holier by sitting on the couch eating junk food.  Jesus insists the Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath because this day was not given as a measuring stick for you to prove yourself to God by…doing nothing.  It only serves to prove how sinful we are that we somehow fail at even doing nothing to the point that the Pharisees would pick at each other and even our Lord.  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  So instead of looking to your works, look to something actually holy.  Look to Jesus. 

The Sabbath day won’t become holy to you who are unholy in your sins.  There’s nothing you can do to make the day holy.  It’s like trying to clean a table with a dirty rag.  The Sabbath day becomes holy for you when you’re exposed to something holy.  The Sabbath day becomes holy to you when you do not despise preaching or God’s Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.  Go to church.  Receive God’s gifts.  He insists a day be set aside to make you holy.  The reason God set aside the seventh day wasn’t because He was tired. It was so God could spend time with you. Our rest is found in receiving the Word and Sacraments that take away our sins and leave us holy.  

It’s also why we celebrate the Sabbath on the first day, not the seventh.  This is the day Jesus rose from the grave.  This is the day a holy God conquered unholy sin and death.  It isn’t about the day.  It’s about the gifts.  He gives you His Body and Blood to eat and drink.  He gives you His Word, promising peace, forgiveness, and joy.  He sets aside time and insists you join Him so that you would not remain in your unholiness and sin, but that He would dwell with you to cleanse you and bring you with Him to the last great day when the sabbath rest will be unending.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

“You shall observe the worship day That peace may fill your home, and pray, And put aside the work you do, So that God may work in you.” Have mercy, Lord! (“These are the Holy Ten Commands” LSB 581:4)

– Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.