The creatures of creation, all those fish and birds and cattle, make it easy to overlook the framework of God’s creation: the sun, moon, and earth itself which ordain our days, months, seasons, and years. Genesis 1:14 says they were created “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” The Hebrew word for seasons also means holy days or feast days. God used the movements of the heavenly bodies to establish a calendar of civil and sacred days that ordered life for the Hebrews and foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah who would be their true Passover lamb, their sinless, unleavened bread of life, and the first fruits of all those who would be resurrected. Even as Jesus fulfilled these spring feast days in his first coming to earth, some look for him to fulfill the fall sacred days when he returns at the last trump to make final atonement and tabernacle with us forever.
My imagination is most captivated by the week. Why did God choose seven days in which to complete all his work and then rest? In God’s arithmetic seven is the number of completion and perfection. Perhaps the week and the number seven are perfect because of the creation it encompassed, or perhaps there is something more basic about the number that motivated God’s design. Either way, there is mercy in the method. The weekly Sabbath of rest breaks up our days into livable blocks of time that help keep us from burning ourselves out and which keep reminding us of our Maker from whom we are so prone to wander.
With the Sabbath God is shouting, “enough.” God had done enough. His creation was perfect, lacking nothing. With the Sabbath he is telling us, “enough.” He has given us six days to accomplish all we can do in our human strength, but on one day each week we must stop our activity and trust God to make up the difference. When Jesus died on the cross he shouted, “it is finished,” or in other words, “enough.” He had done everything in his days that was needed for our salvation. And when He returns from heaven with a shout (I Thessalonians 4:16) the word may well be, “enough.” Enough with this sin-stained world. Let the redeemed enter their eternal Sabbath rest.