I was reading this week in the Gospel of Luke about some things that Jesus had to say about the Sabbath. After His disciples took some flak from the Pharisees for plucking and eating ears of grain while walking through the grain fields on the Sabbath, Jesus replied, “The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
Much has been written and discussed about the meaning of the above words of Jesus. The thought that came to me is that, while we may have our own notions of how things “ought to be,” when it comes to the Sabbath, it ultimately comes down to “what does Jesus (the Lord of the Sabbath) want for this day.”
In this connection, it is interesting to note that Jesus was crucified on a Sabbath eve, and lay in the tomb for an entire Sabbath (actually two Sabbaths, since, if my timeline is correct, one of the days was a “Feast Sabbath”). None of his disciples could have been thinking at the time that it was an ideal situation. There they were, scattered and confused on the Sabbath, bewildered at the events that had just taken place. Jesus, who had been with them on Sabbaths past, walking with them as they ate grain in the fields; Jesus, who had performed miracles the Sabbath, was now laying in a tomb. Even though Jesus had clearly told them this must come to pass, it couldn’t have been easy for the disciples to endure.
Yet, Jesus was then, and still is today, the Lord of the Sabbath. God’s plan of redemption required the fulfillment of all that happened on those gloomy days two thousand years ago; whether or not the disciples understood it all clearly at the time. And, of course, we know the rest of the story – up from the grave He arose!
So it is today sometimes. Gloomy and distinctly “un-Sabbath-like” experiences come into our lives at the most inconvenient times. God’s plan remains in motion, and His redemption draweth nigh, whatever appearance external circumstances may give. May there always be comfort and hope for us in the words of the Master, who declared himself “the Lord of the Sabbath.” And when there are days of joy and peace, we can give Him thanks for his perfect plan, for us and for this whole world.