Have you ever wondered if it really matters that we have a seven day week? Simply put, it’s because God created everything in six literal, 24-hour days, rested on the seventh, and commanded us to model our lives after that. When God makes a commandment like that, He usually has a point He is making a reason for it, if only we will pay close attention to what He is doing. Creation week is actually closely tied to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, beautifully illustrating the Gospel of God’s incomprehensible grace.
Just before Jesus was crucified, spilling His precious blood for our ransom, He came into Jerusalem with His disciples to celebrate Passover. The day that Jesus was crucified was “preparation day”, the day before a very important Sabbath day of rest from work – Passover Sabbath (see John 19:14, 31, and 42; Mark 15:42). Of course, this preparation day was about getting all the work done before it was time to stop working and rest.
Here’s the key: right before Jesus died on the cross, He said “It is finished”
Our Savior FINISHED the work, once, for all and forever, right before the Sabbath day. In the beginning, in Genesis 2, God finished His creation work right before He originally instituted the Sabbath to be a day of rest. The work is finished right before the Sabbath. What exactly is the Sabbath? It is a day to set aside for worship and rest (see Deuteronomy 5:12-15). Because Jesus finished the work, we are welcome to enter into His rest and rise in newness of life, as a new creation.
What’s the point of all this? GRACE! You see, the work is DONE – Christ said “It is finished”, and He meant it! There is absolutely nothing else we can do to add to the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Only after we accept that the work is done and enter into His Sabbath rest can we rise with Him in newness of life, on the first day of creation week (Mark 16:1-2), rising as a new creation in Christ. The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day totally missed it – the Sabbath is not about following a rule, but about accepting the finished work of God’s marvelous grace. Our salvation does not depend on a work list of rules for us to follow, but a loving relationship of rest and peace in knowing the work is done and all we have to do is enter into that rest and let Him make us into a new creation.
Just because we are saved by grace and want to share that grace with others does not mean that we compromise Truth or continue in sin (see Romans 6). One of the reasons we must not compromise the Biblical Truth that God created everything in six literal, 24-hour days and rested on the seventh is because doing so would corrupt this illustration of salvation by grace. Such thinking would be a huge insult to the Lamb of God Who finished the work for you. If we allow those days of creation to be stretched into millions of years of death and suffering, we are defiling the picture of God’s perfect work being completed so that we can enter into His rest. Creation week and young earth creation are important because they are pivotal to understanding and remembering salvation by grace. So, enter into the rest of His completed work and let Him make you into a new creation, just as He did on the first day of creation week.