Jesus and the Sabbath Rest
Passage: Hebrews 3:7–4:13
BIG PICTURE: The ultimate antitype of Sabbath (“rest”) is the salvation we have in Christ Jesus. Neither the Sabbath-rest nor the rest in the Promised Land constitute the ultimate rest, for in Psalm 95, “a long time later” (4:7), God still invites people to enter his rest, on the condition of persevering faith (4:2, 11). The ultimate rest, the writer of Hebrews insists, can only be the Gospel, in which men and women cease from their works (as God rested from his at Creation).
Sabbath means “rest”
Typology analyzes how New Testament persons, events, and institutions (called
“antitypes”) fulfill Old Testament persons, events, and institutions (called “types”) by
repeating the Old Testament situations at a deeper, climactic level in salvation history.
Warning 1: (a moralizing reading of Psalm 95) Avoid Israel’s example of unbelief, Christian: persevere or perish (3:7-19).
Warning 2: (a typological reading of Psalm 95) Christian, make every effort to enter into the ultimate rest, which is the salvation we have in Jesus (4:1-13).
Simplified Biblical Time Line
The “faithless generation” of Israelites are delivered from Egypt, but die in the
wilderness over a span of 40 years (circa 1540 - 1501 BC).
Israel enters into the “Promised Land Rest” under Joshua, circa 1500 BC.
500 years later, the psalmist writes Psalm 95, circa 1000 BC.
Hebrews is written sometime before AD 70, around 1100 years after Psalm 95.