On this day, Jesus rested in accordance with the Jewish Sabbath. He is a day’s travel away from Jerusalem. The coming week would be like no other in human history. The world was going to get turned upside down in a few days. And Jesus rested.
It takes a lot of planning and preparation to observe the Jewish Sabbath. On Friday afternoon, meals have to be prepare for that evening and for the entire next day as well. Any projects that cannot wait until Sunday must be completed. The Sabbath rest begins with a special ceremony in the family home. As part of that ceremony, the mother of the house lights candles. Light dispels the darkness as night falls.
There is something healing and restorative about a Sabbath rest. It pulls us away from the worldly voices that cry out to us, “You have to prove yourself,” and the inner voices that whisper, “You don’t measure up.” And in the quietness of a Sabbath rest, we can hear our heavenly Father’s gentle voice assuring us, “You do not need to prove yourself to me. Because of Jesus, I love and accept you just as you are. You are my beloved and forgiven child. All you have to do is truly believe and receive that this is true, because it is. And mine is the only opinion of you that truly counts. I am your God.”
Jesus had much work to do. Within seven days, heaven and earth were going to meet and Satan’s power would be smashed, all on a crude wooden cross. And yet, Jesus rested.