44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” j When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. 
Our passage today ends with the note that the women “rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” But they weren’t the only ones in this passage keeping the Sabbath. So was Jesus. And in a most profound way. It is also rather ironic, considering that one of the accusations leveled against Jesus was that He violated the Sabbath. Here in His moment of redemption, He was keeping the Sabbath like never before. God was keeping Sabbath more completely even than on day seven of creation. Jesus was resting in death in the tomb on the Sabbath.
This concluding note about Sabbath rest jumped out at me today. Perhaps because I didn’t sleep well last night and still feel in need of rest this morning. Perhaps because I have been working more than I should lately, and didn’t take my day off Monday this week, and so feel convicted. (Don’t read that and say, “What a hardworking pastor!” Instead say “Pastor is not practicing what he preaches about Sabbath rest.”) The workaholic mantra comes to mind as well: “I’ll rest when I’m dead.” But is this God’s will for me? For us? Is this living in light of the rest Jesus took in the tomb for me?
Luke records Jesus’ last words before entering His Sabbath rest: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Perhaps this is the model for heeding God’s call and command for Sabbath Rest. It’s about committing myself, my work, my worries, my frustrations, my hopes and my life into the Father’s hands. Acknowledging that He is the prime actor of my life, not me myself. He is the author of my life and my eternal life, but also the author of my life this day with all that it entails. Surely I can trust Him to hold it in His hands, and so find rest.
Father, into your hands I commit all that I am, all that I am called to be and do. Grant me grace to rest in You.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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