“On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” — Luke 23:56
By His glorious death on the cross Jesus delivered us from the Evil One. Even though sorrow and burial and mourning followed Jesus’ death, there also followed a blessed rest such as the world had not experienced after the fall. The devil has been overthrown, and the saints can rest in peace.
Jesus himself kept the Sabbath, resting from His labors like an exhausted champion returning victorious from combat against His enemy. “It is finished,” He said, bowed His head, and slept the sleep of death.
We know what happens tomorrow, and thus we can see today for what it is. It is the day on which our Savior let his weapons lie still, for there was no enemy to strike down. It is the day on which the watchman kept his eyes closed, for the dragon was slain, the gates of the city were open, and the people were free. When the knight can take a Sabbath, then all the people can rest securely.
The Evil One still prowls around, even on this Sabbath. We can see how concerned we ought to be about this when we see how concerned Jesus is. He lies wrapped in the sheets sleeping in. The devil is stripped of his weapons and mortally wounded. He is in the throes of death. He can scowl and scream, but he’s powerless. There’s no need to get up and strike him a second blow. The first one is sufficient, and so we can rest with Jesus in His Sabbath.
Such Sabbath follows the answer to prayer. And because the Father will certainly grant the petitions which his Son has taught us to pray, this rest is ours as soon as the prayer is prayed, regardless of how much time passes before we see the answer. By his Passion Jesus has taught us that the Father hears our prayers and keeps his promises. Thus we can pray, “but deliver us from the Evil One,” say, “Amen,” pull the sheets over our heads, and rest in peace.
Heavenly Father, as Your Son rested on the Sabbath after defeating the devil, so make us partakers of His rest, that we would fear no evil. Amen.