Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy. Ezekiel 20:12

In the Old Testament God gave his people the Sabbath as a gift. It was meant to be a blessing—a day of rest. A whole day to do whatever was restful. In the New Testament, we see that the Pharisees complicated the Sabbath with a whole bunch of rules. It became a burden, instead of being a gift of rest as God intended. God gave it to them so that they would know it wasn’t their work that made them holy, rather it was the Lord. Every week, on the Sabbath, God was reminding them salvation wasn’t achieved by their works.

Likewise, every time we gather to share bread and wine in our faith communities, we remember salvation isn’t achieved by our efforts. Maybe that’s why God told us to regularly share the Lord’s Supper, communion or the Eucharist, because it reminds us salvation is a gift. It’s a gift of rest because we don’t work for our salvation. What’s more, we partake often because we so quickly forget. We fall into the trap of the Pharisees and turn the gift of salvation into something we work for.

The writer to the Hebrews tells us, “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

This “once for all” sacrifice means that Jesus’ sacrifice of his life on the cross was sufficient to deal with all sin, past, present and future. It’s an all-sufficient sacrifice for all people. Also, “once for all”, means it never needs to be repeated. Jesus was indeed the perfect sacrifice.