A couple of weeks ago, when we were looking at the ten commandments in chapter 5, a penny dropped. Read this:
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, they never got a break. They never had a holiday. The point of the Sabbath is that they are no longer slaves - they have days off now! Free time! Public holidays to sit in the sun, sipping their honey flavoured milk...
Centuries later, the Pharisees had completely missed the point. All of the rules they set up made people slaves to the Sabbath, you can't do this, you can't do that. But the Sabbath was given for them to enjoy. It was meant as a sign of their freedom. They should revell in it! Sit back, relax and bludge! You are not a slave, so don't act like one.
So what about this commandment and us? Two things:
1. We're not Jews. It was never given to us.
2. We were slaves to sin but we've been freed from that. We can show our freedom by not sinning.