Why We Celebrate Shabbat at Highway to Zion
Shabbat Shalom, Dear Friends!
Last weekend's Highway to Zion Assembly was such a blessing as we welcomed in Shabbat together and received the very special blessing of having Chaim Malespin of Aliyah Return Center in the Galilee, Israel, come to worship and share with us.
Bless all of you for coming and for being "mishpocha" (family).
The afterglow of lighting the Shabbat candles and drinking the Shabbat "wine" (in our case, grape juice), eating the challah and then remembering Yeshua, who is our Shabbat Rest with communion in His Presence continues to flow over me like Ointment from heaven! Todah, Abba! (Thank you, Father!)
As all of us at Highway to Zion continue together in our Messianic faith, the Lord is helping us define our particular "Messianic culture". We are finding such amazing joy as we learn to walk out our desire to live authentically in Him with a faith grounded solidly in our Hebraic roots.
At the same time, we also know that Jews and Gentiles are called together to be "one new man" and that expressions among different groups of followers of Yeshua sometimes look different from each other. My earnest belief is that in "that day" every follower of Yeshua will most certainly walk in Messianic faith, honoring our foundations and the one true God, the God of Israel. I believe with all my heart that Messianic Reformation is coming to the "church", not just to certain groups, but to all the followers of Yeshua ha Mashiach.
I wanted to share about how we are being led to celebrate Shabbat in our Highway to Zion family, praying that it will be a blessing to you and that this information could be a catalyst for your deeper personal study. There is so very much that could be shared and taught about this subject, and I've only touched the surface in the teaching below, but I am asking Him to anoint it with His favor for our deepening worship of Him. The Scriptures are the Light and the understanding will come from the Ruach (Spirit), so make sure it is the Word that you study and receive His revelation.
WHY WE CELEBRATE SHABBAT
Because Abba commanded it!
And Yeshua fulfills the commandment!
(Ex. 20:8-11; Dt. 5:12-15; Ex. 16:23; Matt. 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Lk. 6:1-11; Heb. 4:1-11)
Shabbat themes include: Creation, Redemption, Rest
The word “Shabbat” comes from the root letters “shin-beit-tav” and means to cease, to end, to rest.
Shabbat, the seventh day, was observed by God, Himself, after He created the world – God blessed the seventh day and made it holy:
Shabbat is the first Feast that the Lord commanded we observe:
Shabbat is one of the Ten Commandments:
Yeshua is the fulfillment of Shabbat, just as He is the fulfillment of every Feast and every jot and tittle of the Word. He is the Lord of Shabbat. Yeshua said that Shabbat is made for man and not man for Shabbat:
On Shabbat we remember that Yeshua is our Sabbath Rest – the ultimate Rest of God – eternity with Him. He is our Redemption and our Deliverer into total Rest and Freedom. The deliverance of Israel out of Egypt symbolizes Yeshua’s sacrifice and our freedom from death:
Shabbat is an everlasting sign between God and His people for all generations. The people of God are those who celebrate Shabbat. God says to observe Shabbat so that you will know that He is the Lord who makes you holy, who sanctifies you:
I pray that you will study these Scriptures and seek the face of the Lord as He leads you ever deeper into Him. The glory of walking and living in His Word prepares us for the soon-coming Messianic Kingdom. We are called to live as priests and to walk in a holiness that comes from Him.
HOW WE CELEBRATE SHABBAT
We are followers of Yeshua (Jesus), practicing our Messianic Faith. We are not “rabbinical”, but we often celebrate the Feasts of the Lord within the context of their Hebraic foundations, so sometimes our ways of expressing our Messianic Faith look very “Jewish”. It is a blessing to join our hearts with Israel and the Jewish people as we worship the one true God, the God of Israel.
Because our Biblical foundations are firmly rooted in the Original Covenant (Old Testament) and revealed through our Messiah Yeshua in the New Covenant (New Testament), we are finding great joy in walking out the revelation of the total Word of the Lord, from Genesis to Revelation!
We do not observe Shabbat or any Feasts out of the compulsion of legalism or rabbinical rules or instructions. We are free to celebrate Yeshua in faith and love and fullness of worship, whether with Gentile/Christian or Jewish cultural expressions. We worship Him in Spirit and Truth. We are free to choose to celebrate Shabbat using whatever expression of our Messianic faith as the Lord leads us.
“SHABBAT CANDLE-LIGHTING AND BLESSINGS”
In Judaism there is a beautiful ceremony to welcome Shabbat, which involves candle-lighting, challah (braided bread) and wine (kiddush). It is a culturally Jewish and rabbinical expression, but we celebrate it within the context of Yeshua our Messiah. It is one way to mark the beginning of the day of rest, the beginning of Shabbat. We are blessed to use this expression because it allows us to celebrate Shabbat using the Messianic version of the blessings at the same time that our Jewish friends all over the world are also welcoming Shabbat. It is one way to identify with the culture of Yeshua’s earthly mishpocha (family) and to embrace solidarity with the people He chose as the nation who would reveal Him as God to all of the other nations of the world. We bless the Lord, the Creator, who commanded us to observe Shabbat! (Messianic Shabbat Candle-lighting and Blessings versions that we use at Highway to Zion are included with this article.)
MESSIANIC SHABBAT BLESSINGS
LIGHTING THE CANDLES
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu, Melech Ha-Olam,
Asher kid’shanu bidvaro, v’natan lanu et Yeshua M’shicheinu,
V’tzivanu l’hiyot ohr l’olam
Blessed are You Adonai, our God, King of the Universe,
Who has sanctified us with His Word, and has given us Yeshua our Messiah,
And commanded us to be light to the world.
KIDDUSH – BLESSING OVER THE WINE
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech Ha-olam,
Borei p’ri ha-gafen.
Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, King of the Universe,
Who creates the fruit of the vine.
HA MOTZI – BLESSING OVER THE BREAD
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam,
Ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.
Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, King of the Universe,
Who brings forth bread from the earth.
Note: Blessings from “Tree of Life” Bible
A COMMUNION PRAYER FOR SHABBAT
By: Cathy Hargett for Highway to Zion Mishpocha
Yeshua, we bow before You. You are the Light of the World, the Creator of all
things. In all our ways, we acknowledge that you are the fullness of Elohim.
We thank you for Shabbat.
We bless you, Lord, that you are our Shabbat, our Eternal Rest, and that you are
in the Father and we are in you and you are in us.
As we celebrate Shabbat, with great thanksgiving and joy,
we remember you, Yeshua, as you told us to do.
We remember that you are our Redeemer, our Savior, the Lamb of God, the One
who died for us, atoned for our sins and rose to life so that we might live forever
with you in the Kingdom.
We thank you that you are the Bread of Life. As we eat the Bread, we
remember your Body, broken for us.
As we drink the wine, we remember what you said, that whenever we do this, we
remember that this is the New Covenant in your blood.
We eat the Bread, your Body, and we drink the Cup, your Blood. We
remember you and proclaim your death and your life until you come back to us.
We thank you that you told us that you will partake of the Bread and Wine with us again
when it finds fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.
We love you and worship you, blessed King Yeshua. You are the King of kings,
Melech ha melachim, and the Lord of lords, Adonai ha adonim.
And you are Lord of Shabbat.
(Scripture notes: Col. 1:16,19; John 14:20; John 6:31-59; Luke 22:7-20; I Cor. 11:23-26; Matt. 12:1-13; Mark 2:23-28; Lk. 6:1-11; Rev. 19:9; Heb. 4:1-11;
Matt. 11:28-30; Dt. 10:17; Rev. 17:14; Rev. 19:16)
“…The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”