The Sabbath (or Shabbat, as it is called in Hebrew) is one of the best known and least understood of all Messianic Jewish observances. To those who observe Shabbat, it is a precious gift from Adonai, a day of great joy eagerly awaited throughout the week, it is a time when we can set aside all of our weekly concerns and devote ourselves to pleasing our Heavenly Father in the way and at the time that He desires. Everyone knows that the seventh day of the week, Saturday is the Shabbat, what many people do not know is that it begins on Friday night at sundown and ends Saturday evening at sundown. One of the great joys of Shabbat for those who have children is the blessing of the children. Every Shabbat, every child of the community is prayed over and a blessing is pronounced over them either at home by their parents or in Shabbat service by the Congregational Elders.
Shabbat is the most important commanded observance in the Messianic Movement. Shabbat is the only ritual observance instituted in the Ten Commandments, it is number 4, the one that everyone knows but very few keep. (Exodus 20:8-11) The word ‘Shabbat’ comes from the Hebraic root Shin-Bet-Tav, meaning to cease, to end, or to rest. On Shabbat we are instructed to follow Adonai’s example by ceasing from all creative work. Shabbat is a day of rest from creative labor, a designated day to purposefully step aside from our worldly cares and to draw near to Adonai at His appointed Time. Yeshua said in John 14:15, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.’ We do, and so we keep His Shabbat, His appointed time. Shabbat, contrary to many opinions is not a burden, but truly a delight.