Rested in the tomb
“Now Jesus rested from the work of redemption; and though there was grief among those who loved Him upon earth, yet there was joy in heaven. Glorious to the eyes of heavenly beings was the promise of the future. A restored creation, a redeemed race that, having conquered sin could never fail— this, the result to flow from Jesus’ completed work, God and angels saw. With the scene the day upon which Jesus rested is forever linked. “For His work is perfect;” and “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever.” Deut.
32:4; Eccl. 3:14. When there shall be a “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as “from one Sabbath to another” (Isa. 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow
in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.” p 80, §2.
Keep in mind three things: (1) Mrs White supposed the whole period of the Sabbath Day. (2) She intended the full hours of the Sabbath that “Jesus was at rest”, “in the tomb”. (3) Mrs White
‘links’ these two aspects in order to validate the Sabbath as Day of Christian Worship-Rest. :— “Now Jesus rested from the work of
redemption; ... — this, the result to flow from Jesus’ completed work, God and angels, saw. With the scene, the day upon which Jesus rested, is forever linked. ... the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. .... When there shall be a “restitution of all things .. “from one Sabbath to another” the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.” (I had to insert a comma or two for emphasis.)
“This” – Jesus’ “rest in the tomb”, according to Mrs White – is of such virtue and consequence that, without it, “redemption” could not have been; in fact, according to her, Jesus’ ‘rest in the
tomb’ completes (or completed) ‘redemption’ and ‘restoration’. Jesus’ ‘rest in the tomb’ meant much more than a doing of nothing. Jesus’ ‘rest in the tomb’ in itself, was of such tremendous value and power even angels would see and adore it. “The scene” had such “result” that “flowed” from it, “the day upon which Jesus rested”, i.e., “the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb” – the Sabbath Day –, “is forever linked”, with, “the creation Sabbath” and “the restitution of all things”.
What does Mrs White herself, do here? The same passage, emphasized from yet another angle – from the perspective of ‘finished / completed / perfected’ — “Now Jesus rested from the work of redemption; and though there was grief among those who loved Him upon earth, yet there was joy in heaven. Glorious to the eyes of heavenly beings was the promise of the future. A
restored creation, a redeemed race that, having conquered sin could never fail— this, the result to flow from Jesus’ completed work, God and angels saw. With the scene (of such ‘completed work’), the day upon which Jesus rested, is forever linked. “For His work is perfect;” ... the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing.” She allows herself the principle of association; of connection and relationship. A valid and applicable and indeed an
absolutely relevant and necessary principle! Mrs White without questioning –‘a priori’– decides on the principle of cause and effect; she brings into effect the principle of merit and ‘result’. And she does so with respect to Jesus’ ‘rest in the tomb’, for, the
sanctity and validity of the Sabbath Day for Christian Worship.
Is it not precisely the principle from which the Church departed when it based its argument for the validity of the Christian Day of Worship-Rest on the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Why may the
Church not have argued, ‘The result to flow’ from Jesus’ ‘completed work’ in resurrection, God and angels saw? Why not, ‘The day upon
which’ Jesus ‘conquered’ through resurrection, ‘is forever linked’, ‘with the scene’, of his ‘rest’, by feat of resurrection from the dead? Why not, could the Church have reckoned, “For his work is perfect” ... ‘the day on which’ Jesus went out of Joseph’s tomb, ‘will for ever be’ for the Church of Christ The Day of Rest and Rejoicing? – Why not? Why indeed, because what is it ‘to rest in the tomb’ against to ‘Rest’ in Victory of Resurrection and Completion of all the Works of God? Why not, if the Seventh Day Adventists may as above think of Jesus’ ‘rest in the tomb’, may the Church not think the same of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead as Jesus’ rest FROM the tomb and FROM the dead”? Why may the Church not with regard to the Resurrection, do just that which Mrs White and the Seventh Day Adventists with regard to their supposed ‘rest in the tomb’ of Jesus do, namely, to “link together” or associate it as motive, reason, and basis, with the Christian Day of Worship-Rest? Which honour and glory Christianity most regrettably gave to the First Day of the week and day of pagan idolatry, Sunday, instead of to the Day of God’s determination for these gifts of His from the merits of Christ!
Karl Barth, when he weighed the authority by which the Church changed the Christian Day of Worship-Rest from the Sabbath to the First Day of the week, asked, “Was it not innovation when the primitive Church (so) decided?” He of course reckoned, No, it was no innovation, because the Church changed its Sabbath Day from the Sabbath to the First Day of the week on her conviction of the worthiness and merit of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead --- ‘on that day’ the First Day of the week (meaning Sunday! “What is it that gives this day its special meaning?” asked Barth.) There was – the Church might have thought –, ‘the result from Jesus’ completed work’ through resurrection from the grave; There was – the Church might have thought –, ‘the scene of the day’, which ‘forever would be linked with’ when ‘Jesus at last rested’ in resurrection from the dead! “For His work is perfected” – the Church might have thought –, ... the Redemption-Sabbath, the Day on which Jesus broke the bonds of Joseph’s grave. The Church might have thought “It is the Day the Lord has made”, ‘day of rest and rejoicing’. And that’s why Barth did not think it ‘innovation’. So the Church must have reasoned (but— mistakenly, concerning Sunday).
While Seventh Day Adventistism has always held the idea (or principle), the event makes the day, not the day the event, for authoritarian audacity, they have nevertheless taken opportunistic
advantage of it — only for far less worthy and glorious a reason, having instead of His resurrection preferred Jesus’ humiliated state
in death and grave for that ‘work of redemption’ and ‘restitution of all things’ – for ‘Jesus’ completed work’ – for in fact, his, and God’s ultimate “rest”. They have taken Jesus’ ‘rest in the tomb’, for their sanctification and remembrance of the Christian Day of Worship. They shall deny it, for as sure you live. But here, is, the evidence, that they do!
So we find fault to the left as well as to the right. To the left the Seventh Day Adventists have opted for Jesus’ ‘rest in the tomb’ – the wrong, invalid, event of ‘rest’ – a non-event, ‘in fact’ – for the ‘principle of association’ to finding and defining the Christian Day of Worship-Rest. To the right, the Christian Church General has opted for Jesus’ resurrection from, the tomb – the correct, in fact, no non-event, but the most valid and energetic event of act of God for basis and content of the Christian Day of Worship-Rest! But, unfortunately, the Church opportunistically and irregularly has hit upon the wrong, most invalid and least Scriptural day of Sunday for, and to, this end.
The General Church at least does not disregard and ignore the Resurrection – God’s ultimate Work of Rest in the Completion of all His Works –, where the Seventh Day Adventists deliberately gloss over and ignore it, as were the Resurrection “a bare fact of no importance for the day upon which it happened” (A most commonly used phrase by them! I also have in my possession a personal letter from the “Voice of Prophecy” School, for proof.), staring themselves blind against and favouring a ‘rest in the tomb’, which was not God’s Completing Act, or, the Working of his Rest, but a ‘rest’ of their imagination, for them, of determinative importance for the day upon which, according to them, it, Jesus’ ‘rest’ happened in that it happened “in the grave”! (This page, 80, chapter 7, paragraph 2).
Death and the grave are the wages for sin; and Jesus’ death in the grave was ‘the second death’ – ‘hell’. Death and grave are not God’s rest, but the devil’s punishment. If we as God’s children should keep the Sabbath properly for reason of Jesus’ death and grave payment for our sins, we should this coming Sabbath Day all commit suicide and see to it that we are buried. Please do not blame me for this ugly thought; I am blaming you, dear Seventhday Adventist brothers in Christ, for it. May God forgive me, nevertheless, but it had to be said, for we must take the right course where we at this moment are at the cross-roads of our eternal destiny, either of a destiny of rest in the tomb and death, or, of God’s rest of “the Seventh Day Sabbath Day of the LORD your God” in the glory of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – even “by the glory of the Father”.