So I’ve recently been going back and forth with Jack Quirk, Kevin Hadduck and others w/r/t justification and the gift of righteousness. Yesterday (swapping driving duty on our way back from Connecticut) my mom and I were reading Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath aloud to each other (after trying to collaboratively do last week’s NYT Magazine crossword, which didn’t get very far.) I ran into this:
The Sabbath is the most precious present mankind has received from the treasure house of God. All week we think: The spirit is too far away, and we succumb to spiritual absenteeism, or at best we pray: Send us a little of Thy spirit. On the Sabbath the spirit stands and pleads: Accept all excellence from me.
When the author of Hebrews pleads with people to enter into the Sabbath rest of God that is being offered in Christ, I think what he’s saying is something like, The time in history we’re at is the time when the Spirit stands and pleads almost exactly what Heschel says He pleads. (And yes, I know I am calling out of Heschel’s words a trinitarianism he didn’t have in mind.)
I think the legal/accounting ideas about Christ’s merits being transferred to us are right, but I also think that this idea of the Spirit calling us to accept all excellence from the one who is Lord of the Sabbath might make the other ideas make more sense…