Let’s look at a specific case from the Holy Scriptures:
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:1-8)(NASB)
For Pharisees the Sabbath (Saturday) was just a simple tradition, which they were observing with all strictness and were ready to kill anyone who tried to violate it, but they did not try to understand the true meaning of the Sabbath. But the Sabbath (the rest) was just a shadow of the true rest, that we have only in the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not know how attentive they were when the Lord Jesus told them that He is Lord of the Sabbath, or the LORD OF REST. Only He can give us true rest and it is given only to those who believe wholeheartedly in Him and are born again.
Immediately after this discussion with the Pharisees, there was another case:
Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”–so that they might accuse Him. And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. (Matthew 12:9-14)(NASB)
See how dangerous the religion of these people became, since it focused only on human tradition? The Lord Jesus said they observed the Sabbath, but if somehow one of their sheep fell into a pit on that day, they would have infringed on the Sabbath (they would have gone against their beliefs) just to save his sheep. But, if it was about the healing of a man, they did not see its importance and even considered it a sin. What pagan and false priorities these people had … The sheep was on the first place, then, their religion and finally, the man. The Lord Jesus intentionally violated the Sabbath to show them the reality of their religion, which was only a religion, but not a relationship with God, because when you have a relationship with God you love your neighbor as yourself and have mercy on him.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru