Discovering what the Sabbath really means for Christians
One of the Ten Commandments was to “remember the sabbath to keep it holy.” As Christians, we are always saying the Ten Commandments are still a necessary part of God’s Law that we should keep. So, why do the vast majority of Christians have their “day of rest” on Sunday when the sabbath God set up for His people was Saturday? Are we really saying to keep only nine of those Ten Commandments? Are we being too creative with God’s word? What should we learn from the fact that no New Testament Scripture officially moves the sabbath to Sunday? Is the “rest” of a Christian different than the “rest” referred to in the Jewish Law? Are Christians required to cease from all work on their sabbath?
The template was drawn
Any conversation about the sanctity of this day needs to begin with how the whole day of rest idea started. As things with ancient beginnings related to humanity go, the Sabbath Day is right up there with the oldest on record. The account of creation is specific, and God Himself was the template from which the sabbath was drawn. Once God finished the work of the six days of creation, He rested. Not only does Genesis 2 tell us He rested, it tells us He sanctified the seventh day. This means He set it apart for the purpose of holiness.
Its role in Jewish Law
Fast forward to the time of Moses and the giving of the Ten Commandments, and we see the day of rest played a central role in Jewish Law and tradition. Remembering this day and keeping it holy was the fourth of the Ten Commandments. These ten guidelines for living were literally carved in stone. They represented the basis for all of the Laws of Israel. Not only was the seventh day of every week to be holy, God also required other "rest" days of His people throughout the year. In short, the sabbath was a central way to commune with God.
How does Jesus fit in?
Enter Jesus. He comes along and not only announces that he is Lord of the Sabbath, but he also says the sabbath was made for man. What does that mean? Additionally, Jesus often healed on the sabbath, which his detractors used to accuse him of doing unlawful work on that sacred day of rest. Was Jesus himself turning the traditions of the sabbath upside down?
Check out our May 25, 2020 podcast, “What does the Sabbath Look Like for Christians?” for more. We recognize the power of this day and carefully observe how Jesus himself treated it. More importantly, we trace why he did the things he did and what it all meant to his followers. New Testament Christians did not keep the Sabbath Day as the Jews of their time did. Walk with us as we uncover the beautiful pearls of wisdom that explain what the sabbath is supposed to mean for Christians. This journey can add sacred value to your life!
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