Lord Of The Sabbath

I have provided this brief synopsis on the Sabbath. I pray you come up with the same conclusions I did. Why is this such a controversy? Growing up, Sunday was always “church day.” In our community about 25 years ago, there was a huge uproar about Sunday shopping because in our city there were businesses that wanted to be open on Sunday. Nobody had really questioned it before, it was just the tradition and practice of our community A business took the city to court, and eventually the courts decided to allow businesses to be open on Sunday. Right or wrong, it’s just the way it was. I’ve always believed Sunday to be the Sabbath with no other thought it could be on Friday to Saturday night. Because that’s just the way it was for nearly 2 milleniums. Until I started to read further about the history of the Sabbath, and what exactly does the bible say, or doesn’t say about the Sabbath being moved to Sunday. You may or may not agree with the conclusions I have come up with, and the arguments I have presented.

The Sabbath was a gift for us before there were any commandments, laws, bible’s, even the creation of man, etc. According to Bible Gateway, the Sabbath was mentioned no less than 45 times from Matthew through to John. Many of Jesus’s teachings were on the day of the Sabbath and proper observance of it. So that in itself means we better pay attention to the Sabbath and it’s that our Saviour is trying to tell us.

Genesis 2:3: “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
Further God made it a commandment, Exodus 20:8: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Then again in Deuteronomy 5:12: “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you.” And again God says it, but with a little bit more emphasis, Deuteronomy 5:15 says: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” Got your attention now? It meant something to the Lord.

Even the land that was tilled had its own Sabbath, Leviticus 25:4: “But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.”

What was the purpose of the Sabbath?
Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, “TheSabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Hebrews 4:9-11There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,just as God did from his.Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

The Sabbath is a gift to rest in the Messiah from all our weariness, troubles and sorrows. The Lord of the Sabbath says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me,all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” It’s a weekly, open invitation to meet with the Lord on the day he has chosen and be closer with Jesus.

Jesus led a perfect, sinless life and many of the teachings and miracles were on the Sabbath.

Luke 4:16: “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,”
Luke 6:6: “On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled.”
Luke 13:10: “[ Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath ] On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,”
Mark 6:2: “When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?”

Even in death his disciples made sure to fully observe the Sabbath as they were taught by their Master. Luke 23:54-56 “It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes.But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” He taught them that the Sabbath was so Holy, it meant waiting an extra day to honor the body of our Saviour.

Paul continued to observe the Sabbath in synagogues throughout his ministry as it was for Jews and Gentiles alike. There was never any implication that the Sabbath was one of two choices for the day of worship. Acts 15:21For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath reaffirms that since the time of Moses, the Sabbath was always on the Saturday.

If we had a choice on which day was the Sabbath and it was somewhat arbitrary, then why would Jesus prophetically warn us with this? Matthew 24:19-21 “How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. So when the time of judgement occurs, the Jew will rest (if safe) from Friday to Saturday, but the Christian should rest on Sunday? Does this mean we have two separate Sabbaths for two different people? It’s time we get back on God’s calendar and observe what he gave to us from the very beginning.

God even changed the calendar back at Passover, Exodus 12:1-3 “TheLordsaid to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,“This month is to be for you the first month,the first month of your year.Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lambfor his family, one for each household. So he has the power and authority to change the calendar, so why couldn’t God have devoted one verse to changing the Sabbath? One itsy bitsy, “You shalt observe the Sabbath on Sunday” verse would really have cleared up a lot of confusion and divisiveness amongst people. Or maybe, he had no intention of EVER changing his Holy day.

If you do some research, you will see that the Sabbath was never practiced until around the Second Century. One of the Church Fathers, Ignatius wrote “Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in the days of idleness…But let every one of you keep the Sabbath in a spiritual manner…not in relaxation, not in eating things prepared the day before, not in finding delight in dancing and clapping which have no sense in them” (Pseudo Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians). Why did he write this? Because Paul’s and John’s churches were still observing the Sabbath. They were doing this because after the Second Jewish Revolt, Rome was persecuting all believers, and them wanting to disassociate themselves from Jewish believers to avoid persecution. That was one of the reasons. There are many more you will have to read and pour over to see the anti-semitism that existed around this period. Well throughout history is probably more accurate.

Nothing I have read in the Bible even has me thinking the Sabbath has changed. So is Sunday worship one of the traditions that Jesus was talking about in Mark 7:8-9 “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”And he continued,“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observeyour own traditions! I truly believe it’s time we arrive to serve and worship him at the time he appointed, not ours.