To Sabbath or Not to Sabbath: Fact#4

Continuing our effort to have a correct understanding of the meaning of Sabbath, let’s examine the fourth fact of this amazing biblical word.

As before, here is the source text for our study, Genesis 2:1-3 from the English Standard Version:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

FACT #4: Saturday, the seventh day of the week, is widely known as the weekly Sabbath. However, Saturday is not the real Sabbath. It has never been that weekly day. That weekly day is a reminder, a vivid picture of the real Sabbath. The genuine Sabbath is a rest. The Sabbath of the Jewish people is a shadow or picture of that rest. All of the Old Testament shadows pointed to Christ. Paul says in Colossians 2:16-17 NLT: “So don’t let anyone condemn you …for not celebrating…Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.” Every prediction of the OT was a preview of the One coming who would fulfill the requirements of the law. Each lamb brought as an offering was a shadow of the work of Christ. Each time there was a burnt offering, each bit of incense offered was a picture of the fragrance of Jesus Christ. The tabernacle itself was a shadow of Him. The high priest, his clothes, his office, were all shadows of Christ as our High Priest. These facts are all brought to living color in the New Testament book of Hebrews. These OT shadows were looking forward to the One who would satisfy and complete them. When the work of Jesus Christ was finish the shadows were no longer needed.

Some religious groups have claimed that the Pope changed the Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday by papal edict around the 3rd or 4th century. There is no historical data to validate those claims. The Sabbath has always been Saturday and will always be. Sunday is the first day of the week. To call it Sabbath and claim it as a day of rest is just legalism.

Christians see Sunday as the Lord’s day, the first day of the week. Why, because it was the day of resurrection when the Lord Jesus came out of the tomb. On that day a new day began—the Lord’s day. Christians ceased observing the Sabbath because the reality of the cross (Colossians 2:13-17).

 Therefore, the fourth part to solving the puzzle of the Sabbath is that for Christians its observance ended at the cross.


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