When God created the world, He rested on the seventh day and blessed it, setting it apart from all the other days of the week. Genesis 2:2-3 It was not because God was tired; but He rested and hallowed the seventh day for the good of mankind. Everyone, needs to rest from work one day a week for his own health and well being.
SABBATH FOR ISRAEL
In Exodus 16 God introduced His Sabbath to His people, Israel. The Sabbath, Saturday, the seventh day of the week is observed by all devout Jews. In Exodus 20:8-11 the Sabbath observance is listed as the fourth of the ten commandments. It was just as important and just as binding as the other nine. How seriously does God look at Sabbath breaking? Read the account of a Sabbath breaker whom God commanded to be stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath Day. Numbers 15:32-36
PHARISEES MAKE IT BURDENSOME
During the period of time between Ezra and the coming of Christ, the scribes invented scores of detailed regulations concerning the Sabbath that made life almost intolerable for the Jews. When Jesus began His ministry, He clashed with the scribes and Pharisees over the heavy burdens they had laid upon the people. In Mark 2:27-28 Jesus confronted the Pharisees when they charged His disciples for breaking the Sabbath laws by picking some grain to eat while traveling through a field. Jesus announced to them, “The Sabbath was made for man; and not man for the Sabbath.” He also announced to them that He was ” the Lord of the Sabbath.”
CHRISTIANS OBSERVE THE LORD’S DAY, NOT THE SABBATH
When Jesus was crucified and risen from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week; the early Christians began meeting on that day to worship the risen Christ. Acts 20:7 I Corinthians 16:1 Most Christians today continue to observe Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Some groups still hold fast to their observance of the Sabbath. In Colossians 2:8-23 Paul warns Christians to not allow themselves to be put into bondage concerning the observance of ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. In verse 16 and 17 of that chapter Paul specifically warns Christians to not allow anyone to put them into bondage by requiring them to observe Sabbath days nor any other holy days. In that passage he explains to them that the Sabbath, as well as other ceremonial laws, were all just shadows of one to come and that one was Christ. Christ is our Sabbath just as He is our Passover. I Corinthians 5:7 In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus invites us to come to Him for rest. The writer of Hebrews in chapter 4 speaks further of the rest we can have in Christ as we trust Him.
APPLICATIONS FOR CHRISTIANS
There are two applications for those of us who are trusting Christ for our salvation. First, we are no longer under the Sabbath and other ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. We rejoice in the freedom we have in Christ. Secondly, since God from the creation of the world has seen fit to teach us to rest one day out of seven and since Christians now observe the first day of the week as The Lord’s Day; it seems right that we Christians should take more seriously our privilege and responsibility of observing the Lord’s Day as a day of rest and worship.
Although I would not for one minute seek to put any Christian under bondage, I believe we are missing blessings God has for us when we fail to observe the Lord’s Day as a hallowed day devoted to worship. Many of us are too busy and too tired to be faithful in our church attendance. Perhaps we need to simplify our schedules and rearrange our priorities.
If your work requires you to work on Sunday, God has a solution for you concerning this. Ask Him to show you what He would have you do. Remember what Jesus said,
“The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.”
Christ wants to bless you; not add burdens to your life.
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