Chapter 15 About the Sabbath Day
Regarding the Sabbath, Jesus set an example with a firm view that the Sabbath should be observed. Jesus went into the synagogue to keep the Sabbath as was his custom, and He corrected the false ideas of the people at that time concerning the Sabbath;
【Mark 2:27-28】 「Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”」
Jesus created the heaven and the earth, and Jesus, who created it for six days and rested on the seventh day, is the master of the Sabbath. What does it mean? Did Jesus establish the Sabbath more firmly? Or did He vanish the Sabbath? Yes, He established the Sabbath more firmly and gave new meaning to the Sabbath. The Lord Jesus said He is the master of the Sabbath even in the age of the New Testament.
The date or day of feasts has never been changed, only the commandment how to keep it was changed from the old covenant to the new covenant. In the New Testament, there are so many records about the Sabbath more than fifty times.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee, the Scripture said, rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment after Jesus’ crucifixion. They had followed the funeral, seen the tomb and how His body was laid. Then, they went home and kept the Sabbath.
【Luke 23:53-56】 「Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 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.」
The record of the apostles’ keeping of the Sabbath day is found in various places in Acts.
【Act 13:14】 「On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down.」
【Act 13:44】 「On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.」
【Act 15:21】 「For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”」
【Act 16:13】 「On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.」
【Act 17:2】 「As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,」
【Act 18:4】 「Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.」
The apostle Paul who preached Gentile area went into the synagogue on every Sabbath days as his custom, and explained and proved that Jesus is the Christ.(Act. 17:2-3) In the book of Acts, there is a record that Paul has gone into the synagogue to preach about Jesus on every Sabbath during one and half year. (Act. 18:4-11)
The apostle Paul kept the Sabbath as his custom in every places where he went to preach the gospel. And Jesus also told us to pray that the last day of destruction we have to flee would not meet the Sabbath.(Matt. 24:20)
Of course, the Sabbath Jesus kept is different with that of the Old Testament. The priests made an offering of two lambs and put the bread of the Presence according the regulation of the Old Testament. As it is written;
【Num 28:9-10】 「” ‘On the Sabbath day, make an offering of two lambs a year old without defect, together with its drink offering and a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is the burnt offering for every Sabbath, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering.」
【Lev 24:5-8】 「”Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf. Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD. Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire. This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant.」
The Sabbath Jesus kept, however, is to worship the Lord in the name of Jesus. As it is written;
【John 4:24】 「God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”」
【Rome 12:1】 「Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.」
【Col 3:16】 「Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.」
【Eph 5:19-21】 「Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.」
Both of Catholic and Protestant churches offer Sunday service without biblical basis. The Catholic Church admits that the basis for Sunday worship is not in the Bible and says it has been changed by the authority of the Catholic church since 4th century. But there are many contradictions in the claims of the Protestant Church. Because they insist that the Early church used to keep the Sunday with the Sabbath day together, respecting the Jesus’ resurrection, based on the book of Acts.(Act. 20:7)
But if you look into the verses more closely, you can realize that the meeting on the first day of the week is to celebrate the Feast of the Firstfruits, that is, the day of resurrection.
【Lev 23:10-11】 「”Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.」
The day after the Sabbath following the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the Feast of Firstfruits. And the Feast of the Firstfruits has been fulfilled through the resurrection of Jesus who was raised on the day after the Sabbath following the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As it is written;
【Mark 16:9】 「When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week(the day after the Sabbath)」
【1Cor 15:20】 「But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.」
Under the understanding of the above verses, you can realize that the meeting on the first day of the week in Act. 20:7 is to celebrate the day of resurrection.
【Act 20:6-7】 「But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days. On the first day of the week we came together to break bread.」
Rather, the Catholic church honestly speaks of the Sabbath’s transition from Saturday to Sunday. But the Protestant churches are trying justify their false claims by interpreting the Bible differently.
Some people insists in the different way that the Sunday is the Lord’s day which is recorded in Revelation. But we have to know that the Lord’s day had been called the Sabbath day before it was changed into Sunday in 4th century.
It is a fact proved historically that the Sabbath is the gospel of Jesus which has been given to us as His example.