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The New Testament Christians did not observe the Sabbath day in the same way the Old Testament Jewish people did. Instead, the early church met on the first day of the week-Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the dead.
There is no special injunction given in Scripture to worship on Saturday, specifically. Now that we are in the new covenant, which came about as a result of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is wrong to set Saturday apart as a special day for worship.
The apostle Paul writes, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new-moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules were only shadows of the real thing, Christ himself” (Colossians 2:16 -17 NLT).
Here are a few more thoughts on the Sabbath:
1. It is the only one of the Ten Commandments that isn’t repeated in the New Testament.
Every other commandment is repeated in the New Testament, and most are made more stringent than the Old Testament Law. But of all the New Testament lists of sins, “breaking the Sabbath” is never mentioned. That is because it was given to the Jews, not the non-Jews.
2. Jesus never taught anyone to keep the Sabbath.
Jesus actually broke the Sabbath law, as it was observed in the Jewish culture (see Matthew 12:1-14). The religious leaders had so perverted and twisted the meaning of the Sabbath that it was turned into a miserable, religious mess.
Because Jesus healed people on the Sabbath day, the Pharisees said He had broken the Sabbath. He reminded them, “Man was not made for the Sabbath, but Sabbath for man” (Mark 2:27 NKJV).
It’s sad how religion takes the place of a relationship with God. It becomes all about going through rituals and rules, with no real thought of God Himself.
3. The apostles never taught anyone to keep the Sabbath.
In fact, they began meeting on the first day of the week – Sunday – because that was the day that Jesus rose from the dead. In fact, they spoke against turning Sabbath into a religious law for Christians.
Look at the apostle Paul’s statement from Colossians: “For these rules were only shadows of the real thing, Christ himself” (Colossians 2:17 NLT).
Let’s say I was coming back from a long trip away from my wife and kids, and I can’t wait to be reunited with them. While getting off the plane, I see them as the sun casts a long shadow in front of them. It would make no sense to run over and try to hug their shadows when the real thing is right in front of me!
In the same way, the Sabbath was a “shadow of things to come.” Jesus is the real thing. Everything the Sabbath was pointing to was fulfilled in Jesus Christ!
Hebrews 4:9-11 says, “So there is a special rest (or Sabbath rest) still waiting for the people of God. For all who enter into God’s rest will find rest from their labors, just as God rested after creating the world. Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall” (NLT).
Other religions say “DO,” while Jesus Christ says “DONE!” I no longer have to sacrifice animals in order to approach God, because Jesus made the sacrifice for me.
In the same way, I am not under the command to keep just one day for the Lord, but to live every day for Him!