Saturday or Sunday Sabbath

I have been surfing the web and came across a church group that believes the resurrection was on the Sabbath (Saturday) and that worship of Jesus or His resurrection on Sunday, or any other day, is sinfully wrong and can be a determining factor in salvation. Please help me with this!

 

This church’s claim that it is sinful to worship Jesus on any day other than Saturday is false teaching. There is nothing in the Bible to support such a claim and there is plenty the refutes it. Additionally, their claim that the day on which Christians gather to worship has a determining factor in salvation is both sad and heretical. Sad, because it denies the sufficiency of Jesus’ atoning death, and heretical because it makes salvation works-based. Salvation is a gift, freely given to all repentant sinners who believe and trust in Jesus’ work on the cross for the forgiveness of their sins and the salvation of their souls. 

What Day of the Week?

Certainly, we should gather to worship Jesus.  So on what day should that be? The Bible is clear about God’s instructions to the Nation of Israel.  They were to keep the seventh day of the week, Saturday, as the Sabbath day of rest  (Exodus 20:8, Deuteronomy 5:12). However, we in the Church, the Body of Christ, are not the Nation of Israel.  We live under the New Covenant that was established with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, not the Old Covenant.

Our Sabbath rest is not a designated day. Rather it is a divine Person Our sabbath rest is the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4).  In Him we find our rest, and it’s not on Saturday, nor on Sunday, It is every day of the week.  Our Sabbath is a continual rest, that is without ceasing.  We abide and we rest in the richness of the gifts that He has given us.  Our rest is in knowing we have eternal life with Jesus and our rest is in surrendering to the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit who teaches and guides us.  

Therefore, gathering for fellowship and corporate worship can be any day of the week. Sunday is perfectly acceptable as a day of worship.  It should be noted that the apostolic church of the first century, which formed immediately after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven, met on Sunday, the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).  Sunday has been the traditional day for Christian to worship since that time.  However, we can worship Jesus on any day of the week, and should worship him every day of the week.

Resurrection on Saturday?

 It was mentioned that this church also believes that Jesus’ resurrection was on a Saturday. That’s a completely different topic, and I can only briefly address it here. 

A Saturday resurrection is often held by those who believe Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday. They refer to Scripture that says “on the third day,” and they count three literal 24 hour periods—starting with Wednesday afternoon to Thursday (1st day), Thursday afternoon to Friday (2nd day) and Friday afternoon to Saturday (3rd day). That means Jesus had to rise from the dead before sundown on Saturday, when Sunday began.  While this might seem to make sense, the Bible clearly tells that Jesus rose on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:9).

There are many other biblical reasons that discredit the idea of a Wednesday crucifixion.  However, that’s a topic for another time. If you want more information, read: Was Jesus crucified on Wed, Thurs or Friday?

Again, remember that our Sabbath rest is in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our Sabbath rest is not a specific day.  

To better understand our rest in Jesus, I’ll share an excerpt from Remember Me – A Course in Rightly Remembering.  By keeping in remembrance who God is, what He has done for us, and who we are in Christ, we find our rest in Christ.  And by understanding Jesus’ summary teaching on the Ten Commandments, we find insights about the true meaning of our Sabbath rest.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  

(from Remember Me – A Course in Rightly Remembering)

It’s interesting to note that the first three of the Ten Commandments pertain to our relationship with God.  The last six are about our relationship with our fellow man.  So where does the fourth commandment fit in?

The fourth commandment, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy is the one that binds the others together.  It is the commandment to rest in God and to find our satisfaction and peace in Him alone.

In His earthly incarnation, Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments with two Great Commandments:

Matthew 22:37-40  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The first three of the 10 commandments are summarized in Jesus’ first and great commandment.  Those three commandments are about our vertical relationship with God and Jesus’ first and great commandment is “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt 22:37)

 The last six of the 10 commandments are summarized in Jesus’ second commandment.  Those commandments are about our horizontal relationship with our neighbors.

Jesus clearly proclaimed that His Law is all about love—loving God first and then loving our neighbors.  But what about the fourth commandment?  Jesus Himself embodies the fourth commandment as our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4).  He is our rest and His Law is love (John 13:34, James 2:8).

We are to abide in Christ and allow His love and His Spirit to work in and through us, and direct and guide us.

* Abiding in Christ is our source of peace and comfort.
* Abiding in Christ is our source of strength.
* Abiding in Christ fuels us with His love.
* Abiding in Christ enables us to love others.

Live your life in the light of what Jesus has done for you, anchored in who He is and who you are in Him. Find your rest in Christ and remember that the Law we live by is one of love. Abide in Christ and allow His love and His Spirit to work in and through you, and direct and guide you. Live your life in the light of what Jesus has done for you, and anchored in Who He is and who you are in Him.

 It is Finished!

<*}}}><

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