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Friday, March 27, 2015

#21. Which day is the Christian Sabbath? Part 4

Mark 16:1-6 - When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 Looking up, they *saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.

We are compiling some of the Biblical data that shows the Christian Sabbath falls on the first day of the week. We have seen that there are many indications in both the Old and the New Testaments that the Sabbath would fall on the day Jesus completed His work - the day He entered into His rest following the new creation He had accomplished.  We saw also, that the prophets foretold a time when the things pertaining to the first creation (including its Sabbath) would be forgotten in the surpassing glory of the new creation (which has its own Sabbath).

This time, we want to reflect on the fact that Jesus clearly marked out the first day of the week as the day that fulfilled all these indications and prophecies.  He did so in several ways, by far the greatest of which was in His rising from the dead on the first day of the week, as we see in the passage above.

But He also appeared to the two on the road to Emmaus on the first day of the week:

Luke 24:13-15 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.

In addition, He appeared to His disciples on the same day:

John 20:19 — So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Jesus also poured out His Spirit upon them on the first day of the week. We know that Pentecost was on the this day from Leviticus 23:15-16:

Leviticus 23:15–16 — ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16 ‘You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD.

Fifty days after the offering of the first fruits, they were to bring a new grain offering to the Lord. The day after the seventh Sabbath was the fiftieth day (Pentecost), which would be the first day of the week.

Finally, this was also the day (the Lord's Day) that Jesus poured out His Spirit on the Apostle John on the island of Patmos:

Revelation 1:9–10 — I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,

So we see that this day, the first day of the week, was signally marked by many special events in the life of the New Covenant church, in order to show that this was now the day that God's people were to set apart as holy to Him. Next time, we will see what was the actual practice of the believers in the early church. Given all that we have seen, which day did they set apart for the worship of God?