Sabbath is Saturday, the day the LORD rested after creating the universe and its living creatures.
For quite some time, the World has been putting Saturday and Sunday at the end of the calendar week, making Saturday appear to be the 6th day. The early Church drifted from its Jewish roots and determined that since 3 days after Jesus’ crucifixion he was raised and that was the first day of the week, Sunday, they would call it the Lord’s Day. Eventually it replaced the Sabbath as the day for congregational worship. Today some earnest Believers think Sunday is the Sabbath.
The fourth Commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11)
One cannot change the day God rested. We can discuss how we are not under law but under grace, and that is true. But do we kill, covet or commit adultery? Of course not. Those are Commandments and as such mark a better way to live.
So, why do so many of us take the Sabbath more lightly than other of God’s guidelines? I confess I’m not always perfectly resting on the Sabbath, doing nothing that would bring in income, directly or indirectly, what one would call “work”. I do rest on Saturdays, but admittedly sometimes it is hard.
How about you, reader? Do you keep the Sabbath – Saturday – Holy and unto Father God?
Apart from it being one of God’s Commandments, why is it of relevance today and are we to keep this commandment? The answer is that, apart from it being God’s Commandment which simply marks the better way to live, it also has to do with Israel and the Jewish people.
I am of the understanding based on scripture that the Jewish people are still God’s Chosen People. Discussion about that let’s save for another time, but we can agree I hope, that Jesus came for all of us, and for every nation, and he will come again when all the nation groups have had the witness of Jesus.
So, like all mankind, the Jewish people are invited to recognise Yeshua – Jesus’ name in Hebrew – as Messiah, the saviour of the World. And how will they be able to recognise Yeshua suddenly, if over 2000 years relatively few have? The answer is because the Jewish traditions – which have been hidden inside the Christian faith – must be released, revealed, exposed, to enable these people to see how the prophecy of their Messiah perfectly lines up with history.
Keeping the Jewish traditions hidden from view, such as using the first day rather than the seventh day as the “Sabbath”, makes it more difficult than it needs to be for the Jew to recognise he is meant to be a part of the Bride, the Church.
In Ephesians 2, Paul refers to the Gentiles as joining with all the Saints (in context: the Jewish Believers) as part of the Church. It is the One New Man, united by the faith in the Messiah, that will pull the Church through the challenges thrust upon it. (Ephesians 2:11-22) As you study and meditate on Ephesians 2 and 3, you will be able to see how God intends for Jew and Gentile to worship together.
Truly, if God is to minister and bring to the Jewish people the knowledge of Yeshua, then we, His Church, must help by allowing the Hebrew Roots of the faith to be exposed. The Sabbath only scratches the surface, but it is a start to revealing the Messiah and the Saviour as one and the same.
We can begin with aligning our day of worship with our Hebrew Roots. God’s choice of the Sabbath is recognisable to the Jewish people and it is Biblical, so I suggest a call to action: Let’s shift and use it.
**Next week I’ll send out an Extra Newsletter, on Thursday 21st, to share about Christmas. It’s a hot topic. It’s roots extend beyond the birth of Jesus, which most likely occurred in late September.**