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“The New Testament teaches that Sabbath observance has been removed from acceptable worship.”

Categories: Worship

             In Exodus 20: 8-11 God instructed the Hebrews to take a day off.  It is in this passage that one learns that the Sabbath was commanded by the Lord, because in six days He made the Heavens and the earth and on the seventh day He rested (Gen. 2:3).  For centuries as seen in the Old Testament and till the time of Christ, Jews rested and observed the seventh day of the week as a Sabbath unto the Lord. 

Yet today Biblical Christians meet on the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, Sunday as they have since the beginning of the church in Acts 2.  The shift in the calendar was monumental. Something catastrophic happened to effect this change in the day of worship from Jewish Sabbath, to the first day according to the Jewish calendar!

This monumental event that changed history was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as we read in the Gospels (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, 9, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1, 19) which are eyewitness accounts that Jesus Christ arose from the tomb on the first day of the week. 

After his resurrection, we never find Christ meeting with his disciples on the seventh day or Sabbath day. But He specially honored the first day by manifesting Himself to the apostles and others on four separate occasions (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:34, 18–33; John 20:19–23). Again, on the next first day of the week, Jesus appeared to his disciples (John 20:26).

Nothing but the resurrection of Jesus Christ could change the day of honoring the Lord from the Sabbath to the first day of the week.

Many centuries before Christ, some tradesmen who resented keeping the Sabbath day came to the prophet of the Lord, Amos and demanded to know, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances of deceit? “(Amos 8:5).

            Amos responded in Amos 8:9, “"And on that day," declares the Lord GOD, "I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.”

Scripture confirms just as Amos prophesied that the Sabbath was abolished when God darkened the earth in a clear day and the sun went down at noon. This of course happened when Jesus was crucified; as a result the Sabbath day was nailed to his cross as we see in Matthew 27:51ff.

Then Col. 2:14-16 clearly states, "Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ."

These verses clearly state the weekly Sabbath was nailed to the cross and abolished.  In reading the rest of the New Testament, we also find that Jesus and the inspired writers taught all the commandments of the Ten Commandments, except for the fourth commandment, the Sabbath law. There is no command in the teachings of Christ for any person to keep the Sabbath.  Again, the Sabbath, along with the rest of the Old Testament were nailed to the cross. The only day given special recognition in the new covenant is the first day of the week, Sunday.  (Mt. 28:1; Mk. 16:2, 9; Lk. 24:1; Jn. 20:1; 19; Acts 2:1; 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10).

Let us not forget that the first Christians were originally Jews, as recorded in Acts 2.  The beginning of the church began with Jews becoming Christians (Acts 2:38; 41; 47).  The Day of Pentecost was the 50th day after the Sabbath of Passover week (Lev. 23:15-16), thus the first day of the week.  So not only is the first day of the week Resurrection day it is also the day the church began, and when Christians worshiped the Lord.   For these early Jewish Christians to continue to assemble on the first day of the week would be a clear distinction that they had abandoned the keeping of the Sabbath and Judaism all together. 

Christians are not bound to keep the Sabbath, but they are commanded to worship the Lord together (Heb. 10:19–25).  Because of the power and influence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christ’s fulfilling prophecy of the Old Testament, the New Testament examples of worship on the first day of the week and the teachings of the New Testament that show the early Christian abandoning the Sabbath and the Old Law; Christians are to worship the Lord on the first day of every week.

Written by Mark T. Tonkery