Friday, April 1, 2011



Hopefully, this lesson will help us understand the glorious celebration that we enjoy every Lord’s Day.

God created everything in six days and then rested on the seventh day.  Gen 2:2-3
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.   As we know, the Sabbath became a time of celebrating God’s day of rest after creation.  It involved not only the Sabbath Day but also the Sabbath Year (Ex.23:10,11 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.The Sabbatical Year was a time of the suspension of land use to let the land rest and also the suspension of debt was possible.. 

The Year of Jubilee was every fiftieth year.  Land sold would return to original owner and those who gave themselves as slaves for a debt would be released.  Lev.25:10,11 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.11 A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. Lev.25:39,40 39' If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave's service. 40'He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee.
  All of these laws were in celebration of God’s creation; everything belongs to God; celebrating God’s rest.

Jesus was a Jew so He lived by the Old Covenant.  A “will” can not be in force until the testator dies just as our wills don’t take effect until we die.  Heb.9:16,17  For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.  Even the apostles went to the synagogue or temple on the Sabbath.  That’s where the Jews were.  The gospel was preached first to the Jews.  Rom.1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek

Then Jesus was crucified for us that we might have the forgiveness of sins.  He took upon Him our sin.  We celebrate the remembrance of His death by our partaking of communion.  That did not overcome death.  Death was overcome by Jesus’ resurrection. 
1 Cor.15:19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. Our hope of heaven rests in Jesus coming forth from the grave.  This is what every Christian in the world celebrates EVERY Lord’s Day.  The celebration of the resurrection should overflow our hearts with joy and thanksgiving that we have that hope of heaven where we will rest from sorrow, from pain, from tears, from the stress of this life as we celebrate with Jesus for eternity.  Never let it become mundane – either the celebration of His death in communion or the celebration of His resurrection on the Lord’s Day.  Praise His Name!


God established the Sabbath at the end of His creation.  God’s creation was finished.  He did not rest a day and then start creating more the next day.  Creation was finished.  Heb.4:3 

Under the Old Covenant given at Sinai the Jews were required to set aside the Sabbath day as a special day.  Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.  Ex. 20:8   The first reference of a Sabbath observance was after the exodus from Egypt and before Sinai.  It was in connection of the gift of manna.  Ex.16:22-30   The purpose of keeping the Sabbath was to honor God for redeeming Israel from Egyptian slavery.  You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm, therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.”  Deut.5:15   Sabbath  Day for the Jews was rest and a cessation from labor.  Ex.20:8-11; 31:12-17   This did not include any requirement to assemble together.  The Jews honored God by ceasing from their labor and resting as God did after creation.  Ex.31:17 explains that this day was a sign between Himself and Israel.

In Col.2:16 (Gr. Plural) Paul, the apostle, explains that the days designated by Mosaic law are not binding on Christians today.  This includes the Sabbath.  Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.  Rom.14:5  Whatever you observe, observe to the Lord.  Many Jews were trying to force Judaism upon Christians.  We have the council at Jerusalem where inspired apostles resided. They determined 4 things to require of Christians:  They were to abstain from things contaminated by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled, and from blood.  Acts 15:20   The Sabbath day was not mentioned.


Ex.20:10            cessation from labor

Ex.35:3              no kindling of fire for cooking

Num.15:32-36    no gathering of wood

Jer.17:21-27      no burden-bearing

Ex.16:27-30       traveling forbidden  (Josh.3:4; Num.35:5)
                           Acts 1:12 – a Sabbath day’s journey

Amos 8:5           trading forbidden


We learn in 3 ways from the Scriptures:  COMMAND, EXAMPLE, PRINCIPLE.

Let us look at example first.  Christians met together to break bread.  This was the Lord’s Supper or Communion as some call it.  This was the purpose of their coming together—to remember what the Lord had done for them.  It was on the first day of the week. 
Acts 20:7   Paul was there and so took the opportunity to preach.  In Corinth since they met together on the first day of the week, they were to bring whatever they were able to bring to help the poor Christians in Jerusalem.  1 Cor. 16:1,2   The apostle John received his vision of Revelation on the Lord’s Day.  Rev.1:10.

From church history the writings from 100 A.D. on through history indicates that the Lord’s Day (first day of the week) became the day of gathering together for the breaking of bread and worship. 

Christ arose from the dead on the first day of the week.  This was the beginning of a new creation.  2 Cor.5:17   This monumental event of the resurrection happened on the first day of the week.  This is just like the beginning of God’s New Covenant people, the church, began on Pentecost which is the first day of the week.  This is truly the Lord’s Day. 

We celebrate His resurrection and the beginning of His church.  We are enjoined to gather together on this day—even not to forsake the gathering of the saints together.  Heb.10:24,25   This is the time we encourage one another, we stimulate one another to love and good works.  We become a testimony that we are of the New Covenant and not the Old Covenant. 

The Old Covenant prepared the way for the Messiah.  Jer.31:31-33   This New Covenant was prophesied.  Now the Messiah has come.  Jesus is the Mediator of a New Covenant.  Heb.8:13   As Jesus established the Lord’s Supper, He mentions the New Covenant.  Lk.22:20; I Cor.11:25  

The Old Covenant was exclusive.  It was designed for the Jews to the exclusion of other nations except in occasions of foreigners believing.  The New Covenant is inclusive for it reaches out to all—to the uttermost parts of the world.  Matt.28:19

The Old Covenant was a schoolmaster, a teacher, a tutor.  Gal.3:24,25   The Old Covenant was also explained as a shadow of things to come.  Heb.10:1   The Law, the Old Covenant was very necessary and important to us. 

Jesus is now our High Priest and is the guarantee of a better covenant.  Heb.8:6;  Heb.12:24   Jesus abolished the enmity between the Old and New.  Eph.2:15; Eph.2:14-16


In the Old Testament , God gives His people rest as a temporary and earthly type foreshadowing the believer’s final heavenly rest.  Heb.3:7-4:13

            In Revelation those in heaven never “stop” worshiping.  Rev.4:8   Those in hell will never rest in their torment.  Rev.14:11   The saints are called to “rest a little longer.”  That is, wait for Christ’s return for their vindication.  Rev.6:11   Those who die in the Lord will rest from their labors.  Rev.14:13

No comments:

Post a Comment