The Sabbath Day
The Sabbath is the commemoration day of the Creator who rested on the seventh day after creating the heavens and the earth. God established the Sabbath day so we may remember Him as the Maker of all things. The origin of the Sabbath can be found in Genesis.
So the sky, the earth, and all that filled them were finished. By the seventh day God finished the work he had been doing, so he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day, because on that day he rested from all the work he had done in creating the world.
Genesis 2:1 (NCV)
Immediately after God completed the work of creation, He made the seventh day blessing it and making it a holy day. This is a special day through which God blesses us also and makes us holy. In the Ten Commandments, God called this day the Sabbath day.
“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 . . . ”
Exodus 20:8-10 (NKJV)
Keeping the Sabbath day holy is the fourth commandment. As the biblical Sabbath day is Saturday–the seventh day of the week—it is the day set aside to worship God and commemorate His work of creation.
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb.
Mark 16:1-2 (NLT)
Not only do calendars and dictionaries show that Saturday is the seventh day of the week, and therefore, the Sabbath day, but the Bible also clearly tells us. Saturday is the day we must worship God until we enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt 24:20).
Jesus Christ Kept the Sabbath Day
Many people think that the biblical Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday or that Jesus Himself abolished the keeping of the Sabbath day. However, Jesus set the example for us to follow and He observed the Sabbath day on the seventh day—Saturday.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
Matthew 5:17-18 (NKJV)
The Law and the Prophets refer to the Old Testament. The Sabbath day is mentioned more than 100 times in the Old Testament. So when Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, this undeniably includes the Sabbath day.
Instead, Jesus established the New Covenant—a new order to keep the Sabbath day. Jesus did not keep the Sabbath day by sacrificing animals, He kept it by going to the synagogue and reading from the Bible.
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
Luke 4:16 (NKJV)
Any custom that Jesus practiced during His three-year ministry is an example for us to follow. Regularly, Jesus Christ kept the Sabbath day on Saturday by going to the temple and reading from the scriptures. In doing so, He showed Christians how to worship God correctly.
Blessings for Those Who Commemorate the Sabbath Day
To those who obey His commands, Jesus Christ promised great blessings in the kingdom of heaven.
“Whoever refuses to obey any command and teaches other people not to obey that command will be the least important in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys the commands and teaches other people to obey them will be great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:19 (NCV)
As long as we follow the law of God as it is, without adding or taking away, we will receive overflowing blessings in the kingdom of heaven. The Sabbath day is a prime example.
. . . “‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.’”
God said that the Sabbath day is a sign that allows God to recognize His true people and allows God’s people to know God. As stated in the book of Genesis, God established the Sabbath day as a commemoration of the completion of His work of creation. And He promised rest, blessings, and holiness to those who observe the Sabbath day with God.
The World Mission Society Church of God observes the Sabbath day on Saturday following God’s teachings and to receive God’s promised blessing. Visit your local Church of God to learn more about the Sabbath day and learn how you, too, can commemorate God’s work of creation and receive many blessings in the kingdom of heaven.