The seventh day Sabbath was not created or instituted by the Law. God was first to observe the seventh day Sabbath. He blessed and sanctified that day. Because He is the Creator and He rested.
And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
We are again told, before the Law, the Sabbath is the seventh day:
Six days you shall gather it; but, on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.
When God specified, in the Law, observance of the seventh day Sabbath He explained why it is His Sabbath day; it is blessed and hallowed, in recognition of Him as the Creator.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor and do all your work; but, the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or your stranger that is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day. Because of this the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
(Exodus 20:8/11) (See also Deuteronomy 5:12/15)
Recognizing God as the Creator, fearing Him, giving Him glory, and worshipping Him is an everlasting gospel this from the New Testament:
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and, worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Keeping the Sabbath was always more than the Law, the Sabbath is to be hallowed as a sign we recognize God as our God-Creator:
I am the LORD your God. Walk in my statutes and keep my judgments and do them, and hallow my Sabbaths - they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.
We are blessed for keeping the Sabbath:
Thus says the LORD, Keep judgment and do justice. For my salvation is near to come and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that does this and the son of man that lays hold on it. That keeps the Sabbath from polluting it and keeps his hand from doing any evil.
The Prophet Isaiah prophesied our coming and our requirement to keep the seventh day Sabbath. We as Christians are the strangers who have joined themselves to the Lord:
The sons of the stranger too that joins themselves to the LORD - to serve him and love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, everyone that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of my covenant.
Again, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied our coming and our requirement to keep the seventh day Sabbath. Christ is the repairer of the breach, Christians are the generations He has raised up:
And they that shall be of yours shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations and you shalt be called, the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in. If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and, call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable, and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, or finding your own pleasure, or speaking your own words. Then shall you delight yourself in the LORD and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father - for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.
Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man and that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. He said this of the seventh day Sabbath. He had not died or been resurrected yet when He said this:
And he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath too.
For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
And he said to them, The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath too.
We know Jesus kept the seventh day Sabbath:
And 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 for to read.
We know the disciples kept the seventh day Sabbath even after Jesus died:
And in the end of the Sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, to see the sepulcher.
And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus.
And returning, they prepared spices and ointments; and, on the Sabbath day they rested, according to the commandment.
So why is there so much confusion today? First, most folks do not realize the difference between The Sabbath and a sabbath. All the preceding verses cited refer only to The Sabbath the seventh day. The Jews, under ceremonial law, had numerous other sabbaths (See Leviticus i.e. 23:37/38).
The need to observe The Sabbath is clearly established. We next move to second issue the seventh day Sabbath versus the Lord's day. Only once is the Lord's Day cited in the Bible:
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
Nowhere in Scripture does it say that the Lord's Day replaces the Sabbath. Period! Next, what is said of the first day of the week - Sunday? Where, why, and how is it cited in the Bible? The basic chronologically follows:
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
(Luke 24:1) (See also John 20:1, Mark 16:1/2, Matthew 28:1)
Here we find the day of the week mentioned only as a reference as to when they came to anoint the body of Jesus who they thought was dead and in the tomb. The only special meaning to be found here is that they waited until Sunday because they observed The Sabbath seventh day.
That same day the Bible says:
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
This tells us that Jesus arose and appeared again for the first time on Sunday. John 20:18 and Matthew 28:9 also mention this event (but not the day). The day was not what was important that He had Risen was.
Next, we find a little later that same day:
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, Peace to you.
Again, the day of the week is only cited as to indicate when the event occurred. The disciples were together out of fear of the Jews, not to worship. They did not even believe Jesus had risen see Mark 16:14.
In the beginning, Christians kept the Sabbath, with the practice of Sunday, the day of resurrection, gradually becoming the dominant day of observance forced on most of them. The Catholic Church's attack on The Sabbath is apparent in the Council of Laodicea (363/4 AD). Canon 29 of the Laodicean council states: "Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema (excommunicated) from Christ."
Some hold that any day, once a week is sufficient. Consider: Muslims observe a weekly day too - Islamic jumu'ah, - on Friday. The Buddhist have uposatha, the Neopagan sabbat.
So where does this leave us Biblically speaking. Well we know The Sabbath is still the seventh day and is to be observed by us. We know that Jesus rose on Sunday and that is the greatest event to happen for man - since man was created. We have every reason to be thankful, to get together and worship and praise Him for what He did for us - to study His word and edify each other. I would that the world allowed us to do so, together, every day. Sunday may very well be the day John and others especially did this on - the Lord's Day.
The Sabbath the seventh day - always has been and always will be for remembrance of God as our Creator. The Lord's Day the first day - has become the day for remembrance of Jesus as our Savior. Nowhere in the Bible is the Sabbath changed to Sunday. That is a tradition, a doctrine, a teaching, of man (see Historical Note). Who are we to obey God or man?
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
If you are wondering why so many still profane The Sabbath just consider two things:
For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there are that find it.
In Brotherly Love,