The Sabbath

Why is the subject of the Sabbath so hotly debated amongst Christianity? What is it about the Sabbath that gets people worked up?

Sabbath Commandment - Exodus 20:8-11

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The Sabbath Commandment is the fourth in what some call, "The Big Ten", or more commonly known as the 10 Commandments. Note a number of things from these verses though. It starts with the word "Remember". Why is that? Could it be because it points to the first week of creation? I believe so, for when you look at verse 11 it is basically quoting creation week, and mentions the Lord blessing and hallowing the seventh day.

Creation Week

There is a direct correlation to the creation week of Genesis 2:2, 3. Here it is:

2  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3  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.

Note the same emphasis about the seventh day. Both verses show God resting, blessing and sanctifying (or hallowing) this special day!

To me, this easily shows the Sabbath existed from the creation of this world!

Mount Sinai

Everyone agrees that the 10 Commandments were given on Mount Sinai, written by God with His own finger, and given to Moses on two tables of stone.

Many Christians have said, "This is the first time the Sabbath is mentioned in the Bible. It was never given as law until Moses at Mount Sinai." Is this statement true?

Actually a few chapters before God asks the children of Israel this question in Exodus 16:28

28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

Which commandments and laws is God referring to here? Check out the context of this passage (Exodus 16:14-30):

14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.
15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

So we see that the context is the seventh-day Sabbath.


But there is even more compelling evidence the Sabbath existed before Mount Sinai. Check out Genesis 26:5

5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Therefore it is more probable than not, that the 10 Commandments existed long before Mount Sinai, at the time of Abraham, 500 plus years earlier!!!

Okay, you may say, "That is the Old Testament... I am a New Testament Christian." Well, let's look at the New Testament too. The first occurrence of Sabbath is in Matthew 12:1-8.

1  At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
2  But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3  But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4  How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5  Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6  But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7  But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

The first question here I would ask you is this: "Did Jesus "break" the Sabbath"? If Jesus broke ANY Commandment, could He be our Saviour? Would not breaking a Commandment make Him a sinner?

The Bible tells us straight up that Jesus was not a sinner! 2 Corinthians 5:21 states:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

And 1 John 3:5 states the same:
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

Why then do Christians today tell people Jesus broke the Sabbath? All they are doing is repeating the pharisees' accusation against Him in these verses we just read! This accusation was definitely not fact.

Okay, so we have established that Jesus kept God's Law perfectly, which means He did not break the Sabbath Commandment, and definitely was not a sinner! Does Jesus keeping the Law, free us from keeping it ourselves?

Jesus Is My Sabbath

In the context of these verses, the pharisees accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath day. Note verse 8 said, where Jesus says He "is Lord even of the sabbath day". I have heard people say, "Jesus is my Sabbath." This verse is the closest wording, but the meaning is totally different. No where in the Bible does it show Jesus is the Sabbath! Jesus said He is Lord of the Sabbath day, which simply means He is the One Who decides what is lawful and what is not lawful to do on that day!

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