The Christian Sabbath ~ A Sheep’s View

I approach this subject as I do all others concerning the kingdom of God. I am as a sheep led by that great shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ; and also a servant of the one who has saved me from the slaughter. No longer one who leads and teaches, now I see only Him and His teaching; if perhaps documenting for a legacy what I have seen and continue to see of His kingdom here on earth ~ a prelude of that which is promised for eternity.

We refer to the Christian Sabbath as the Lord’s Day since through Christ’s death and His resurrection is the sure hope of a new life and eternity with Him. He established a new day of rest in Himself. He is our Sabbath; He is our eternal rest. He is Lord of the Sabbath; and He established His own day when He rose in victory over sin and death and ascended to the throne with all power in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18)

The Lord’s Day and Worship
The Christian Sabbath ~ the Lord’s Day ~ was established for a different worship than the seventh day. The seventh was established under the law, for a day of rest (not for public worship) that was limited until the law of grace was brought to us in Christ. We no longer observe the Sabbath in the letter of the law in fear of the Lord’s wrath, bringing sacrifices of dead animals for atonement. We worship with the law written on our hearts and minds.

How we worship on this day depends on how we view the Lord’s Day. As sheep, recipients of the life of Christ and delivered from the former sabbath we bring our praises and thanksgiving to Him. We see worship on this day as an integral part of private and family worship on other days; a bringing together what we have experienced during the week of His presence and His power of salvation.

The Bridge to Eternal Rest
To know Him, His love for me in His suffering and sacrifice is to love Him. To love Him is to love His day. To understand this day and to see it from His perspective we have to know Him personally, as Lord and Savior; to follow Him through the week to what we know as the eighth day and the first day. The end of the week flows into the Lord’s Day, ending in a perpetual praise and worship; beginning a new week in obedience of faith to Him and His word; and preparing for the next Lord’s Day.

It is His day as He has become our bridge to the eternal sabbath.  “The word Sabbath seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Its theological meaning is rooted in God’s rest following the six days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3).”  (The Bible Dictionary)

The fourth commandment means more to the Christian than it did to the Israelites because we see it as the forerunner of the Christian sabbath. It was observed in remembrance of  God’s work in creation and His salvation for the Israelites.

They were required to offer bloody sacrifices through the priests offerings for atonement for their sins. Those sacrifices were abolished when Jesus, the Lamb of God was sacrificed once and for all time, for all His people in every generation from every nation.

This is the new day, through His sacrifice, that we remember and keep holy unto Him. God, the Father rested from His work of creation. Jesus Christ, the Son has rested from His work of redemption; and now sits in victory as our merciful and faithful High Priest interceding for us at the right hand of the Father until we are there at rest with them.

We rest in Him and His work now, as the Holy Spirit leads us in a continual worship in preparation for that eternal rest and worship.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week,
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
 And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:1-6

Dear Father, open our eyes to see the living Christ. Let us by your Spirit know you; in obedience of faith worship you in spirit and truth today, and throughout this week know your presence and power. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Image: Google

The Purpose of the Lord’s Day

 

green-grass-and-blue-sky-landscape-472-Through time and observations we come to conclusions about this life and what comes after. Such has been my experience; and especially of the Lord’s Day. If I were to write the book it would be titled The Lord’s Day ~ It’s Purpose, Program and Practice. Each Lord’s Day has become a means for me to put into words what the day now means to me. It has not always been as it is now, but through the process of time I believe the Lord has led me to conclusions about His day.

I have been back through the channel of time (in God’s word) to see the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments not just as a law given to the Israelites, but also as a pattern of what was to come. It was not just a program for the Jewish worship day, but a vision set for the church that would be established through His Son, Jesus Christ. It was not for their practice alone, but a future plan for all God’s people through His everlasting covenant.

When the Old Testament prophesied the coming of the Messiah it was the purpose and the promise of something greater than what they already had. The Jews had observed the Sabbath as the seventh day. “From the beginning of the world until the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week since then until the end of the world to be the Christian Sabbath.” This quote is from the Shorter Catechism taken from the Westminster Confession of Faith.

When I look back to the quotes of Jesus in the New Testament I see the program that He was establishing. He spoke often of His death in “going up to Jerusalem,” where He will be killed and “shall rise again the third day.” Mark 10:31-34

On the third day He was raised as He said.

What happened in His resurrection? Before anyone else knew He established Himself as Lord of the Sabbath, Lord of His own day ~ a new day, for a new creation, a new assembly of saints who would practice on this day what He established for eternity.  The same power of the Holy Spirit that raised Him from the dead is the power that gives us new life  in Him and brings us to this worship of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

An eternal life and a new day of worship replaced the old. The new wine, the good wine was saved until Christ came and bled, and died and gave us His own life. This day He brings His people, those whom He has saved by His own life and death, in special remembrance of this union with Him and the Father, reconciling us to Him and making us joint heirs in His kingdom. We are joined this day with other saints here and in heaven, in observance of His suffering and sacrifice for our atonement (remembering His death in the Lord’s Supper). We worship through prayer, praise and His Holy Word as we practice for the celebration of this feast that will take place in eternity.

The purpose and the promise, the program and the practice do not end in a weekly worship service. The Lord’s Day is a full day; its purpose is for a whole day, not just an hour in a church service with other saints. This is the hard part and the unusual part of the practice. We will look in subsequent weeks at the preciousness and value of the Lord’s Day ~ the whole day ~ and how it is to be spent with the Lord.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
Proverbs 4:18

Dear Father, let us live in praise and worship to you today.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Image