Lessons from Christ's Ministry: Sabbathkeeping

SDARM - This We Believe
February 26, 2018
"The Saviour kept the Sabbath, and taught His disciples to keep it. He knew how it should be kept, for He Himself had made it holy," (The Story of Jesus, pg. 67).

The controversy between Jesus and the Pharisees concerning the Sabbath never involved the question whether or not the Sabbath should be observed. The discussion was only over the question as to how the Sabbath was to be kept. Jesus put away all unnecessary human traditions and taught "lawful" Sabbath-keeping by giving us an example. Luke 4:16; Matthew 12:1-12; Luke 13:10-17; John 5:2-11; 7:22, 23. By teaching correct Sabbath-keeping according to the law, Christ confirmed the sacred validity of the Sabbath commandment.

 

Christ's instruction to His disciples, to pray that their flight would not have to occur on the Sabbath, confirms the Sabbath sacredness in the Christian dispensation. Matthew 24:20. That instruction was given not only for the benefit of the believers living in Judea after Christ's crucifixion (cf Matthew 24:16-18; Acts 8:1), but also for the benefit of those living in the last days. Matthew 24:3, 32, 33.

 

The Pharisees, who had been watching Christ continually, were not able to find in Him any evidence of Sabbath-breaking. Not even when He stood before Caiaphas could they accuse Him of having violated the Sabbath. They did not even try to use false witnesses against Him on this point. Luke 6:7; Matthew 26:59-66; John 18:28-31.

 

When the new covenant had already been confirmed by Christ's death on the cross (Hebrews 9:16), and because no change could be made after it had been validated (Galatians 3:15), the disciples still continued resting on the Sabbath in obedience to the fourth commandment. Luke 23:56.

 

Immediately before His ascension, Christ gave final instructions to His disciples to teach and observe "all things whatsoever I have commanded you." He had never spoken a word about a supposed Sabbath-Sunday change—past, present, or future. Matthew 28:20 (cf Luke 16:17).

 

So what does Sabbathkeeping mean for us today?

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It means a day of missionary work and sincere Bible study.

It means a literal chosen day of resting from earthly cares and recharging in Him.

It means reverence.

 

Let us purpose to observe the Sabbath the way Christ did. Only then will we be able to reap the blessings intended for us through the Sabbath rest.

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