Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.
Chapter 22, Paragraph 7.
“…which from the beginning of the World to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week which is called the Lord’s day; and is to be continued to the end of the World, as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.”
1 Corinthians 16:1,2
Until Christ came, the weekly day of rest came at the end of the week. It was a reminder of God’s rest after the work of creation, a time when God called creation “very good.” The entrance of sin broke the peace of that first creation, and humanity experienced the effects of the curse in their toil. Work was burdensome! After working for six days, the Israelites could look forward to a day without labor, a day wholly reserved for the worship of God. The Sabbath pointed toward the future day when they would no longer have to groan under the weight of the ceremonial laws and would be redeemed from their sin.
As Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus has the power and authority to determine how His command is to be obeyed. Christ’s resurrection was so momentous that it shifted the order of time itself. With His resurrection, the benefits of Christ’s mediatorial work were more freely realized. He became the curse and sacrifice for His people, and death no longer held Him. Because His work was finished, Christians no longer looked forward to the end of the week for the day of rest. Instead, the first day of the week was the holy sabbath, commemorating Christ’s finished work of redemption.
As Christians, we have received numerous blessings through Christ. We are forgiven and accepted as righteous before God due to Christ’s obedience imputed to us. We are adopted as sons of God and enabled to call Him “Abba”. The Holy Spirit works in us to do and to will His good pleasure. There is much to be thankful for, and the preeminence of the Lord’s Day in our week demonstrates that. Yet we still have the remaining corruption of sin dwelling in us, and our inheritance of everlasting life will not be fully enjoyed until this life is over. Although our Sabbath is first and foremost in our week, we still work the other six days. Our toil is sweetened, however, by living in light of the rest Christ has procured for us, and looking to the ultimate rest that is to come.
Questions to Consider
- Do you consider Sunday to be, as the hymn says, the “day of all the week the best”?