Sunday, October 22, 2006

Theology: The new Sabbath

"Behold, I make all things new", says the LORD God Almighty on His throne (Revelation 21:5). In the person of Jesus Christ, the law was not abolished but fulfilled, perfected. Who but God alone has the right to clarify and re-educate His people as to the nature of the commandments handed down to Moses? Later this week, I'll post my RCIA outline on the Ten/Twelve Commandments, in which I discuss that clarification and re-education, but for now, let's focus on just one thing: the Sabbath.

In the first story of Creation, in Genesis 1:1-2:3, God rests on the seventh day and makes it holy: on it He rested from all the work during His creation. Thus, the Sabbath. This is the third commandment delivered to Moses, that the seventh day of the week is holy and that we should refrain from work on that day (Exodus 20:8-11). How fitting is it, then, that the Sabbath, the day of rest for both man and God, was the only full day our Lord lay in the tomb, dead for our sins. A silent Sabbath, a most Holy Saturday. And then, after the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-2) the women who loved Jesus went to the tomb, but he was not there: he had risen!

How fitting the Christian Sabbath is the first day of the week. The first day of the week is connected to the first day of Creation, when God said "Let there be light"! That first day, the first of all days, when God's work was truly begun. And Easter Sunday, nearly 2000 years ago, was the day on which Jesus's work truly began in us. We put our own work aside and glorify God -- for the Sabbath is the Lord's day -- but we do not abstain from work altogether on the Sabbath, we become reinvigorated with the charge of God's work that we must carry out, the mission given us by Christ, to make disciples of the nations and share the gospel.

It was on Sunday that the Apostles and disciples gathered to break bread (Acts 2:46;20:7): a new beginning in Christ and a new understanding of the Sabbath. Truly the Lord's day. Man was not made for the sabbath, but the sabbath was made for man, and Jesus is Lord even of the sabbath (Mark 2:27-28). He has made it his own.

3 comments:

The Prophet said...

Great Post... I never realized the Sabbatha was the only full day that Christ lay in the tomb...

Hey, I think you should do a post on ALL of the commandments to the Israelites, you know, through Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy.

Ha! Just kidding!

L.E.Meredith said...

Great as usual. God bless

japhy said...

I'd often entertained writing a historical fiction work titled "The Silent Sabbath" about the goings-on of the apostles, the women, the other Jews, etc., on Holy Saturday. It'd take a lot of research on my part to keep it historically and culturally accurate, but it's something I've entertained in the back of my head.