The Sabbath Day
The seventh-day Sabbath is God’s gift to humanity from creation, was written into the Ten Commandments by God’s finger, kept and taught by Jesus, and observed by the apostolic church. A memorial of both creation and redemption, the Sabbath should be faithfully celebrated by believers now as a day of rest, worship, and well-doing.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy” (Ex. 20:8-11). A command for all mankind written by the hand of God. The seventh day Sabbath is an integral part of God’s plan of salvation for man from the creation of man through the final book of the Bible, Revelation.
The Sabbath day was known and kept before it was written out by the hand of God on the stone tablets and given to the people of Israel by Moses. From creation week where God instituted the 7th day Sabbath (Gen. 2:1-3), His laws and commands were kept by Abraham (Gen. 26:5), it was kept by Israel BEFORE being given to them on Mount Sinai (Ex. 16, Manna for six days and not on the seventh day (Ex. 16:22-30 and the manna ended in Joshua 5:12 but the 7th Day Sabbath continued).
Finally, written down in the time of Moses (Ex. 20:8-11) (Note: We do not know if it was written down before this time as Israel had just been freed from 400 years of captivity, we DO know it was known and kept before this time). The 7th Day Sabbath was so important to God that he made an emphasis of it by creating a special Sabbath Covenant as a sign between God and His people (Ex. 31:13-17). It was also the very FIRST HOLY Day of God (Lev. 23:1-3).
Throughout history we see there were negative consequence for the disobedience of not keeping the 7th Day Sabbath (Jere. 17:27; Neh. 13:18 for two examples).
Jesus, the God of the Old Testament made the Sabbath for Man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark2:27). Made for “man”, all of mankind, not just the Jewish race. There was no Jewish race at the time of creation when God instituted and created the 7th Day Sabbath. Jesus, the Sabbath creator is therefore Lord of the Sabbath and the chief interpreter of how to keep it (Mark 2:28). Isa. 56:6-7 is pointedly clear the 7th Day Sabbath is for ALL mankind. Even Jesus as a human being kept the Sabbath (Luke 4:6) as an example for all mankind to follow.
In the New Testament era of the early church the Sabbath was kept by both Jew and gentile converts to Christianity (Acts 13:42, 44-48; Gal. 3:28 we are all ONE in Christ). Remember the Sabbath day was created for all mankind. The Apostle Paul kept the Sabbath (Acts 18:1-11; 17:2).
As in the time of creation the 7th Day Sabbath is a time of “rest” and it points to our future “rest” with God in His glorious Kingdom of God (Heb. 4:1-11, emphasizing verse 9).
We have seen Sabbath observance from creation week, before Moses, during the time of Moses, after Moses, in late Jewish/Israelite history, it is for all mankind, Jesus kept the 7th Day Sabbath, Paul and the early church kept it too. The Holy Sabbath Day is the 4th of God’s hand written Ten Commandments. It is not separate from the other nine commandments, it is integral within all ten and a special sign between God and His people (all people). We keep the 7th Day Sabbath today because God commanded it!
For more info see: CSCOG7 “—The Ten Commandments” and for the definitive work on the Sabbath day read “From Sabbath to Sunday” by Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi.