Is Sunday the right Christian Sabbath?

Many Christians through the centuries have called Sunday their “Sabbath Day” or “holy day of rest,” but why was ANY day of the week lifted to the level of a “holy” day when the Sabbath pictures trusting Christ for one’s source of rest, not a day?

Making a day of the week so important has led to problems – like division among Christians over WHICH day is the proper day of rest (Saturday or Sunday), further division between Christians and Jews because Christians changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and still more division between Christians and secular society because Christians keep trying to make their Sunday Sabbath the rule for everybody.

But why all this fuss from Christians about a Sunday Sabbath when there’s no biblical command to set aside Sunday as a day of rest? Because, they believe, the 10 commandments are still binding on all people forever, and that includes, therefore, “keeping the Sabbath holy” by setting aside the seventh day of the week as a day of rest.

But why, then, did Christians change the 7th day Sabbath to Sunday? Well, from what little historical evidence there is, a “Lord’s Day” first appeared among Roman Christians as a weekly commemoration of Christ’s resurrection on Sunday, and it became so popular that for many years Christians not only met on the Saturday Sabbath, they also met on the Sunday Lord’s Day. By 150 A.D., however, most Christians were observing just the Lord’s Day on Sunday.

The Lord’s Day was acceptable to Christians back then because they were still keeping the spirit of the Sabbath Day commandment alive by observing “a day of rest” to meet and worship together. But Christ’s resurrection on Sunday became a far more important reason for which day should be set apart for Christians. So it was a mix of retaining the “spirit of the 4th command” by keeping a day holy, but wanting to celebrate Christ’s resurrection as well that led to Sunday becoming the Christian day of rest. Christians ever since, however, have made Sunday a Sabbath command, for which there is no biblical support whatsoever.

Christians worship Christ, not a day, and Christ can be worshipped any day. When Jesus said “Come to me … and I will give you rest,” did he mean “Only on Sunday, or only on Saturdays?” No. The Christian Sabbath – the living, resurrected Jesus Christ – is every day, and “keeping the Sabbath” is trusting him for rest, not a day.


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