The Sabbath
 


    The real meaning
 

    The keeping of Sabbath (signifies “rest” in Hebrew) is a requirement of the Old Testament’s law, which either Jews or Adventists of 7th day defend so hotly.

    Jesus had been accused of violating the Sabbath, simply because he didn’t select special days to make miracles and cures (Luke 13:14 to 17).

    Due to this liberality to do goodness at any time, Jesus had been persecuted by Jews (John 5:16 to 18), not only for violating the traditions of religious people, but also for saying that he was the Sabbath’s Lord.

    In Matthew 23:5 Jesus said to the crowds about the teachers of law and the Pharisees: "They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on the garments long; they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues".

    The philacteries (see photo at right) were little boxes with pieces of the scriptures from OT, that the Pharisees put them on their foreheads as a sign of obedience.

    In Galatians 4:3 and 4, the temporary Sabbath is considered as a “basic principle of the world”, to whom those that still are immatures, are still subjected to, like slaves.

    Keeping on this logic, the author says that “when the time had fully come” through Jesus’ manifestation, there is no more reason to someone keep himself under that yoke.

 

 

    The author of Hebrew tells in Hebrew 4:8 and 9 about a “new Sabbath”; a rest that Israel didn’t know as well as nowadays Christianity, which keeps on misunderstanding that mystery. Indeed this Sabbath isn’t a common 24 hours’ day, but it is called simply TODAY. Thus, either Jews and Adventists of the 7th day that keep the Sabbath or the Christians that keep exclusively the Sunday are wrong.

    The debate about the keeping of the 7th day (Sabbath) or the 1st day (Sunday) is simply ridiculous and doesn’t treat absolutely with that which Jesus taught.

    When it is said at Hebrews 3:13 and 4:7 to 8 “TODAY”, the author explains that this symbolic 24 hours’ day had been enlarged. It means that the generic TODAY covers all days.

   Therefore, if in the Old Testament the obligation was to observe only the 7th day, in the New Testament the obligation is to observe all the days, because the vigilance of good behavior and honesty can’t be restricted to only a day in the week, but to all days like Jesus taught (Mathew 24:44 and 25:1).

   The real meaning of the holy Sabbath is the presence of Jesus among us. The signify from Sabbath as “rest” is totally fulfilled in Jesus, because only He has the genuine rest for our souls, as it is written in  Matthew 11:29… “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
 


A god who needs to rest?
 

    At the seventh day Elohim had finished the work he had been doing and rested from all his work (Genesis 2:2). Elohim is a plural name that means “gods” in Hebrew. A god that needs to rest after a job is not so “Almighty”.

    Material creation was made by angels (gods), but Jesus is the author of a spiritual creation of new born people (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).
Isaiah said that the Lord, the everlasting God and Creator does not grow tired or weary (Isaiah 40:28), but that is contradictory with the rest of Elohim.

    As for the true God, Jesus said: “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17). Thus, Jesus does not need rest like angels do.

    In the occasion that He reposed during the storm, the real objective was to rise up the faith of His disciples (Matthew 8:23 to 26).

    The sleepy virgins could not meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1 to 13), despite of being “virgins”. Paul said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14).

    At the time that Jesus was healing victims of the devil, pharisees were keeping harshly the rest of Sabbath and condemning Him for healing in the “holy day” (John 5:16 and 9:13 to 16).
In Hebrews 7:18 we read that the former regulation (law of OT) is set aside because it was weak and useless. Like all other rules from OT, Sabbath became totally obsolete (Hebrews 8:13).
 


Jesus broke the formal Sabbath
 

    Jehovah said at Exodus 31: 12 to 17... “You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come...anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from is people. For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to Jehovah. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath must be put to death”.

    Also at Ezekiel 20:21 it is written: “they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths, so I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the desert. But for the sake of my name I did...

    Although in these texts it was said that the observation of Sabbaths were an everlasting commandment for the generations to come, Paul said that Sabbaths and New Moon celebrations were only shadows of the things that were to come, but the reality is found in Christ.

 

    He said too that these rules like “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle” are all destined to perish because they are based on human commands and teachings. Thus, the written code from OT with its regulation was took away when Jesus nailed them to the cross, including the formal Sabbath (Colossians 2:14 to 23).

    It is admirable that whereas Jehovah put men to death because they were desecrating his Sabbaths, Jesus was healing people including on the Sabbaths (Luke 13:14).
For this reason, the Jews tried to kill Jesus, because He not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal to God (John 5:18).

 

Jesus fulfilled the law
 

    At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus went into a Synagogue and the day was a Sabbath (Mark 1:21). This fact doesn’t mean that Jesus was a Sabbath’s observer like Pharisees and other religious Jews.

    In order to have authority to declare the OT’s law obsolete (Hebrews 7:18), Jesus needed to fulfill temporarily the law (Luke 2:23 to 24; 4:16; Matthew 3:15 and 5:17) because of the conscience. If Jesus hadn’t fulfilled totally the law, it would remain condemning all men, as the law is a ministry of death and condemnation (2 Corinthians 3:7 to 9).

    But as the judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For just as through the disobedience of the one man (first Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience and fulfillment of all law by one man (last Adam, Jesus Christ), many will be made righteous (Romans 5:16 to 19).

    Something similar occurred with Paul that complied purification rites, just to avoid the reports that he was disobedient to the law, for Jews  have been informed that Paul was teaching all the people to turn away from Moses (Acts 21:20 to 26).

 

Jesus changed the law
 

    Jesus CHANGED both the OT's ritualistic law and also the 10 commandments, for He enlarged them and gave a sense and consistency that they never had.

    Thus, sixth commandment said: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) whereas Jesus said: “Anyone who is angry with his brothers will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:21 and 22).

    The seventh commandment said: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) whereas Jesus said: “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27 and 28).

    Obviously, if Jesus so enlarged these commandments, certainly He enlarged also the forth commandment
referred to the keeping of Sabbath, for the devotion of a good servant can’t be restricted to only one day a week, as He said: “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too” (John 5:17).

    The inconsistency of these ‘immutable laws’ is very clear in the eighth commandment
for it was said: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15) whereas Jehovah ordered the Jews to plunder the Egyptians with articles of silver and gold (Exodus 3:22 and 12:36). What was the use of silver and gold in the desert? Was it to provide material to make the golden calf? (Exodus 32:2 and 3) 


 

     

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