The Oldest Religious Festival - Sinai and the Sabbath - Sabbath in the Gospels
REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY
THREE DIFFERENT SABBATHS
The Jewish Sabbath. This was a day that was developed by the rabbis. For years the Children of Israel had been Sabbath breakers, carrying on their trades and ignoring the Sabbath of God. They had been taken into captivity for the worship of idols instead of worshipping the true God. When they returned from Captivity, the Rabbis, their religious leaders and teachers regulated how the Sabbath should be kept. By doing this, they hoped to safeguard the Sabbath from being broken again. These rules were very direct and related to the minutiae of life. You could not pick up a handkerchief that had dropped to the floor. You could not carry a handkerchief; it had to be pinned on your body instead. You could not carry a basket of food, as it was a ‘burden.’ We may smile at these things, but they began with the best of intentions. This however was not God’s Sabbath but the Jewish Sabbath. It was a day of legalistic requirements. When Jesus came he tried to show how the Sabbath can be a day of delight, a day for healing the sick and doing good and worshipping in the synagogue as His custom was. The Sabbath is to be a pleasure not a burden..
The Christian Sabbath. This is often the name given to the Sunday Sabbath kept today by the majority of Christians. It was supposed to have been started by the apostles. In the New Testament we have only one Sunday service mentioned. That does not make it a custom. Jesus went into the Synagogue every Sabbath – as his custom was. There are over 80 references to the keeping holy of the seventh day Sabbath in the New Testament. This is an on going custom with the apostles. They did not institute Sunday worship in honour of the resurrection. The so-called Christian Sabbath is also the Roman Sabbath as this is one of the towns where it started and later became a regular practice. It was an overtly anti-Semitic practice with motives of politics and convenience. Sunday continues today but it is not a good practice for a God fearing Christian who loves all peoples. If recognised at all the Christian Sabbath is often only one hour on a Sunday, with the remainder of the day being a holiday of newspapers, gardening or other domestic activities. God is very little considered on the Christian Sunday Sabbath.God’s Sabbath. The true Sabbath was given right at the beginning at Creation.
God gave it to be a blessing to those who had been working on everyday things for six days of the week. It is a time when God can meet with us and share our time with us. It is a full 24 hours from Sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. God’s Sabbath today is not just Saturday. God’s Sabbath crosses two of our days, Friday and Saturday. At creation the dark part of the day came first, then the daylight. The evening and the morning were the first day, and so on. The Sabbath fits this same pattern. God knows we are tired on a Friday night and need to stop. Those who keep the Christian Sunday Sabbath frequently spend Friday night in clubs and pubs with continued activity even though they are tired. God however, gives us the much-needed refreshment, and allows us to stop and relax and unwind.