What does the Bible say about the
Sabbath and Sunday?
The word Sabbath means "rest" (not Saturday). God requires each one of us to set aside one day of the week for worshipping Him and for resting. Let us see what the Bible tells us about this day of spiritual and physical renewal:
1. In Exodus 20:8-11 we read that the believer should rest on the seventh day. (God does not say the seventh
day of the week!)
2. The Sabbath on Saturday is a sign of the Covenant for the Jewish people (Exodus 31:16-17). On that day no fire may be made (Exodus 35:3); no firewood may be gathered (Numbers 15:32-35) and nobody may leave his home on the Sabbath day (Exodus 16:29). If a Christian wishes to keep the Jewish Sabbath (on Saturday) he should do it in the Jewish way.
3. Jesus did not tell his disciples anywhere in the New Testament to keep the Jewish Sabbath. He did, however,
repeat all nine the other commandments for his disciples. We do notice that the Jews rejected Jesus more than once because he broke the Sabbath according to their understanding (Matthew 12:1-14).
4. In the New Testament we find that the "Lord's Day," Sunday, replaced the Jewish Sabbath for the Christians, because 4.1 the Lord Jesus rose from death on Sunday (John 20:1); 4.2 every time that Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, it was on Sunday (Matthew
28:10; Luke 24:13-36; John 20:19-23; etc.); 4.3 the day of Pentecost (the pouring out of the Holy Spirit) was on Sunday (Acts 2:1); 4.4 the first Christians thus came together on the first day of the week, the Lord's day, the Sunday, for their church services and communion services (Acts 20:7) and also brought their offerings to God on Sunday (1 Corinthians 16:2).
5. The apostle Paul started his work by trying to reach the Jews by preaching to them on the Jewish Sabbath in the
synagogues (Acts 13:14, 42, 44) but to the Christians he preached on Sundays (Acts 20:7) even though he had already arrived there before the Saturday (verse 6).
6. Some of the Jewish Christians tried to force the believers from non-Jewish nations to be obedient to the Jewish laws. An important general meeting of Christians was held about this matter in Jerusalem. The decision of this meeting is found in Acts 15: 28-29: the Jewish laws (verse 24) do not apply to Christians.
Paul also writes that no one may judge a Christian for not keeping the Jewish feasts or Sabbath (Colossians 2:16).
8. Since those days through all the centuries the Christians used the Lord's day (Sunday) for their day of worship.
In conclusion: The Jews keep their Sabbath on Saturday, but Christians keep their Sabbath (day of rest and worship) on the Lord's day, Sunday.