When is the Sabbath day?
People like to argue about the Sabbath. When is this day? The Jews say it’s Saturday. The Christians say it’s Sunday. When is it? Scripture does not tell us what day God rested. The Sabbath day on Saturday was set up, I believe, so that the whole community could observe the day.
Christians have their Sabbath on Sunday because that is the day the Lord rose from the dead. Every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection. Constantine made Sunday an official day for Christians in the Roman Empire in 325 AD.
But it is most likely that this was already Christian practice (1 Corinthians 16:2, where the first day is the first day of the work week, a Sunday on the Jewish calendar) and that he simply made it official when Rome became a Christian empire.
The important thing is that you take one day out of seven, and of course this expands to the seventh year, and every 50 years as well with the Jubilee that no one practices in God’s Law, to both rest and revere God.
God did not declare a certain day for the Sabbath. Nobody knows when the first day of the week was when he created the universe. Since we don’t know this, we cannot know what day it was when he rested seven days later.
The Sabbath commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) in the Ten Commandments tells us to remember (observe) the Sabbath and keep it holy (separate from the rest of the week). God commands us to do all of our work for the week in six days instead of seven.
The seventh day is a Sabbath (rest). On this day we rest, but it is not a day for sleep. It is a day to honor the Lord and rest in his presence. In the wilderness, God used manna to show the principle of the Sabbath rest. Six days of the week the Israelites had to go out and pick up their own manna. But on the sixth day, God provided for two days.
If they went out to look for manna, they found none on the ground. And if they kept the manna throughout the week for more than one day it would spoil. But the manna they picked up on the sixth day lasted through the seventh day.
God’s point was that they should work for six days picking up the manna. But on the seventh day, he provided for enough to get them through that day. They didn’t have to work to get the manna. And it didn’t spoil on them on that seventh day.
More than which day of the week the Sabbath falls on, God is teaching us the principle of resting in him and trusting him to provide for that one day of the week. If we honor the principle of the Sabbath, the day that we honor it on is the Sabbath for us. If we celebrate the Sabbath with a group of people, then we should follow the community standard and honor it together.