Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8)
The seventh day of the week is Saturday. In the Bible it’s called the Sabbath day, meaning rest. It recalls the day God completed His work of creation. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done (Genesis 2:2). God didn’t rest because He was tired, but because He’d completed His work of creation; it was finished.
God commanded the nation of Israel to keep the Sabbath. Both people and animals were to cease from all their physical labors on Saturday as a reminder that everything, including time, is a precious gift from God (Exodus 20:8-11).
The command to keep the Sabbath is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated in the New Testament for Christians. Some groups still keep Saturday as their day of worship, believing that they have replaced Israel in God’s plan of redemption and Saturday worship earns favor with God. So why doesn’t God command Christians to keep the Sabbath day?
Early Christians gathered on the first day of the week because it was the day Jesus was raised from the dead (Matthew 28:1-6; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-6; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). They called Sunday the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10). It signaled the resurrection of Jesus and the spiritual rest found in Jesus through faith.
See, the Jews were never able to find rest because they were never able to keep the Law given by Moses (Hebrews 3:7-11). But in the death of Jesus, we receive spiritual rest (Hebrews 4:9-11).
With His final breath on the cross, Jesus cried out: It is finished. By His death, Jesus finished the work of a new creation. He became spiritual rest from sin and its curse for all who would trust in Him (Galatians 3:13).
The Sabbath is fulfilled in Christ Jesus. We throw ourselves upon God’s unlimited grace and rest in Christ’s work to both save and keep us. Rather than calling us to stop working, walking, and wrestling from earthly cares, the Lord calls us to Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest … and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28, 29). Jesus is our Sabbath Day, and in Him we rest.