Many around the world are in awe of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ this weekend. It’s unfathomable that God would lay down His life for a wretched, putrid, filthy sinner like me.
One of my favorite quotes regarding Christ’s sacrifice is
He paid a debt He did not owe
because I owed a debt I could not pay.
There is something I’ve noticed in the Christian community. A lot of emphasis is given to the days leading up to and including Resurrection (or Easter) Sunday except for one day. Saturday.
On Thursday there are frequently Passover suppers or communion services commemorating and remembering Jesus’ last supper with His disciples.
Friday is, of course, referred to as “Good Friday” and some businesses close, kids are let out of school and special church services are held in the evenings.
Then on Saturday we take a break from “Holy week” and move to the Easter egg hunts, bunnies, chocolate eggs and more frivolous, counterfeit, even Pagan celebrations.
Bright and early on Sunday morning we’re back to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord. The day that cements all Christianity. (See Mark 16:1 & 2)
It’s sad, but many are missing the point of that Saturday altogether.
Some have suggested that Saturday was a day of hopelessness. Jesus’ own friends we’re in hiding – denying they even knew Him, fearing for their own safety since they could easily be connected with this man that was executed just the day before. That Saturday is often seen as a very dark day.
But I see that day as a very powerful testimony from my Savior. Jesus was simply doing what He had always done – something He’d done since before He laid down His kingly crown and put on human flesh and something that scripture says will even continue in Heaven.
His work – the hardest work ever done – was finished and He rested.
I challenge you this weekend, as you’re in the Scriptures reading the greatest story ever told, that you don’t skip over the powerful message of that hope filled Saturday (in your Bible it’s called “the Sabbath”).
Grab your dictionary and look up Saturday.
Sat·ur·day/ˈsætərˌdeɪ, -di/ [sat-er-dey, -dee]
the seventh day of the week, following Friday.
Then look up Sunday.
Sun·dayˈsʌndeɪ, -di/ [suhn-dey, -dee]
1.the first day of the week, observed as the Sabbath by most Christian sects. (Note: just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s biblical…)
Then do a little Google search on translating the word Saturday to other languages besides English. In 105 different languages it translates to “Sabbath” which means “rest”. (Ever heard of a sabbatical?)
In Spanish it’s sábado
In Italian it’s sabato
Then ask yourself, “what day did Jesus Himself keep holy for worship?”
“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16).
Let’s make this interesting, shall we?
Look through your bible and find me just ONE text that changes God’s chosen day of worship from Saturday (the seventh day of the week) to Sunday (the first day of the week.) If you can find just one text that changes the day of worship that:
- God set up at the end of the Creation week (Gen 1:1, 2:2, 3)
- God reiterated by blessing Israel in the desert with a double portion of manna on Friday and none on the Sabbath (Ex 16:14-30)
- God established in His unchanging law written in stone with His own finger (Luke 16:17, Ex 20:8-11, Deut 9:10)
- Jesus kept while He was on Earth (Luke 4:16) and said He was the Lord of (Mark 2:28)
- Jesus expected His followers would still be keeping 40 years after His death and resurrection (AD 70) when Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome. (Matt 24:20)
- We are told we will keep holy for worship of God even when we live in Heaven (Is 66:22 & 23)
Yes – I’m wagering my home. No, it’s not paid off, but a good chunk of it is. It’s a lovely home with 4 huge bedrooms, beautiful oak floors throughout, a big fire place, a giant yard in a very nice part of town.
How can I risk my home? Because I know that there isn’t ONE command in Scripture that changes God’s law regarding keeping the seventh day Sabbath holy to now keeping the first day, Sunday.
So what’s the big deal?
Well, it’s a life and death kind of thing.
If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
Have a blessed Resurrection (Easter) Sunday. What a wonderful way to start a week!