Summary: By looking at the Bible, we can know with certianty what it tells us about Jesus Christ and His actions pertaining to the Sabbath.
DID CHRIST WORK ON THE SABBATH?
John 5: 16-17-18;
What does this say to the question of God and Jesus Christ working on the Sabbath?
To start with, I wanted to point out some other examples of what one might relate
to working on the Sabbath.
“Upon another Sabbath, as Jesus entered a synagogue. He saw there a man who had a withered hand. The Pharisees watched Him, eager to see what He would do. The Saviour well knew that in healing on the Sabbath He would be regarded as a transgressor, but He did not hesitate to break down the wall of traditional requirements that barricaded the Sabbath. Jesus bade the afflicted man stand forth, and then asked, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?" It was a maxim among the Jews that a failure to do good, when one had opportunity, was to do evil; to neglect to save life was to kill. Thus Jesus met the rabbis on their own ground. "But they held their peace. And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." Mark 3:4, 5.
When questioned, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?" Jesus answered, "What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days." Matt. 12:10-12.
Those who hold that Christ abolished the law teach that He broke the Sabbath and justified His disciples in doing the same. By doing this, they are really taking the same ground that the caviling Jews did. In this they contradict the testimony of Christ Himself, who declared, "I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." John 15:10. Neither the Saviour nor His followers broke the law of the Sabbath. Christ was a living representative of the law. No violation of its holy precepts was found in His life. Looking upon a nation of witnesses who were seeking occasion to condemn Him, He could say unchallenged, "Which of you convicteth Me of sin?" John 8:46,
To look a little deeper at this , we need to refresh ourselves about the Sabbath.
"You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does any work therein, shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever does any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death" (Ex.31:14-15 KJV).
Now we need to define what work is and how it is interpreted.
What Is Work? Because ceasing one's work is a major aspect of keeping the Sabbath holy (Ex.20:9-10; 31:14-15), it is important to understand exactly what kind of work God prohibits on his Sabbath day.
In the purest sense, physical work is defined as expending physical energy in order to cause an action to take place in this physical dimension of existence.
What one does to earn a living, including a person's occupation, trade or profession, or what one does to increase one's wealth is defined as work in scripture, and it is prohibited on the Sabbath. However, as we will see, under certain circumstances physical work may be considered spiritual work if it is done for a righteous reason.
In the purest sense, spiritual work is work that is done using spirit energy for spiritual reasons. There is no prohibition against the performance of spiritual work on the Sabbath or the annual observances. As we will see, spiritual work is not only allowed on the Sabbath, it may be required under some circumstances in order to keep the Sabbath holy.
HARVESTING ON THE SABBATH
"One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, 'Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" (Mk.2:23-24 NIV).
It is important to note that there is no law that prohibits a person from eating on the Sabbath. The law that the Pharisees referred to is their law, not God's law. What the
Pharisees accused Jesus and his disciples of was harvesting on the Sabbath (i.e., working on the Sabbath), and harvesting on the Sabbath does violate the Sabbath.