Summary: Why do millions of people throughout the world continue to worship the Lord Jesus Christ on the first day of the week.
9 28 14 Sabbath: On the First Day of the Week: Matt. 28:1-10
Here it is, the first day of the week again, and here we are, gathering in worship. If you went to any country in the world today, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will gather together and celebrate the Lord’s Supper together, the sacrament of baptism; they will open God’s Holy Word, as well as sing some praises to the Almighty God. Why do they do that?
There is not a single New Covenant COMMAND to do that, but the Church continues to set the first day of the week aside as a DAY of Worship. (Actually, there are VERY, VERY few who set the entire day aside; MOST seem to cram a little bit of worship into an hour or so of the day, and then they feel that they have paid “their dues” to God by stopping at church for an hour and then they get on with their recreation or whatever.) We are going to look at WHY DOES THE CHURCH WORSHIP on the FIRST Day of the week? And what is the Biblical intent of the Lord’s Day (Sunday) to believers?
Jesus Arose on the First day of the Week
All four Gospels tell us that it was on the first day of the week that Jesus arose from the grave: He was crucified and buried the day before the Sabbath, which would have been Friday, and on the Seventh Day Sabbath, Jesus rested from His Redemptive work of SUFFERING the PENALTY for sin. He suffered the wages of sin for anyone who would believe, and there is no forgiveness outside of Christ.
Romans 4:3: What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." 4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness… 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." 23 The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
God does not merely “look the other way” concerning sin. The penalty must be paid and Jesus paid the debt for anyone who would turn to Him in repentance and put their trust in Him alone as Savior. The payment for sin which Jesus suffered is credited, put on the account of the believer by Faith, not by works: 1. Only Jesus’ resurrection provides justification. ( Remember what Justification is? Through faith, looking to the accomplished work of Christ, God now looks at me just as if I never sinned and just as if I had always done did everything right.) If Jesus had stayed in the grave, sin and death would have won but Jesus’ Resurrection on the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK confirms that His death was a sufficient and effective to God, His offering for sin was TOTALLY victorious: The Resurrection proves that we can be made right with God.
2. Only Jesus’ work provides “eternal rest”: Heb. 4:9-11 says:” So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. (“Sabbath REST” in the Greek is one word: Sabbatismos- it’s the blessed ETERNAL rest that awaits the true worshippers of God. It won’t be temporary like that of Joshua’s time. It’s not weekly like OT times. It’s not a land like Canaan which had to be cleansed of enemies. It is God’s Kingdom where death and sin HAS BEEN CONQUERED by the Lord Jesus.) 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” Those who die in faith, trusting their Lord will have an eternal rest in HIM.
Alright…So Jesus died the Friday of Passover week and had to be buried hastily before sunset, which was when the Sabbath began. His body remained in the borrowed grave throughout the Sabbath day (Saturday to us) (it was borrowed because He would not need it for long), but on that Sunday morning on the First Day of the Week, when the priest was to offer the First Fruits offering in the Temple, Christ arose from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep: 3. So Only Jesus’ resurrection insures ours. (I Cor. 15:20)