Summary: A message concerning the command of the Sabbath and it's present day relevance.
The Commandment we will be looking at this chapter is the 4th. It is the final of the commandments that involve our relationship to God specifically. It is found in Exodus Chapter 20 and verse 8.
20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
So the command is to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Verses 9-11 help to illustrate how that should be done.
20:9-11 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
The command is to remember God and to rest. God gives the example of the need for humans to rest by resting himself on the 7th day of creation. God did not need to rest because He was weary, He was giving an example for man to follow. When the Commandment was given it was not about worship, it was about rest and remembrance.
Remember the framework of relationship we have been talking about in the other commandments? This is no different. If we take one day in seven to rest and spend time contemplating what God has done for us, it will help our relationship with Him and with others. But we as born again believers do not do it out of following a law because we have been set free from the laws curse. We look to God out of love and thankfulness. Both our love and thankfulness are born out of what Jesus has done for us. By His death for our sins and resurrection Jesus has purchased our salvation and when we remember what God has done, the work of Jesus has to be at the top of the list. Look at what the Father says about that in John's book:
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Our Christian worship on Sunday is also not a moving of the Sabbath, we are not under a Sabbath command any longer. Out of 10 commandments, only 9 were restated in the New Testament. This one was not. If anything the keeping of the Sabbath was something that those who rejected Christ and hung onto the law did. Did the disciples attend Sabbath? Yes. Let me give two reasons for this- 1. They were Jews first and still carried on in the tradition of the past (they also met on Sunday as a gathering of believers). 2. If you plan to evangelize the Jews, what better place than in the temple on the Sabbath? We see evidence of that happening many times.
Why worship on Sunday? The best reason is that Jesus rose from the grave on a Sunday and by worshiping then, we show by our gathering that we believe this. A great many things happened on the first day of the week and I list some of those below. What we need to focus on is that relationship between us and God. Do you feel the need to worship on Saturday? Then do it. But please do it out of love for God and not in thinking that somehow by fulfilling the Old Testament law you will be in better standing with God. James tells us that to be guilty in one part of the law is to be guilty of it all. Knowing that we cannot keep all the law, we cannot expect part of it to save or keep us.
Here are some things that happened on Sunday:
Jesus appeared to the disciples on the first day of the week (John 20:19).
Jesus appeared inside the room to the eleven disciples eight days after the first day of the week. The Jewish way of measuring days meant that it was again Sunday (John 20:26).
The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, the first day of the week (Lev. 23:16; Acts 2:1).
The first sermon was preached by Peter on the first day of the week (Acts 2:14).
Three thousand converts joined the church on the first day of the week (Acts 2:41).
The three thousand were baptized on the first day of the week (Acts 2:41).
The Christians assembled broke bread on the first day of the week.