What Day is the Sabbath?

Sabbath 2

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

We can look on any Gregorian calendar and see that the seventh day, on which the LORD rested, was at the end of the week of creation. The first day of creation began in total darkness and by the end of that first day, the God of creation had spoken “Let there be light: and there was light.” {Genesis 1:3` B} Due to His great and awesome power, all He needs to do is speak and creation occurred. {John 1:1-3}

God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. {Genesis 1:4-5} This is how we know that each day actually begins at sundown because as it is written, ‘the evening and the morning’ constitutes a day. In scripture, evening precedes morning and the new day begins and the old one ends at sunset. {Leviticus 23:32}

God continued to create something new each day during the week of creation and by the time He finished creating, it was the end of the sixth day.

And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. {Genesis 1:31} Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made. {Genesis 2:1-3}

Therefore we know that according to the Bible, God began creating on the first day of the week and that day is Sunday; the first day of the week, just like it is on your calendar. The Sabbath day in which He rested, was at the end of the week, on the seventh day. That day is Saturday. However, the Sabbath day begins in the evening on Friday, just like every other day of creation begins…. in the evening of the day before because ‘the evening and the morning’, constitutes a day.

Did you know that out of all the days that God created, it was only the Sabbath ‘day’ that He blessed? He blessed ‘things’ upon the earth during the days of creation; but He gave His blessing to no other ‘day’ of creation. In the 20th chapter of Exodus, The God of Israel purposely brings to mind the creation of the Sabbath day, all the way back to Genesis, because it was part of the creation of the world and therefore cannot change any more than the moon can become the sun.

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His grace is sufficient in that He has prepared a place for His created to live, before He even created human life. He created man and woman on the sixth day to live on the earth that He had created. The very next day, He rested and set this day aside as an appointment for all of His creation to stop all that they do and meet with Him.

It is in this that we understand what Jesus meant when He said that the Sabbath was created for man, simply because He created man the day before He rested on the Sabbath day. If the Sabbath had been created ‘before’ man was created, the following scripture would not have been spoken by Jesus, nor would it have been written by Mark, its author.

Mark 2:27-28 And He (Jesus) said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.

NOTE: Notice that the scripture that you just read does not say that the Sabbath was made for the Jew. The Sabbath is not a Jewish institution. If one takes the time to count, the first Sabbath was nearly 2,300 years before there was a Jew. The Sabbath was made for man, so he could rest from his six days of labor. Not to mention, we will never read it in the Bible as ‘Jewish Sabbath’. It is most often referred to as the Sabbath of the LORD simply because He is the One Who instituted the Sabbath.

The Sabbath day is based on a seven day cycle that started during the week of creation. In the original Hebrew, it is perfectly understood that the Sabbath is ‘one’ specific day, the seventh day. Everywhere in all scripture, the Sabbath day is always associated with a seven day cycle that does not change. Since we know that God Himself does not change, we can faithfully trust that He is not going to change the seventh day Sabbath either.

How do I know that the Sabbath is a day set aside as an ‘appointment’ to stop all that we do and meet with Him? Read the following passage from the book of Leviticus:

¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
~ Leviticus 23:1-4

First of all, God told Moses that the ‘feasts’ were His and that He expected the children of Israel to proclaim His feasts to be holy convocations which they were to proclaim in their seasons. The Sabbath day was the very first day that God considered to be a feast day. The word feast in Hebrew is ‘moed’ and means appointed place, an appointed time and meeting. The Sabbath day is the very first fixed time or season set aside for a definite purpose, as a day to rest and assemble in a place by a weekly or annual appointment.

The children of The God of Israel, were supposed to take all that they learned from Moses, who heard all the words from God the Creator and then these people were to proclaim all that they heard and learned, unto all the nations so that all the nations would learn of the blessings of the God of Israel.

There are two words in the previous scripture that I shared that I want to focus on. The word ‘holy’ in Hebrew is qodesh, pronounced ko’-desh; meaning a sacred place or thing; rarely abstract, sanctity:–consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.

The word convocations in Hebrew- miqra’, pronounced mik-raw’, is something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal:–assembly, calling, convocation, and reading.]

The reason that I say that the Sabbath is a fixed time [weekly] or a season is because there are more Sabbath days than just the weekly Sabbath. These days are also fixed times that occur throughout the year. Even though the weekly Sabbath feast day is celebrated weekly, one of the annual Sabbath’s are referred to in scripture by John the beloved. He called it a high Sabbath. So even though all Sabbath days do not necessarily fall on a weekly seventh day Sabbath at the end of each week, they are still a Sabbath none the less.

For instance, the high Sabbath that John mentions (The year of the death of Messiah) in his gospel is a Thursday. What makes it a ‘high’ Sabbath is that it was a specific day that began the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day that Jesus was laid in the Tomb. Not many people are even aware that during that week, the week of the death of Jesus, that there were two Sabbath’s.

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. ~ John 19:3

Jesus arose from the grave at the end of the weekly Sabbath that year. That was the day that He would be waved before the Father as the first fruits offering which Paul mentions in a few of His letters. So Yahushua (Jesus) was laid to ‘rest’ on a high Sabbath and arose from His rest, three days and three nights later; at the end of the weekly Sabbath, just as He said He would be.

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. ~ Matthew 12:40

One might be thinking, ‘these days were only commanded for the children of Israel’. Of a truth, the Gentile’s are graft into the family and receive an inheritance no different than the original family of Israel. As adopted children of the family of Israel, we are the children of the God of Israel, therefore we are Israel.

It is here in this 23rd chapter of Leviticus that we can learn about the weekly Sabbath and annual Sabbath days. This chapter is widely recognized as one of the most important chapters for unlocking the scriptures because it is the feast days that teach us so much about the Messiah.

Something one might keep in mind is that it was the God of Israel; our Father Who spoke the words from His own mouth to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”. (Exodus 20:8) The children of Israel were all gathered at the most lowest part of Mount Sanai to hear Him speak all that He did that third day, giving them the Law (Torah), the same day as the Resurrection, showing everyone how both give life.

The word to focus on here is ‘remember’. In Hebrew, the word ‘remember’ is ‘zakar’, meaning to recall to mind. The word ‘remember’ that is written here in this text at Exodus 20:08 is telling the children of Israel and us [the reader] to bring back into our memory [just as it was to the hearer then], to remember a certain day; ‘the Sabbath’. We know this is true because in verse 11 of this same chapter (20), the days of creation are brought to the attention of the children of Israel that day, and now to us, the reader. This clearly shows that the Sabbath day goes all the way back to creation and was not all the sudden a new thing, implemented at Mt Sinai. The Sabbath is a memorial of creation because its establishment on earth is linked to the completion of creation week.

As a personal reflection, I tend to think that the fact that this day is the only thing that the LORD told the children of Israel to remember is something that every person should stop and consider and maybe ask why. Was it because He knew that over time, that humanity would be influenced into thinking that the Sabbath was not so important and that man would call every day a Sabbath and be ok with that? I don’t think this is the case because no one would be able to labor in the work force if every day were a Sabbath. God loves His people and He wants them to know the truth.

So far we have learned that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath day. We also learned that there are more Sabbath days throughout the year. We also learned that the Sabbath day is a day to be remembered. Next week, I will share about how humanity came to observe the first day of the week, as opposed to the seventh day of the week that God commanded and how the Sabbath is a ‘sign’.

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About eudoranachand

A Spirit filled disciple who continually seeks His kingdom and His righteousness.
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