Millions of people in Christendom are completely unaware of the fact that they are not amenable the 10 commandments. The lack of knowledge and understanding goes even to the extent that many of these individuals confuse the first of day of the week with the seventh day of the week by referring to it as the “Christian Sabbath.” But ignorance does not change reality, and reality says that the first day of the week is not referred to as the “Christian Sabbath” in any single verse of the New Testament.
The seventh day Sabbath had a purpose for the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 5: 2-4, 12, 15) and that purpose came to an end when the Law of Moses was replaced with the Law of Christ (Galatians 3:11, 24-25; Hebrews 8:6-7). The rest for God’s people under the New Covenant is not a single day of the week – it is the laborious induced hope of a continual reward of rest in the heavenly presence of God (Hebrews 4:8-11).
Go ahead and enjoy some physical rest. There is nothing wrong with resting in and of itself. But when it comes to resting (or worship) there is no need to confuse others when it comes to the relationship of the 10 commandments and the New Covenant by referring to the first day of the week as any sort of “Sabbath” other than a personal one that is not bound as a commandment upon the church as a whole by God (Romans 14:5-6).
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)
In the chapter we learn some particulars:
- The words are addressed to Israel (5:1)
- A covenant was made with Israel on Mt Horeb (5:2)
- This covenant was not made “with our fathers” (5:3). The meaning of this phrase is understood variously. First, the generation to whom the words were given initially (Exodus 12-24) died in the wilderness. Thus, to them it was not given, but to this current generation on the east side of the Jordan, preparing to go into the promised land. Second, based on 5:4, the words are understood to refer to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The latter seems to be the better interpretation.
- The Lord’s base “command” (not a command at all, though the rabbis believe it to be such) is the declaration that His following words are directly connected to their origin (5:6), that is, that He brought them up out of Egypt.
- The Sabbath command is directly related to their time of bondage in Egypt (5:15).
- To the “Ten Words” “He added no more” (5:22). This is the reading in the NKJV, ASV, Brenton (LXX translation), ESV, KJV, and NIV. Thus, these commands of the Lord are distinct from that which the Lord gave Moses otherwise. The NET gives a rendering that essentially says the same, but it does not have the same “pop” (if you will): “and that was all he said.” The Jewish Publication Society (JPS) reads “and it went on no more.”
- These commands were written on two stone tablets.
- The occasion at the mountain was not only the commands given, but the experience of hearing the Lord speak (5:23-27).
- The Lord laments that the experience and the commands adhered to will not last long (5:28-29).
- Moses gives some exhortations and warnings (5:31-33).
Recently someone requested a sermon on the Sabbath; here’s a link to the audio of that lesson — not an exhaustive study, by any means, but an effort to collate key facets of the subject:
Whoosh! There goes another one. A blink of the eye is too slow to match pace. The proverbial hamster wheel of life keeps us frantically running from one day to the next, all the while we are wondering where has the day gone; the week; the year.
Genesis 2:3 tells us that after six days full of creating and forming God rested from His labor of love and blessed the seventh day as a holy day, setting it apart as honored and special.
For the Israelites who had been hard labor slaves in Egypt the Sabbath Day of rest was an ancient novelty their ancestors may have experienced. But the circumstances of Egypt did not negate the Lord’s intentions. The seventh day had always been holy and this new nation would recognize it again. Continue reading
Me: So, which of the 10 Commandments are we not under today as Christians?
Teenage girl: The 5th one.
Me: Are you certain?
Teenage girl: Yes, we are no longer under the Sabbath law today.
Me: I think the 5th one says something a bit different. 🙂