|This falsehood has gained such strength that multitudes of
Christians refer to it as the "
Jewish Sabbath." But nowhere do we find such an expression in
the Bible. It is called "
the sabbath of the Lord," but never "
the sabbath of the Jews." Exodus 20:10. Luke was a Gentile writer of the New Testament and often made reference to things which were peculiarly Jewish. He spoke of the "nation of the Jews," "the people of the Jews," "the land of the Jews," and the "synagogue of the Jews." Acts 10:22; 12:11; 10:39; 14:1. But please note that Luke never referred to the "sabbath of the Jews," although he mentioned
the Sabbath repeatedly.
Christ clearly taught that "
the sabbath was made for man." Mark 2:27. The fact is that Adam was the only man in existence at the time God made the Sabbath. There were no Jews in the world for at least 2,000 years after creation. It could never have been made for them. Jesus used the term "man" in the generic sense, referring to mankind. The same word is used in connection with the institution of marriage which was also introduced at creation. Woman was made for man just as the Sabbath was made for man. Certainly no one believes that marriage was made only for the Jews.
The fact is that two beautiful, original institutions were set up by God Himself before sin ever came into the world - marriage and the Sabbath. Both were made for man, both received the special blessing of the Creator and both continue to be just as holy now as when they were sanctified in the Garden of Eden.
It is also interesting to note that Jesus was the One who made the Sabbath in the first week of time. There was a reason for His claim to be
Lord of the Sabbath day (Mark 2:28). If He is the Lord of the
Sabbath day, then the Sabbath must be the
Lord's day. John had a vision on "the Lord's day," according to Revelation 1:10. That day had to be the Sabbath. It is the only day so designated and claimed by God in the Bible. In writing the
Ten Commandments, God called it "the sabbath of the Lord." Exodus 20:10. In Isaiah He is quoted as saying, "The sabbath, My
holy day." (Isaiah 58:13).
But we must not overlook the fact that this God who created the world and made the Sabbath was
Jesus Christ Himself. John wrote: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth." John 1:1-3, 14.
Paul clearly identified Jesus as the Creator, "... his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood. ... For by him were all things created." Colossians 1:13-16.
For Christians to separate Jesus from the Sabbath is a tragic mistake. For He is the Author, the Maker, the Sanctifier, and the
Architect of the Sabbath. To discount the blessing which He placed on that day is to deny His authority.
This argument has led many to believe that the Sabbath existed only for a limited period of time following creation. But is this a fact? Actually, the Sabbath could never be just a type or shadow of anything, for the simple reason that it was made before sin entered the human family. Certain shadows and typical observances were instituted as a result of sin and pointed forward to the deliverance from sin.
Such were the sacrifices employed to symbolize the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God. There would have been no animal sacrifices had there been no sin. These offerings were abolished when Christ died on the cross, because the types had met their fulfillment (Matthew 27:51). But no shadow existed before sin entered this world; therefore, the Sabbath could not be included in the ceremonial law of types and shadows.
Paul referred to the temporary system of ordinances in Colossians 2:14-16 as being "against us" and "contrary to us." He tied it to the meat offerings, drink offerings, and yearly festivals of the law that was "blotted out." It is true he referred to sabbaths also in the text, but take careful note that he called them "sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come." Were some sabbath days blotted out at the cross? Yes, there were at least four
yearly sabbaths which came on certain set days of the month, and they were nailed to the cross.
They were shadows and required specified meat and drink offerings. All of these annual sabbaths are described in Leviticus 23:24-36, and then summarized in verses 37 and 38: "These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: beside the sabbaths of the Lord."
The Scripture plainly differentiates between the annual, shadowy sabbaths and the weekly "sabbaths of the Lord." The
ceremonial sabbaths were blotted out at the cross; they had been added as a consequence of sin. But the Sabbath of the Ten-Commandment law had been hallowed before sin was introduced and was later incorporated into the great moral law written by the finger of God. It was eternal in its very nature.