Sabbath Created by Christ
The Apostle John made it plain that Jesus Christ was the God of the Old Testament. Notice what John writes, “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
). Of Christ, Paul wrote, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Col. 1:16
). Scripture clearly states that Jesus Christ was the Creator of this earth (Eph. 3:9
, Heb. 1:10
) and the God of the Old Testament. As Jesus Christ of the New Testament, He was manifested in the flesh. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:1-4
Christ created the Sabbath during the Creation week. “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” (Gen. 2:2-3
). The Sabbath was created for the benefit of man. Jesus stated, “. . . The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28
). The Sabbath that Jesus created was the seventh-day Sabbath-Saturday, the seventh day of the week. It is the only day that God has ever sanctified or set apart as a day of worship!
Christ Revealed the Sabbath to Israel
While the Sabbath was revealed to man at Creation, it was generally ignored. In the pre-Flood world only a few men were obedient to God. Enoch and Noah were examples of these, and were exceptions. After the Flood we find Abraham obeyed God. Of him God said, “. . . Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (Gen. 26:5
). During their slavery in Egypt the children of Israel had lost all knowledge of the Sabbath. When Christ, as the God of the Old Testament, delivered them from Egypt He gave the following instruction to Moses:
Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. . . . And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. . . . Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. . . . See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day (Ex. 16:4-5
This instruction also includes the need to recognize Friday as the preparation day for the Sabbath.
In Exodus, chapter twenty, the command to observe the Sabbath day is included in the Ten Commandments. It is the fourth commandment.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 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 (Ex. 20:8-11
This command emphasizes the need to remember the Sabbath as a day of rest. It had been previously revealed to them by the miracle of the manna as we see recorded in Exodus, chapter sixteen.
There are many commands in the Old Testament regarding the weekly Sabbath. Let us note a few of them.
Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed (Ex. 23:12
Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest (Ex. 34:21
Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death (Ex. 35:2
Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. . . . Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord (Lev. 19:3
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 (Lev. 23:3
Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord (Lev. 26:2
Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou (Deut. 5:12-14
The following instructions regarding violations of the Sabbath day are plainly spelled out in the Scriptures.
And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt (Neh. 10:31
In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day (Neh. 13:15-19
Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers (Jer. 17:2-22