Some Christians today attempt to make an argument against keeping the seventh day Sabbath as it was given and observed from the first week of creation. They have created a man-made doctrine that invalidates what God has commanded under the New Covenant. This new false doctrine states we do not have to keep, observe or obey God’s 4th commandment because Jesus is now our rest. This is unscriptural and false. There is absolutely no scripture which states that doctrine is true, there are many proof texts that oppose it. Jesus warned the Pharisees about doing these types of things and He warned them that they worshipped Him in vain (Matthew 15:4-9).
I’d like to share my thoughts about Jesus, the Sabbath and the Pharisees.
Jesus often spoke about people’s hearts being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin so that they couldn’t understand His parables. So I believe the Pharisees were hardened because of their sin (of pride) which spiritually blinded them so they did not understand the intent (tenor) of God’s laws. I believe that’s also why they couldn’t recognize their Messiah when He came to them with the truth. They had changed God’s laws so much by adding to it and by also making up their own man-made doctrines and philosophies that they no longer knew who God really was or what He required.
God’s laws, and more specifically the intent of God’s laws, reflect His love and character. So by adding to God’s laws, and in some cases completely voiding God’s laws (Matthew 15:4-9), they made up their own way to salvation like Cain did and they furthered their separation from the truth and from God Himself.
Because of their lack of knowledge and understanding, they made a false accusation against Jesus and they erred in righteous judgement.
The false accusation:
“But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto Him, Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.”
Jesus instructed them on proper judgement:
(Keeping in mind that King David and the priests lived under the Old Covenant.)
“But He said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?”
Another example of not breaking the Sabbath:
“Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days TO DO GOOD, or to do evil? TO SAVE LIFE, or to destroy it?”
Jesus sums up the conclusion and further defines it for them:
“How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore IT IS LAWFUL TO DO WELL ON THE SABBATH DAYS.”
“But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, YE WOULD NOT HAVE CONDEMNED THE GUILTLESS. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.”
“If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at Me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, BUT JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT.”
The seventh day Sabbath wasn’t voided or changed by Jesus. Jesus, King David and the priests who “worked” on the Sabbath knew and understood God’s laws and kept them because they also knew and understood the intent of God’s laws.
“The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth for ever.”
The New Testament book of Hebrews shows and proves that the seventh day Sabbath is still the same exact day that was observed by God at the end of creation week.
The apostle Paul also makes it clear that the seventh day Sabbath remains to be kept and observed in the exact same way God observed it by resting.
The scripture concludes by saying if someone fails to keep it this certain way, that they are sinning (falling) because of their unbelief and are in danger of God’s judgement.
The seventh day Sabbath was established by God as a holy rest day. Man changed it into meaning a day of worship. We should worship God everyday, but on the seventh day we should rest according to God’s New Testament commandment and Jesus kept it too.
“For He spake in a certain place
of the seventh day on this wise,
And GOD did rest
the seventh day from all His works.”
We are commanded to rest (1.) the exact same day (2.) and the exact same way that God rested at the end of creation week. Jesus didn’t change the commandment, He understood the commandment.
“There REMAINETH therefore
A REST to the people of God.
For he that is entered into HIS REST,
he also hath ceased from his own works,
AS GOD DID FROM HIS.
LET US LABOUR THEREFORE
TO ENTER INTO THAT REST,
lest any man fall
after the same example of unbelief.”
(The Pharisees were angry and confused because they were thinking like Nicodemus.)
“And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”