Is Jesus our Sabbath? (Part 2 of 2)
By Marsha Basner
In the last blog, we began to examine the argument that “Jesus is our Sabbath”. This has used by some to say that the seventh-day Sabbath is no longer in effect or that it has been changed.
We finished part 1 of this blog by showing that the Apostles observed the Sabbath 85 times in the New Testament. If the 7th day Sabbath was to be rejected and broken by the Apostles and the early church, where is that evidence there in the NT?
Why on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 did the Apostles not tell the 3000 Jews that they were no longer to keep the Sabbath?
Why didn’t Gamaliel, the Chief Justice of the Sanhedrin, REBUKE the Apostles for teaching against the Sabbath and have them stoned them for breaking it? In Gamaliel’s conclusion about Christians we read found NOTHING errant in their teaching and he said to the court:
“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)
This testimony alone, which was by the disciples’ enemies, proves that they were not teaching that “Jesus was the Sabbath”. It also demonstrates that they were not teaching the newly baptized believers to break the 7th day Sabbath!
Let’s continue this conversation by examining other conversions in the book of Acts. Why weren’t the Samaritans in Acts chapter 8 told that they no longer needed to keep the Sabbath upon their conversion? They were Sabbath observant as were the Jewish people. Later in Acts 8, why wasn’t the Ethiopian treasurer told that He no longer needed to keep the Sabbath? He was apparently part of the Ethiopian Jews which existed since the time of Solomon’s temple.
In Acts chapter 9 we learn about Paul, who searched with “arrest warrants” for the Messianic believers in Damascus. When he had that vision of Jesus, why wasn’t he told then or upon his baptism, to stop keeping the Sabbath? But let’s revisit where Paul was going when he received that vision. The text says:
“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1-2)
So WHERE was Paul going to arrest these disciples? To the Synagogues of Damascus…… Synagogues??? Yes, Synagogues. It is obvious that these new believers were keeping the Sabbath, otherwise why would they be still in the Synagogues?
What about Cornelius IN Acts chapter 10; why was he not told that “Jesus was his Sabbath”?
Then Lydia in Acts 16, who was worshiping on the Sabbath, was not told to cease and desist from her worship on the Sabbath since “Jesus was her Sabbath” now?
In Acts 19, the disciples of John, who was a Levitical priest, would have been strict Sabbath keepers. When they were counseled for Baptism, why were they not told that “Jesus was their Sabbath” and that they were free to break the Sabbath that they had received from John?
Paul in his trails before Festus and Felix, if he had been a Sabbath breaker, witnesses most certainly would have come forth, against him and he would have received the death penalty, but were there any witnesses for him being a Sabbath breaker? Why because Paul never broke the 7th day Sabbath. From his own words we read his testimony: “While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended anything at all.” (Acts 24:8)
Moving into the future, Messianic age, in we read that the sabbath is STILL going to be observed, in Isaiah 66:23.
So those who make such claim, that the Sabbath is not be observed because “Jesus is our Sabbath” have not even one scripture upon which to base their position.
Truly our Savior and King, gives us rest, peace, mercy, strength, but He Himself kept the Sabbath throughout His lifetime. The disciples of His were noted to be keeping it at the time of His death in Luke 23:56. Nowhere do we see Him rebuking them for forgetting that He was their Sabbath.
So we categorically reject the claim that Jesus is now our Sabbath, there is not one example or verse to support their claim. This is not a teaching from the scriptures, but is truly from the doctrines of man.
I want to admonish you all to continue to “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints”, which included the keeping of the 7th Day Sabbath of the 10 commandments.
Marsha Basner served on the board of the BSA for many years. www.biblesabbath.org