Jesus claimed His authority over the Sabbath when He said: “Therefore, the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28). Here Jesus takes His rightful place as the One who gave this law of the Sabbath.
The real Jesus kept the law and expected His disciples to do the same. He made clear His attitude about anyone diminishing one iota from the law. Anyone not keeping it is only using the good name of Christ without doing what He said.
The simple fact is that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath and nowhere in the Scriptures will you find that the day God established at creation as the proper day of rest and worship has been changed or abolished.
For, being the very Creator (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3), He is the One who created the Sabbath by resting on it (Genesis 2:2-3). Thus it is foolish to argue that Jesus would abolish or annul something that He had personally created for the benefit of every human being!
According to Christ’s own statements, it is possible to usurp His authority by worshiping Him in a way that does no good—that is, it is in vain. God does not give us the choice of how to worship Him—only whether we will worship Him according to His instructions or not. What, then, must He think of those who ignore His commands regarding the Sabbath, substituting instead a different day?
The Bible is Quite Clear on Which Day He Blessed and Sanctified
In the book of Genesis we read of God creating the earth, then filling it with plants and animals and forming it into a dazzlingly beautiful home for the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Here we read of the real origin of the Sabbath: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:2-3).
This day was different from the other days of creation week. God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. The word "sanctify" means to set apart as holy. God specifically set apart the seventh day, making it holy. We read three times in these two verses that God did not work on this day. The emphasis is that this was His day of rest. It was God’s Sabbath rest.
Remarkably, some will still argue that this doesn’t prove the Sabbath existed from creation week, maintaining that it wasn’t instituted until given to Israel at Mount Sinai and that it was meant for the physical nation of Israel alone—and for only a limited time.
However, Jesus Christ Himself dispelled this notion. “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath,” He explained to some who completely misunderstood its intent and purpose (Mark 2:27).
The Sabbath Remains a Sign of a Special Relationship
God reveals an important point about the Sabbath day in Exodus 31:13-17: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death…”
Notice one purpose God gave for keeping the Sabbath: “that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” God says keeping the Sabbath holy is a reminder to those He calls that He is the One who has sanctified them, setting them apart and establishing a special relationship with them as His people.
To God, His Sabbath distinguishes those who believe in keeping His commandments from those who rely on their own reasoning for determining how they should live and relate to Him. Those who keep holy His Sabbath day—the only day of the week God has ever set apart—proclaim, by their actions, their acceptance of Him as the supreme authority over how they should live, think and worship.
In our Bible study aid Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest you will find a thorough explanation of God's Sabbath and take a journey through the Bible to discover His rest.
The simple fact is that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath and nowhere in the Scriptures will you find that the day God established at creation as the proper day of rest and worship has been changed or abolished. Most religious groups don’t have a problem with the other nine commandments, but few are willing to submit to God’s will on the Fourth.
Rarely will a church organization change its beliefs. But with God’s help and guidance, you can change yours and begin patterning your life according to His instructions!