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Christian Articles by Pamela Ayn Austen

Pamela Ayn Austen

Pamela Ayn Austen

Jesus Is Our Sabbath,
Not a Day of the Week

The Sabbath used to be a day of the week, the seventh day, in which God, through the Law of the Old Testament, required the Jews to keep as a day of rest.  But it signified something much more than simply not working at their daily chores for one day out of the week.  The Law required the Jews to attempt to save their own souls through obedience to ordinances, which God always knew was impossible.  The whole point in the Law was to prove that mankind needed a Savior to die for their sins and redeem them from the curse of the Law which was eternal death.  And so the Prophets and the Law foretold the coming of that Savior, or the Messiah, which is Jesus.  (See my article, The Woman Clothed With the Sun, about how the Old Testament was always pregnant with the Gospel.)

When we try to obey laws to save ourselves, then we are trying to get to heaven based on our own works.  But when we accept Jesus's death on the cross, which pays for all of our sins, then we rest from our own works, and we rely entirely on Jesus's work.  Therefore, in spiritual reality, Jesus becomes our Sabbath.  Through Jesus, we rest from our own works, and we rely on his work of salvation that was accomplished on the cross.  We rest permanently, not for just one day, and we rest by faith in Jesus; and that is the true rest of the Sabbath

The reason God had the Jews keep certain festivals or somber days was because, eventually, the real reason for that day was going to appear.  Such as, how could Jesus, the true Lamb of God, be sacrificed on the Passover, if the Jews had never started keeping the Passover, or if they had just let that holiday peter-out?  There was a reason for the Passover, and there was a reason for the Sabbath being kept; because eventually, our true Sabbath rest was coming to give us rest from trying to work out our own salvation.  But once the perfect is here, the imperfect ceases. (1 Corinthians 13:10)

The Apostle Paul tells us that we can worship God on the Sabbath, or the first of the week, or any other day of the week, or we can treat all days alike.  And when the Galatians kept arguing over the matter, insisting that certain days had to be legalistically kept, he said, "How is it that you are turning back to the weak and worthless principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that my efforts for you may have been in vain." (Galatians 4:9-11)


Paul made it clear that each person should worship on the days he wishes, and that no one should judge another on the matter of what day they worship.  He said that those who think they must worship on a particular day are weak in faith, however, those strong in faith should not judge them; and those weak in faith must not judge those who are strong in faith and who understand that they are no longer under the Law, and they can worship on whatever day they like.  He said in Colossians 2:16: "Therefore, let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a new moon, or a Sabbath."  


The Sabbath rest is not a day anymore; our Sabbath rest is Jesus.  We must stop trying to save ourselves by our own labor and works under the Law (i.e. the other 6 days of the week), and we must rest in what Jesus did for us on the cross (the Sabbath day).  This makes Jesus our Sabbath, and this is what resting on the Sabbath always, from the first days of the creation, stood for:  Jesus.   This also proves that God knew, from the beginning of creation, what Jesus was appointed to do for us all.  Jesus's death for us wasn't an after-thought; it was God's plan since the creation of the world; as Jesus said, "No one takes my life from me; I lay it down willingly."    

The irony in those who insist to everyone that they must only worship on Saturday, and that anyone who doesn't is a reprobate, and that not worshiping on the Sabbath is, of all things, the Mark of the Beast, is this:  They, not understanding the spiritual significance of the Sabbath, and that Jesus is our Sabbath, are themselves "working on the Sabbath."  When anyone tries to earn salvation by their own works, then they are spiritually working on the Sabbath.  Whoever trusts in Jesus's work on the cross for our salvation, then they are resting on the Sabbath, because the Sabbath is Jesus's accomplished work of salvation.  We stop our works, and we trust in his work: that's the Sabbath rest.  If you think, for one minute, that you have to do something extra to be "right with God", then you're trampling on Jesus, you're denying your own irredeemable sinfulness, and you're spiritually working on the Sabbath.  We rest by faith in Jesus's works, and Jesus is our salvation, our obedience, and our Sabbath rest. 


So, people who teach others that they're sinning against God, and they're going to hell if they don't worship on Saturday, they themselves are the ones in danger of the fires of hell, because they are relying on their own works to save them; and thereby, they are spiritually "working on the Sabbath", and by their self-righteous attitude, they're sinning in a very real, spiritually-rebellious manner.  If I fully trust Jesus's finished work on the cross to save me, though I worship on Tuesday, I am not sinning.  If they refuse to trust in Jesus's death alone to save them, and they rely on their Saturday worship to save them, they are sinning. 

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