A lot of Christians accept Sunday as the Sabbath without ever really knowing or probing how or why that’s the day they attend church and worship God-maybe you are one of those Christians.
But have you ever thought about why Christians observe Sunday as the Sabbath? And do you know that the Sabbath wasn’t always observed on Sunday?
History of the Sabbath
From the creation of the world up until the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Sabbath was observed on the seventh day of the week, or what we now call Saturday.
God worked six days to create the earth, and then He rested on the seventh day, which He commanded His people to do as well. The word “Sabbath” comes from a Hebrew word that means to rest. In Old Testament times, people preserved the seventh day of the week as a sacred day since God consecrated the seventh day as a Sabbath: “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” (Exodus 20:11).
These people worshipped God by honoring His day of rest after the Creation, which is why they observed the seventh day of the week as their Sabbath day. Even Jesus Christ and His disciples recognized the seventh day as the Sabbath.
Why do most Christians now observe the Sabbath on Sunday?
Today, many Christians observe Sunday as the Sabbath, for a few different reasons.
After Jesus’s death and resurrection, the followers of Jesus started observing the Sabbath day on the first day of the week, or what we now call Sunday, which was also the day of the week Jesus was resurrected. “And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun” (Mark 16:2).
Because the day of Jesus’s resurrection was such a miraculous event, Jesus’s followers changed their Sabbath observance to now remember Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, and make this day His day.
Some Christians also believe that since the first day of the week was the day God began creating the world, along with the day Jesus rose from the dead, that it should be the day Christians gather together to worship God and Jesus. On that first day of creation, God created light and separated it from darkness, and so many Christians believe they get together on this day each week to celebrate the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the one who separated each of us from a world filled with the darkness of sin and allows us to “have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Either way, whether on Saturday or Sunday, there have always been six days of labor and one day to rest from your labors, devote your time to God, and remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ.