Since God ordained the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week, why do Christians gather for worship on Sunday, the first day? Today, Matthew Dudreck reveals how the Bible’s answer to that question is closely related to the gospel itself.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: I'm joined by the associate professor of New Testament at Reformation Bible College, Dr. Matthew Dudreck. Dr. Dudreck, why is the Lord's Day on Sunday and not Saturday?
DR. MATTHEW DUDRECK: Well, that's an excellent question. The creational institution of the Sabbath was on a Saturday. It was the seventh day in which God rested from His creational work. When it says that He rested, it's not simply that He kicks up His heels and He's simply not active anymore. The rest or the peace that's talked about in that passage is not a rest of nonactivity. It's actually a rest of entering into an irreversible reign or rule as King over His creation.
And so, man, in a sense, as the image of God, was always to observe the Sabbath and understand that his destiny, as made in God's image, was to eventually enter into a similar irreversible state of rule and reign over God's creation as the kind of vice-regent made in the image of God. And so that's why the creation mandate was always followed by God's people. It was a reminder of their destiny as God's people that they were meant for an irreversible rule and reign over God's creation.
The reason why Christians began to meet on Sunday as opposed to Saturday"which was when the original creational mandated Sabbath was made"is that when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, it's at that point when He entered into His own irreversible rule and reign over the new creation that He had inaugurated. And so, because we are united to Christ through faith, we, in a sense, are identified with Him. He has become everything Adam failed to do as the image of God. And because He was raised and entered into that irreversible rest, rule, and reign over God's inaugurated new creation, we ourselves know that we are bound, we are destined, for that same co-ruling and reigning with Christ, when He raises us from the dead to inherit an eternal and irreversible rule and reign over God's new creation.
So that's the biblical basis for why, in light of the cross, in light of the resurrection, we now observe the Sabbath of the new creation, if you will.
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