Thursday: The Sabbath as the Seal

As we have seen, the seventh-day Sabbath has been a sign of God’s true people throughout history, beginning with Adam and Eve and continuing during the time of Israel. We also see it perpetuated in the New Testament church with the practice of Jesus and the apostles, and as a distinguishing sign of God’s last-day people who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12) .

Why is the Sabbath so important, and what special significance does it have for Christians? Exod. 20:8-11; Heb. 4:9-10 .

Mount Carmel

Image © Lifeway Collection

The Sabbath appears in the heart of the Ten Commandments. It was given by the Creator as a sign or seal of His authority. It identifies Him by name, “The LORD your God”. It identifies the realm over which He has jurisdiction, “the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them”. It also identifies the basis of His authority, “for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, . . . and rested the seventh day”.

The New Testament identifies Jesus as the One through whom God made all things (John 1:1-3Col. 1:16Heb. 1:1-2) . It is Jesus who created our world in six days and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, it is highly significant that as Jesus hung on the cross that Friday afternoon, He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30, NKJV) . Just as He rested on the Sabbath after finishing His work of Creation, so Jesus rested in the tomb over the Sabbath after finishing His sacrificial work by dying in our place for our redemption. So, the Sabbath is doubly blessed, first at Creation and then at the cross. That is why, according to the book of Hebrews, in resting on the Sabbath the Christian shows that he “has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Heb. 4:10, NKJV) . The Sabbath is a perfect symbol of the fact that we cannot save ourselves, that from start to finish it is Christ’s work made possible through faith (compare Heb. 12:2) .

If the Sabbath symbolizes resting from our works, what does the keeping of Sunday represent, and how does this fit right in with the basic character of Babylon?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons