Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Day that Changed Everything

Sabbath Study, Part 29

Jesus was crucified and buried on a Friday. During the Jewish Sabbath, His body remained in the tomb. Early Sunday morning, at the beginning of a new week, Christ arose, victor over sin and death. After first appearing to Mary that morning (Jn. 20:14ff), He met and traveled with two disciples on the road to Emmaus later that day (Lk. 24:13ff). When He vanished from their presence, they realized whom they had been talking with and they immediately returned to Jerusalem. That evening, while they were describing to the other disciples their encounter with the risen Savior (see Lk. 24:36), Jesus appeared to them all.

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)

The first day of the week.
John makes a point of mentioning what day it was when Jesus first appeared to them. “Christ arose on the first day of the week, and it might have been sufficient to say here Joh 20:19, he appeared the same day at evening; yet, to put an honour upon the day, it is repeated, being the first day of the week; not that the apostles designed to put honour upon the day (they were yet in doubt concerning the occasion of it), but God designed to put honour upon it, by ordering it that they should be altogether, to receive Christ’s first visit on that day. Thus, in effect, he blessed and sanctified that day, because in it the Redeemer rested” (Matthew Henry).

Thomas was not with the twelve when Jesus appeared to them, and he refused to believe their testimony, citing that unless and until he saw the risen Christ himself he would not believe. He had to wait until the following Sunday, for there is no mention of the disciples meeting corporately until a week later. While we can’t be certain, it seems probable that Jesus gave them instructions on when to gather together again.

And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” (John 20:26)

After eight days.
This count of eight days shows that the first Sunday is being considered as well as the second. (It’s similar to the measurement used for Christ’s death: He rose on the third day, with Friday being counted as day one.)

Jesus came.
Scripture teaches some truths explicitly and others implicitly. Implicit truths hold no less authority than explicit ones. The doctrine of the Trinity, for example, is never mentioned anywhere in Scripture, and yet it is a core doctrine of the Christian faith. Likewise, the New Testament never explicitly states that the Sabbath switched from the last day of the week to the first day of the week, and yet we find sufficient evidence to show that a Sunday Sabbath was designed to be a staple of the church after Christ’s resurrection.

“From this it appears that they thus early set apart this day for assembling together, and Jesus countenanced it by appearing twice with them. It was natural that the apostles should observe this day, but not probable that they would do it without the sanction of the Lord Jesus. His repeated presence gave such a sanction, and the historical fact is indisputable that from this time this day was observed as the Christian Sabbath” (Albert Barnes).

“[The] Lord designedly reserved His second appearance among them till the recurrence of His resurrection day, that He might thus inaugurate the delightful sanctities of THE LORD’S DAY (Re 1:10)” (JFB).

“That one day in seven should be religiously observed was an appointment from the beginning, as old as innocency; and that in the kingdom of the Messiah the first day of the week should be that solemn day this was indication enough, that Christ on that day once and again met his disciples in a religious assembly” (Matthew Henry).

Commentaries Cited from
Hall, Kay.
Online Bible. Beersheba Springs: Ken Hamel, 2000. CD-ROM.

Commentaries Used
An Exposition of the Old and New Testament, by Matthew Henry
Notes on the New Testament, by Albert Barnes
Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary

4 comments:

Cap Stewart said...

Steven,

Because your comments went off topic a bit, and because I decided that a few things were inappropriate for this discussion, I deleted a couple of them. Unfortunately, my blog decided to act weird and delete ALL your responses to this post. I am going to repost some of your comments so that they can remain a part of the discussion. (At least, I hope that's what I'm going to do. I've had nothing but technical problems with the blog tonight, so we'll see what happens.) Then I will address some of your points.

STEVEN'S ORIGINAL COMMENTS:

Cap,
John 20:19 and John 20:26 From evening of the first day of the week to eight days later would not be the first day of the week. It would be the second day of the week. Simple math. The reason Jesus appeared a second time was because the first time only 11 of the disciples were there. Vs. 22 shows Jesus breathed on them and said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Thomas was not there at this time. Eight days later, which would have been the second day of the week which we call pagan name Monday is when Thomas was present and saw and touched Jesus and then believed. Vs. 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Vs. 31 “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” There is no implied connection here to God’s weekly Sabbath. These quotes from Henry, Barnes, etc. hold no scriptural proof, no scriptural evidence, only assumptions and supposed hidden implications.

God does not operate on suppositions and implications. When God wants us to do something He makes it very clear, what, when, where, and how it is to be done. Something as monumental as changing the day of God’s Sabbath (not the Jews Sabbath) would not be done in a stealthy manner. The fact that Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem and they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit, which just so happened on The Day of Pentecost, a yearly Sabbath which was also not changed or done away with, speaks to the fact that none of God’s Sabbaths had been altered. Acts 1:12 “Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a SABBATH days journey.” This was on the Day of Pentecost, showing it was still considered a Sabbath. Jesus did not change any of the Sabbath days. Acts 13:14 Speaks of a Sabbath day once again which is actually another day of Pentecost which is being observed. Acts 13:42-44, Acts 16:13, Acts 17:1-2, Acts 18:4, Clearly shows the Sabbath was still intact. 


Your statement that “ The doctrine of the Trinity, for example, is never mentioned anywhere in Scripture, and yet it is a core doctrine of the Christian faith.” I agree here that it is never mentioned in the scripture, because it is another false teaching imposed on the world by the Roman church.

Cap Stewart said...

STEVEN'S ORIGINAL COMMENTS (CONT.):

I also will address the Friday-Sunday teaching of the crucifixion and resurrection once again. No matter how one attempts to get three days and three nights from Friday sunset to Sunday morning you still cannot get three days and three nights even by counting part of a day as a whole day. Friday night (1st night), Saturday night (2nd night), where is the 3rd night?? Jesus knew exactly what three days and three nights meant. Everything was created by and through Him. Jesus knew that there were 12 hours in a day and 12 hours in a night. That is why He was so clear on what He stated. He did not leave this “sign” up for twisting and crunching periods of time to determine He was the Messiah. The account in Exodus of the physical salvation from sin is copied exactly in Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

To understand this, one has to know what the Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Firstfruit pictures. The Israelites ate the Passover Lamb and placed the blood on the doorposts after sunset which began the 14th day of the 1st month. Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples at this same time and told them that the unleavened bread symbolized His body and the blood symbolized His blood and washed their feet. The Israelites did not go out that night because if they did they would have died. Jesus did go out that night into the garden. He was God’s first born, He had to die. In the morning the Israelites prepared to leave Egypt, they plundered the Egyptians and left while the Egyptians were burying their dead. They left Egypt on the beginning of the 15th day (sunset) of the 1st month which began the Days of Unleavened Bread. They left Egypt (sin) carrying the unleavened bread (Christ). Jesus died at around 3 p.m. on the 15th day of the 1st month and was put in the tomb at sunset. This mirrors the time Israel left Egypt (sin) (Jesus entered the tomb). They traveled by day and night and came to the Red Sea and entered the sea on dry ground at evening after three days and three nights. Jesus rose after three days and three nights, which is precisely copied during the Exodus. They traveled through the sea and came out just before sunrise in the “morning watch” (Israel was saved), this copies the women coming to the tomb early morning of the first day of the week. On the morning after the weekly Sabbath there was the “wave sheaf” offering (Jesus), which was to be waved before the Lord. This pictures Jesus being accepted by the Father as our offering for sin. Jesus was placed in the tomb on a Wednesday at sunset., which began the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread (sinless body died for our sins), precisely 72 hours later He rose, which was Saturday at sunset (we have life because He lives). The Passover and days of Unleavened Bread “shadowed” Christ sacrifice and sinless body being offered for our sins.. There is no need to fudge the times or the days or the commandments of God.

Cap Stewart said...

Steven,

I addressed the day-counting issue in my comment on the previous post. I think your “simple math” fails to account for the way the Jewish people often counted days. As I already stated, they sometimes described a partial day as a whole day (when it occurred at the beginning or end of a series), and used “night and day” language to refer to partial days as well (1 Kings 20:29; Esther 4:16, 5:1; Luke 2:21).

Regarding the doctrine of the Trinity: I don’t see the benefit of me debating about that with you in this context. I embrace that doctrine as an essential part of orthodox Christianity; you deny it as a false teaching. We know where each of us stands on that issue and I think that’s where we’ll have to stop.

I see no problem with the passages in Acts that you list, where Christian leaders preach to the Jewish people on the Sabbath. What other day would they preach to the Jews? If the true Sabbath had switched to Sunday and not Saturday, only the Christians would have switched days—not the unbelieving Jews.

salacker said...

Cap,
Acts 13:42 “ And when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the GENTILES begged that these words might be preached to them the next SABBATH. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next SABBATH almost the WHOLE CITY came together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy: and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the GENTILES.” As I mentioned in a previous comment this would have been a perfect time to let the Gentiles know the Sabbath had been changed, would it not? Acts 14:1 Paul again goes into the synagogue and preached to both Jews and Greeks. The following verses shows that they preached in many cities and started many churches. Acts 16:5 “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.” Acts 16:13 “And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and he sat down and spoke to the women who met there.” Acts 17:1-4 “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “this Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout GREEKS, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.” Acts 18:4 “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and GREEKS.” These things occurred many years after Christ’s death and resurrection. Paul preached and started many churches, there were many opportunities to mention that the Sabbath had been changed to Sunday, yet no place in the scriptures is it ever mentioned. There is simply no implication of a change in God’s Sabbath. I believe God has purposely put these frequent instances in the book of Acts to show that His Sabbath day had NOT been changed. I think God is being both explicit and implicit concerning His Sabbath day and making it apparent here in Acts that the day has NOT been changed.

I’m sorry you chose to delete some of my previous comment. The things I posted, I believed to be relevant to show where the doctrines of Good Friday/Easter/Sunday originated. I did not intend my comment to offend in any way. I take God’s word very seriously and we must be careful if we choose to preach or teach God’s word that it be rightly divided and not left up to any private interpretation.

My name is Steven aka salacker