The Lord's Day does not represent merely a change from the Sabbath, but a new day belonging to a new order. It celebrates the New Creation with Christ Himself resurrected as its Head, whereas the Sabbath was related to the old creation (Ex. 20:8-11; 31:12-17; Heb. 4:4). The new day, to be sure, was anticipated in prediction (cf. Lev. 23:11; Ps. 118:22-24 with Acts 4:11-12; Matt. 28:1). It is the first day or, as following seven days before, the eighth day after a completed week (cf. Col. 2:12).
The day began with a normal appreciation of the resurrection of Christ and His work. It has been signally blessed of God throughout the present age. True to its character as a day of rest, however, the Sabbath came at the end of a week of labor. That is the order expected under the law. Under grace the week begins with its day of privilege, which properly enough is the order for grace.
The Lord's Day belongs only to Christians; it is not for all men, nor for creation as a whole. Hence the day should not be legislated upon an unwilling public; indeed, for its keeping no rules are recorded, which is fitting enough to the order and character of grace. Men are not justified in returning to the rules provided for the Sabbath in order to secure directions for observance of the Lord's Day. When Christ came from the grave, He said to His friends: "Rejoice" (cf. Ps. 118:24) and "Go tell ..." (Matt. 28:9-10, lit. rendering). These words may well be taken as wise direction respecting observance of the day. The Lord's Day, moreover, can be extended to all days as the Sabbath could not be (cf. Rom. 14:5-6).
Was this article helpful?