Why don't Christians rest on Saturday? Christians are not required to keep the Sabbath, but it is important to have time to rest. Every Christian should follow his conscience on the Sabbath, as God gave us rest as a blessing.
Keeping the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. Saturday was supposed to be a day when everyone could rest and renew their strength. Rest was also associated with have time for the things of God. The Old Testament gives two explanations for the Sabbath:
- It was the day that God rested after creating the world.
- To remember that God delivered the Israelites from the oppression they suffered in Egypt.
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Why Don't Christians Rest on the Sabbath ?: What the New Testament Says
The Sabbath was a commandment for the Israelites. Nevertheless, the New Testament does not say that we should keep the Sabbath. Jesus worked on the Sabbath, healing people and preaching (Matthew 12: 10-12). He also did not forbid his disciples to do some activities on the Sabbath. In the early church, the apostles allowed each one to follow his conscience as to whether or not to keep the Sabbath.
And behold, there was one with a withered hand; and they asked Jesus, in order to accuse him: Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?
He said to them: What man will there be of you that has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not lay hold of it and lift it up?
For how much better is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
Jesus explained that Saturday was created as a blessing for our good. The goal was not to obey the rule at all costs, but to have the right to rest and enjoy God's blessings. Even under Old Testament Law, there were situations where it was acceptable not to keep the Sabbath (Matthew 12: 5-7).
Or have you not read in the law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the Sabbath, and are without fault?
Well I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.
And if you knew what it means: I want mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not condemn the innocent.
Later, the early church began to meet on Sunday, which was the day Jesus was resurrected. Realizing the importance of rest for physical, mental, and spiritual health, Christians began to rest on Sunday. For the Christian, having a day of rest is a right, not a duty.
The true meaning of the Sabbath in the Bible
"Saturday" in Hebrew means "day of rest." Resting in the Bible is a blessing. Saturday symbolizes the rest of eternal life: rest from sin and suffering. Those who reject Jesus and live for sin will never know that rest.
The day of Saturday itself has no special value, but what it represents is very important. The New Testament makes it clear that what really matters is the heart. We must do everything for the glory of God. Some people keep Saturday for God, other people keep Sunday for God; other people save a little of each day for God. Therefore, the only thing really important is honoring God.
One makes a difference between day and day; another judges the same every day. Each one is plenty convince about his own mind.
He who heeds the day does it for the Lord; and he who ignores the day does not do it to the Lord. He who eats, for the Lord eats, because he gives thanks to God; and he who does not eat, for the Lord does not eat, and gives thanks to God.
Romans 14: 5-6
Each person must seek God's will for his life. Whether you keep Saturday or not respect the decision of other Christians. Keeping Saturday, or another day of the week, is a matter of individual conscience. The most important thing is to have time to rest and focus on God.
Therefore, let no one judge you in food or drink, or as to feast days, new moon or sabbaths, all of which are a shadow of what is to come; but the body is Christ's.
Colossians 2: 16-17