Sabbath Keeping #2

In our last article, we noticed that Colossians 2:14-17, specifically states that no one has the authority to condemn you for not observing the Sabbath. It says, “Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross … So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come…” (cp. Eph. 2:11-15). Also, we took note that 2 Corinthians 3:3-14, plainly tells us the ten commandments, which were written “on tablets of stone,” have been done away with. They, as the “ten commandments,” are no longer binding. Now we want to examine an argument put forth in an attempt to authorize worship on the Sabbath.

Some say, “Jesus kept the Sabbath, so should we.” While we agree Jesus set an example for us to follow in many ways, we must recognize that He was born under the law of Moses (Gal. 4:4). As One Who did not sin, Jesus observed the Sabbath, but He also kept the feast of Tabernacles (Jn. 7:2, 10, 14), the feast of Passover and Unleavened bread (Lk. 2:41, 42; 22:7-8; Jn. 2:13; 4:44, 45), and the feast of Dedication (Jn. 10:22). So, should we observe these special holy days too? If not, why not?

Further, it is worth noting that Jesus specifically told men and women to keep the law of Moses. “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do…” (Matt. 23:2-3). So, since Jesus commanded the multitudes to keep the law, should we? Are we to offer sacrifices and go to Jerusalem three times a year?

The fact is since Jesus was born under the law, He kept it and commanded others of that time to keep it too. We must rightly divide the word of truth and discern what applies to us and what does not (2 Tim. 2:15). When Jesus was on earth, He prepared men to receive the gospel, laying down many principles which would be a part of His law (Matt. 4:23; 5-7). However, until His testament went into effect after His death, He told men to keep the law of Moses (cp. Heb. 9:16-17). Since the day of Pentecost of Acts 2, man has been under the New Testament of Jesus Christ. Therefore, he is not obligated nor does he have the authority to observe the Sabbath.

Steven F. Deaton