What is the Sabbath day?

In the Old Testament law, God set aside a day for Israel to rest and worship. The word “Sabbath” means “rest,” and God said this day was holy. Under the law in the Old Testament, the Sabbath day fell on Saturday. This was set in alignment with the week of creation during which God created everything in six days and rested from His work on the seventh day. On the seventh day, no work was to be done by anyone. It was a day to worship and remember how God rescued the Israelites from Egypt.

So, why do Christians today worship on Sunday instead of Saturday? There are a couple of reasons. One is that the law was later fulfilled by Jesus Christ when He became the one-time sufficient sacrifice for sin. He died on the cross and then rose on the third day. The third day was Sunday, thus making that day significant.

Also, we see in the New Testament that believers began to meet to give and worship on the first day of the week—Sunday. (See Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2.) Historically, Christians since Paul’s day have worshipped on Sunday, but this was never commanded in Scripture as it was in the law of Moses. However, because of the resurrection of Jesus and the restoration of our relationship with God through salvation, we are no longer required to go to a church in order to worship the Lord. Worship can occur wherever and whenever we choose. God is fully accessible! As believers in Christ, we should take time individually to worship every day. Then, on Sunday, we should rest and come together to worship corporately as the early Christians did in reverence and remembrance of what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have done for us. That makes Sunday, which Christians call the Lord’s Day, the day of Sabbath rest.