Jesus taught more about the Sabbath than all the other nine commandments put together. Why would He do that if the Sabbath would expire soon?
One hears, from time to time, preachers claim that nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament and that the only commandment that is not repeated, is the Sabbath. From that, they most often conclude that the seventh day is not applicable to the church. This argument seems to be based on the view, since Christ lived under the Old Covenant, that the gospels effectively are part of the Old Testament, which would make Paul the primary author and teacher of the New Covenant.
However, although Christ lived under the Old Covenant, His teachings are the foundation of the New Covenant. After His death, the church continued to exist for a few years as part of Judaism, consisting of Jews only. After a number of years, God guided the church to take the gospel to the Gentiles as well. This caused a controversy in the young church over the question of whether believing Gentiles must become Jews through circumcision. This was the main controversy when Paul started to work, which was about ten years after Christ’s death, causing Paul to write the letter to the Galatians. In that letter, Paul wrote that, through the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit, he was informed that Gentiles are saved without becoming Jews through circumcision. Paul’s main God-given task was to extract the church from Judaism, but Paul did not introduce a new system of ethics. As far as ethics (moral laws) are concerned, he followed Christ. Christ was therefore the primary teacher of the new covenant.
Since the ethics of the New Covenant are based on what Christ taught, and since He taught more about the Sabbath than about all the other nine commandments put together, it is not true to say that the Sabbath commandment is not repeated in the New Testament. Jesus taught a different Sabbath, but His statements, such as that the Sabbath was made for man, and that to do good is allowed on the Sabbath, imply the continued relevance of the special seventh day.
Why would Jesus spend so much time teaching about the Sabbath, and resisting the traditions of the elders, which corrupted the Sabbath, if the Sabbath would come to an end just a few months later; at His death?
ARTICLES IN THE SERIES ON THE SABBATH
THE SABBATH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
CHRIST’S SABBATH HEALING MIRACLES
– A demon-possessed man and Simon’s mother-in-law
– The man with the withered hand
(The rulers wanted Jesus to heal on the sabbath.)
– The crippled woman
– The paralytic man at Bethesda
– The man that was born blind
CHRIST’S TEACHINGS ON THE SABBATH
– The Sabbath was made for man.
(The disciples picked grain on the Sabbath.)
– Jesus deliberately contravened the Sabbath.
– The Real Reason they killed Jesus
– His miracles gave Him the opportunity to teach.
– What did Jesus teach about the Sabbath?
– Jesus taught a different Sabbath.
– Jesus replaced the Law of Moses with the Law of Christ.