God’s Laws and Policies in a Fallen World – Jesus and the Sabbath

Peter Barnes | John 5:16-18; 20:1, 19, 26

John 5:16-18; 20:1, 19, 26

Many say that Jesus in essence annulled the Sabbath (Don Carson); others say that the Sabbath continues with only the day being changed (Westminster Confession); others say it continues and the day does not change (Seventh Day Adventists).

1. Christ performed many miracles on the Sabbath.

– Matt.12:5, 6-8; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 13:10-17. J. C. Ryle: ‘The fourth commandment is not to be so explained as to make us unkind and unmerciful to our neighbour. There is deep wisdom in all this.’

2. Christ has authority over the Sabbath.

– Mark 2:27-2; John 5:15-18. To the Pharisees, Jesus was healing on the Sabbath, so Jesus was clearly a sinner. John 9:16.

– 5:17. As man, Jesus kept the Sabbath (albeit not in a Pharisaic way); as God, He is Lord of the Sabbath. As God works always (e.g. Psalm 121), so Christ as the eternal Son of God works always. Hence 5:18.

3. Sunday celebrates the resurrection as the beginning of the new creation.

– Don Carson: ‘There is no hint anywhere in the ministry of Jesus that the first day of the week is to take on the character of the Sabbath and replace it.’ Actually there is.

– John 20:1, 19, 26.

– Luke 23:56; Acts 3:1 – only for a time.

– Sinclair Ferguson is right to say that it can be ‘de-Mosaicized’ without being abolished. Justin Martyr said he would allow Trypho (a Jew) to observe the Sabbath provided he did not force it on others. In his First Apology, 67 he described a Christian service on Sunday.