and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|April 1, 2008||
Volume 7 Number 7
This is the Day
The fourth of the ten commandments is clear concerning the Sabbath day:
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. -Exodus 20
Yahweh said that He rested from His work on the seventh day. Therefore, He blessed it as the Sabbath day and made it holy:
11 For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: therefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. -Exodus 20
Yahweh told Moses that the Sabbaths were given as a sign:
13 Speak you also to the children of Israel, saying, Truly my sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yahweh that does sanctify you. -Exodus 31
A "sign" is a physical symbol or gesture that conveys a meaning that is much greater than itself. The earthly Sabbaths show Yahweh’s people a spiritual reality, which is that it is He who sanctifies them. The act of keeping the Sabbaths demonstrated that they had accepted by faith Yahweh’s word that He would sanctify them.
While Yahweh commanded that His people keep weekly Sabbaths as a reminder that He would give them rest from their labor, He also ordained special Sabbaths, which showed them how He would give them that rest. For example, the Day of Atonement, in which a sacrifice is offered for sin, is also a day of rest:
27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh.
28 And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before Yahweh your God. -Leviticus 23
Since the Day of Atonement is observed on the tenth day of the seventh month of the Hebrew year, it does not necessarily fall on the day of the weekly Sabbath. Nevertheless, the Day of Atonement is a "Sabbath:"
32 It shall be to you a sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, shall you celebrate your sabbath. -Leviticus 23
Furthermore, Yahweh clearly demonstrated His plan to sanctify His people. He commanded them to keep as Sabbaths certain special days that are associated with each of the three great annual Feasts: (1) the Feast of Unleavened Bread, (2) the Feast of Weeks, and (3) the Feast of Tabernacles. Regardless of the day of the week on which it falls, each of these Feasts begins with a Sabbath day.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a week-long Feast that follows the Passover. It is a memorial of Israel’s miraculous liberation from bondage in Egypt. Yahweh commanded the first day of this Feast to be a special Sabbath, a "holy convocation" in which "no laborious work" is to be done:
5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is Yahweh’s passover.
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto Yahweh: seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day you shall have a holy convocation: you shall do no laborious work therein. -Leviticus 23
Likewise, He also commanded the keeping of the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a Sabbath:
8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh seven days: in the seventh day is a holy convocation: you shall do no laborious work therein. -Leviticus 23
When we remember that Yahshua (also called Jesus) was crucified at the Passover, we know that the following day was the first day Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Therefore, instead of being a weekly Sabbath, it was called a "high day" Sabbath:
31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was a high day,) asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. -John 19
Yahshua had been in the tomb for three days and three nights before He rose from the dead after the weekly Sabbath (see Mark 16:1-2). Unless we understand the difference between the weekly Sabbath and the Feast Sabbath, we might be tempted to accept the tradition that Yahshua was crucified on Friday. We would thereby deny the only sign that He promised to give, which is that He would be in the tomb for three days and three nights:
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. -Matthew 12
The second Feast is the Feast of Weeks (also called Pentecost), which is a celebration of the firstfruits of the harvest. It is kept on the fiftieth day after the wave offering of a sheaf, or bundle, of the firstfruits of the harvest is offered to Yahweh after the Passover. It is a day for a holy convocation and a day of rest, which is a Sabbath day:
21 And you shall proclaim on the very same day, that it may be a holy convocation unto you: you shall do no laborious work therein: it shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. -Leviticus 23
The final Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, is kept for seven days in the seventh month of the year. Regardless of the day of the week on which it begins, the first day of the Feast is a Sabbath:
34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto Yahweh.
35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation: you shall do no laborious work therein. -Leviticus 23
However, the Sabbath that follows the Feast of Tabernacles is unique! It is an eighth day Sabbath, which is kept on the first day after the seven days of the Feast is fulfilled:
39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast unto Yahweh seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. -Leviticus 23
Other weeks begin with labor, but the week after the Feast of Tabernacles begins with rest!
The earthly Sabbaths, whether they are weekly or Feast day Sabbaths, were given as a sign that Yahweh would sanctify His people. Therefore, they were kept as a "shadow of good things to come:"
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. -Hebrews 10
In a foreshadowing of that which was to come, Yahshua told His disciples:
27 But I tell you of a truth, there are some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. -Luke 9
Then He took some of His disciples and revealed His glory to them on the eighth day:
28 And it came to pass about eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his clothing was white and glistening. -Luke 9
Yahshua had also prophetically said that it is He who would give us rest from our labor:
28 Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. -Matthew 11
Finally, it was on the eighth day, the day after the Sabbath, when that which had been hidden in the "shadow" of the law was finally revealed. Yahshua rose from the dead on the eighth day, the first day of the new week, and told His disciples twice to rest as He said, "Peace be to you" (see John 20:19-22). He returned to them eight days later and told them a third time, "Peace be to you" (see John 20:26).
The resurrected Messiah and Savior, Yahshua, spoke to His disciples:
44 And he said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, -Luke 24
As we come to a greater understanding of the Scriptures, we learn that the things written in the "law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms" show Yahweh’s plan for His people, which was finally revealed and fulfilled through Yahshua the Messiah. Therefore, we know that the works of the law are fulfilled. We can now by faith accept the sanctification and salvation that He offers as we enter into the Sabbath of His rest:
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. -Hebrews 4
As we enter into His rest by faith, we can then rejoice in this day because we know:
24 This is the day which Yahweh has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalms 118
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