“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,” Genesis 2:3.
In our Bible reading, the Pharisees rebuked Jesus for letting His disciples violate one of their Sabbath laws. Jesus reminded the Pharisees that the Sabbath Day was never intended to be a burdensome religious observance, but a day of retreat from the normal duties of life. God created the world in six days, and then He blessed and sanctified the seventh day as a day of rest.
“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made,” Genesis 2:3.
This religious practice was apparently carried on by the patriarchs and was passed down to the children of Israel, who observed the seventh day even before God gave them the Ten Commandments (Exodus16:16-26). After the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week, His followers began meeting on the first day to commemorate His resurrection.
“And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight,” Acts 20:7.
We find the believers gathered together to break bread and to hear Paul preach on the first day of the week. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:2 on the assumption that the believers regularly assembled on the first day of the week. We should be thankful to observe a day of rest each week.
After six days of labor, our minds and bodies need to be refreshed by worship to God. Abstaining from the everyday duties of bread winning and housekeeping frees us to enjoy true worship by reassuring our relationship to God. It is a particular blessing to spend the Lord’s Day with a local congregation in fellowship to receive the truth of God’s Word. Other profitable activities on the Lord’s Day include the personal study of God’s Word; singing praises to God together; observing the Lord’s Supper; and ministering to others by visiting the elderly, sick, imprisoned, and wayward. Let us observe the Lord’s Day faithfully and honorably as we look forward to the never-ending rest awaiting the faithful of the Lord Jesus Christ.