Monday, February 11 2019
Days mean significant things to certain people. Most of the world marks birthdays and anniversaries for important events in their lives. Nations recognize special days that are noteworthy to their people. For most people in the States, Mondays represent the beginning of work for the week. Wednesdays are “hump day,” and Friday marks freedom and rest from a long week. However, many put Sunday in “the weekend” not recognizing the historical and biblical importance of the first day of the week.
Christians call the first day of the week “the Lord’s Day.” Why? Should not Christians recognize every day to the Lord (Rom 14:5–6)? In the Bible, Christians did see the first day of the week as important to their faith. The only day attributed to Jesus is the first day of the week, because Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:1–2; cf. 1 Cor 15:3–4). While some may consider Sunday to be “the Christian Sabbath,” the only “Christian Sabbath” in the Bible is eternal rest with God (Heb 4:1–11).
The Book of Revelation reveals reasons that Christians identify the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day. John recognized “the Lord’s day” specifically to the Lord — Jesus Christ. John wrote to the seven churches of Asia while he was in the Spirit on “the Lord’s Day” (Rev 1:10). The identification of the Lord’s Day as the first day of the week comes from clues within the text. The adjective “Lord’s” is only found in one other passage in the New Testament that referred to “the Lord’s Supper” in 1 Corinthians 11:20. In Acts, Christians partook in the breaking of the bread “on the first day of the week” (Act 20:7; cf. 1 Cor 10:16). Furthermore, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians for order in the assembly, the fruits of Jesus’s resurrection, and then noted the collection on the first day of the week (1 Cor 14; 15; 16:1–2). Paul connected assembly, Jesus’s resurrection, and the first day of the week together.
In Revelation, John recorded that he saw the Son of Man in the midst of the seven lampstands on this Lord’s Day (Rev 1:12–13). John revealed that the lampstands represented the seven churches of Asia (Rev 1:20). In other words, Jesus was “in the midst” of the churches on the Lord’s Day. “In the midst” is the same phrase that Jesus used in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (translation). Jesus declared that He is “in the midst” of a gathering in His name (Matt 18:17–19; cf. 1 Cor 5:4).
Peter’s preaching of the gospel on the Day of Pentecost established the church of Christ in Jerusalem. “Pentecost” means fifty in Greek referring to fifty days after the last Sabbath day of Passover (Lev 23:15–16). In other words, Pentecost was always on the first day of the week. The Holy Spirit came upon Christ’s apostles and the gospel began to spread to the world on the first day of the week (Acts 2).
What should Christians do with the Lord’s Day? The church does not need a command to recognize the first day of the week as the ideal time for the assembly. The church of Christ can see the biblical examples and find no better day to gather and partake in the breaking of the bread. Thank God for Lord’s Day! Christ arose!