Replacing Jesus with the sabbath, the Adventist way

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If you listen to what Adventists say about the sabbath, and replace the word “sabbath” with “Jesus“, you hear the truth. If you don’t replace it, you hear false teaching about a day of the week.

This has often been pointed out to me, and I’ve found it works a lot of the time. But not always as clearly as this post on the “Jesus is a Zebra” blog.

Why I Keep the Sabbath – Jesus is a Zebra

I’ll go through it heading by heading.

The Sabbath restores our right relationship to God.

Crucifixion, from Polittico di Valle Romita
Crucifixion, from Polittico di Valle Romita

Replace “the sabbath” with “Jesus” and you get:

Jesus restores our right relationship to God.

Jesus died on the Cross. Jesus is our mediator between God and man, because he is both God and Man and bridges that gap.

Resting on one day of the week doesn’t do that. Resting on two days of the week doesn’t do that. Physical rest doesn’t do that. Spiritual rest in Christ by accepting his saving work for us is what God offers us.

Matthew 11:28 (KJV) – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

The Sabbath restores our right relationship to our loved ones.

Replacement version: Jesus restores our right relationship to our loved ones.

Having supper with our families once a week might be a good thing to do. It can be done without the sabbath. Supper can be on Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night. It could be lunch.

Spending the day with the family can be done on Sundays just as much as on Saturdays.

Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

No mention of the sabbath. The message there is that we mimic Christ. That is what restores relationships.

The Sabbath restores our right relationship to our bodies and minds.

Replacement version: Jesus restores our right relationship to our bodies and minds.

Physical rest is important. It can, however, be done on days other than Saturdays, and achieve the same physical purpose.

Our real physical restoration comes with our resurrection in Christ.

Philippians 3:10-11 – That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

I Corinthians 15:21 – For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

The Sabbath restores our right relationship to God’s creation.

Replacement version: Jesus restores our right relationship to God’s creation.

Our “right relationship to God’s creation” comes first from Christ who makes us a new creation in him.

II Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Looking after nature is definitely important. But it doesn’t require a day of the week. Regular intervals of environmental rest are seen in the Old Testament – every 7 years, every 7×7 years. Long term constant commitment is required too.

The Sabbath restores our right relationship to society.

Christ Healing the Mother of Simon Peter's Wife
Christ Healing the Mother of Simon Peter’s Wife

Replacement version: Jesus restores our right relationship to society.

Jesus placed a “right relationship to society” above even the sabbath, over which he has command. He healed on the sabbath, much to the anger of the Pharisees – see Matthew 12:8-10, Luke 13:10-16.

John 5:18 – Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus publicly met with sinners. Following Jesus’ example restores our relationship with society.

The Sabbath restores our right relationship to the oppressed.

Replacement version: Jesus restores our right relationship to the oppressed.

See Psalm 146:5-9 and Colossians 1:13-14.

Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.

Be very careful when Saturday sabbath observers start to tell you about how important the sabbath is. Think about what they are saying, and try to replace “sabbath” with “Jesus” and see how the meaning changes.

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