Matthew 28

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” (v. 1)

There were several events that took place on the first day of the week, this is why we go to church on the first day instead of the seventh. The greatest event that took place on the first day of the week was here, the resurrection of Christ. All four of the Gospels record that it was on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, that Mary discovered that Jesus had risen. For this reason we refer to Sunday, the first day, as “The Lord’s Day.” In John 20:19 we see that later in the evening, of the first day of the week, Jesus appeared to the disciples; then in Acts 20:7, the apostles met together to “break bread”; and in 1 Cor. 16:2, we see that they collected the offerings for the poor on the first day of the week. The first day had taken pre-eminence over the seventh day, and it was ordained so by Christ Himself. These four evidences teach us that there has been a change, and that the “Lord’s Day” was now Sunday, the first day, instead of the Sabbath, or seventh day. Notice that Christ spent the Sabbath in the grave! He could have raised sooner, except that He had already prophesied that He would be in the grave for three days and nights, (Jonah 1:17 with Matthew 12:40). It all went according to plan. As Christ ushered in the “Age of the Gentiles” He also gave us our own day in which we were to worship Him, especially.

It seems that all the events included in this chapter took place on the first day, at least we are not told otherwise. If so, the “great Commission” was given also on the first day, and the apostles were sent out on this day. (vs. 18, 19). The first day then replaces the Sabbath day of the Jews, and becomes our “Sabbath”. Actually, Jesus is our Sabbath, since Sabbath means “rest”. Jesus said “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” We are to rest in Him. Though the old Sabbath has been done away, our new Sabbath is alive and well in Christ.

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