Perhaps the most contested commands during the ministry of Jesus involved the Sabbath and family relations: the fourth and fifth of the Ten Commandments.
#4 Considering that this command attributes the original pattern of the seven days of creation as justification for “remembering” that particular weekly day as holy, it seems extraordinary that so many Christians disregard the significance of that seventh day and seem quite comfortable making that rest day on the first day or even on any day of their personal choosing.
Scripture does not allow for a reallocation of a holy day, only a redefinition. There is only one allowable Sabbath day. Sunday is an acceptable worship day, but it cannot replace the seventh day in God’s plan of creation.
The secret, however, is that the Sabbath that remains for Christians is no longer about a day! What it is about, as defined in Scripture, is highlighted with great fanfare in the book Wineskins.
#5 It is a sad charade when advocates suggest that parts of this command can be taken literally, while other parts must be altered to spiritualized meanings. The three subjects noted are parents, length of days, and God given land. Our Lord defined his family, not according to biological terms, but primarily as those who do the will of God. Under certain conditions, he even requires “hating” our parents.
Just as he redefines family, so he redefines length of days to the promise of eternal life. In the same way, the land reference shifts from Palestine to Heaven. For sure, we continue to honor, but now we must give such respect to all to whom it is due, and the accompanying promises are directed at treasures in heaven rather than some kind of health-wealth benefit.
As the saying goes, you can give a man a fish or you can teach him how to fish. Our natures prefer the former, but those who truly love their neighbor will encourage personal effort in attaining something of real value.
If you want to understand how the blood of Christ dramatically changes the core of the Old Covenant commands, don’t assume that a faithful teacher will simply hand you every detail. Whether or not I could be so considered, my attempt here is to tickle your interest, to engage your spirit in a desire for truth, to raise awareness of treasures often bypassed, and then to invite you to strive to hook the fish for yourself.
How does believing that Jesus’ blood covers you, change the way you view Scripture?