What day is the Sabbath day?

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“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 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 2:1–3).

According to this Scripture—

1. The time when God made the Sabbath was at the end of Creation week.

2. The way in which God made the Sabbath was by taking a day—the seventh day—and resting on it, blessing it, and sanctifying it.

3. The material out of which He made the Sabbath was the seventh day itself. He took that day, and out of it made the Sabbath. The Sabbath was not something He placed on the day. It is the day itself. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:10, emphasis supplied).

We are also not commanded to “remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.” Rather, the command is, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it [the day] holy” (Exodus 20:8, emphasis supplied). The Sabbath is not something apart from the day, which can be shifted about and perhaps placed on another day. It is the day itself—the seventh day.

We often hear about a Sabbath institution. But the Bible never speaks of a Sabbath institution. It talks about the Sabbath day. There is no such thing as a Sabbath institution that was blessed and made holy for the benefit of humanity, apart from the day. It was the day that was blessed and made holy; and it is the day that thus became the Sabbath.

We can be sure, then, that the day God blessed can never be taken from the Sabbath, and the Sabbath can never be taken from the day that God blessed. These cannot be separated because they are one.
The Sabbath cannot be just any day of the week, because the seventh day is the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is the seventh day.

Christ and the Sabbath
The creator of the Sabbath is the same creator of the Christian faith—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the one who brought the world into existence, making it in six days. He then rested on the seventh day, and blessed that day, and made it holy.

The Scripture says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. … He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. … The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1–3, 10, 14 KJV).

“The Son of His love … He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:13, 15, 16).

Jesus also made the Sabbath for the entire human race, not for one section or one nation. “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27).

Adapted from Carlyle B. Haynes’s The Attempt to Change God’s Holy Day From Sabbath to Sunday (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2005), 13, 14.