Celebrate New Life
This past week the question was raised, "Why do most Christians celebrate on the first day of the week-rather than on the Sabbath?" As I pondered this I came across all of the standard answers: ‘Because in the New Testament it says to gather a collection on the first day of the week; (1 Corinthians 16:2). Then there is the reference in Acts 20:7 where Paul was teaching on the first day of the week. But the strongest, and most profound reason is because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week and not on the Sabbath.
Some people may just take that for granted but I would like to look at it in a little different light for a moment. I have a picture on my wall with a caption that says:
“The promise of Palm Sunday…
The fulfillment of Easter
One week changed the world!”
I would say that there is more to celebrating on Sunday other than just because the early church did it, or because the Bible says that we are to take up collections on the first day of the week. I would say that we celebrate on the first day of the week because something NEW was inaugurated when Jesus rose from the dead. When Jesus rose from the dead He put the seal on a NEW covenant. This was not ‘another’ covenant but a NEW and fresh covenant with better promises, a better hope, and NEW life. 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 states that death has been conquered by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Not only that, but verse 57 says that because of Jesus’ resurrection we are (always in the tense) victorious.
May I be bold enough to say that if Jesus had been resurrected on the Sabbath He would have given life to the old system, the old way of doing things, the old life of humanity. But, because He rose to NEW life on the first day of the week it represents a NEW BEGINNING for those who believe in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that anyone that is in Christ Jesus is a NEW CREATION not another one after the old system, but brand new and fresh where the old way of doing things in gone and a NEW way has been laid out before us. In fact, so great is this work that Jesus has reconciled us to God and no longer counts the bad things that you do against your account (5:19). We actually are the righteousness of Jesus Himself if you have accepted Him as your payment for sin and believe that He rose from the dead (5:21). What bold words.
The NEW week has begun. It is Sunday morning and Jesus is ALIVE.
Let’s celebrate the newness of life.