The keeping of the Sabbath comes as a Christian obligation by divine example and command. God rested after creation, and in the fourth commandment He instructed us to keep the Sabbath.
Its importance can be seen in its priority. It was first mentioned in Genesis and in the wilderness before the law was given on Sinai. Notice also its perpetuity, lasting from Genesis through life on earth to heaven [Hebrews 4:9]. As to its position, it is the keystone in the arch of the law, spanning man’s duty to God, and to his fellow man. It’s primacy among the holy convocations of Leviticus 23 is evident, as it is the only moral command, the rest being ceremonial.
Christians observe the first-day Sabbath. It is the day of rejoicing and gladness, commemorating the resurrection of Christ [Psalm 118:22-24]. By contrast, the seventh-day Sabbath was a day of intense sorrow and sadness when Christ was in the grave.
The Christian Sabbath, or Lord’s Day, was observed by the disciples. They met together for the preaching of the Word, sat together in remembrance at the Lord’s Table, and collected offerings for the support of God’s work. It was also the day when the apostle John had his revelatory vision of the risen and exalted Christ on the Isle of Patmos.
Observation of the Lord’s Day is an intelligent practice. We must have rest from toil, perhaps all the more with the pressures of twenty-first century life. We must stop and worship God.
There should be solemn preparation for the Lord’s Day. We should take time to meditate upon the Lord and His goodness by way of soul preparation. We should pray the Lord to impart some special blessing from His Word as we meet for worship. The Sabbath then will not be a drudgery, but a delight to the soul.