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Page 87

CHRIST'S RESURRECTION


The resurrection of Christ from the grave confirmed that the full death penalty price had been paid for the sins of His entire Church: life conquered death; righteousness defeated sin; Jesus crushed Satan. Christ's resurrection is the Victory Day of His Church.


Christ arose from the grave early Sunday morning - on Easter Sunday. Christ's victory over Satan, death, grave, and hell was not only a personal victory, but as Head of His Church and Covenant of Grace, His triumph applies to His entire Church - to all those who are savingly included in the Covenant of Grace.


To remember this great resurrection victory, God's Church not only celebrates Easter Sunday each year, but it also observes Sunday, the Lord's Day, as its special weekly day of worship. Moving the weekly Sabbath observance from the last to the first day of the week emphasized the great importance of this Victory Day. In addition to Jesus' resurrection, all resurrectional appearances of Christ (in which the day is mentioned in Scripture) were on the first day of the week. The Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost Sunday. The apostles began gathering together for worship on the Lord's Day. The apostolic church established Sunday worship in the first and second centuries after Christ. The Old Testament church looked Forward to the end of its time for Christ to come; the New Testament church looks back to its beginning when Christ came. This change is reflected in the worship day's movement from the last to thefirst day of the week. The Old Testament Sabbath commemorated the completion of creation - on the seventh day God declared His work finished; the New Testament Sabbath commemorates the completion of re-creation (salvation) - on the first day God declared His redemption work finished. The reasons for moving the weekly Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, mentioned here, are examined in more detail in Chapter 20 regarding the Fourth Commandment.


With great joy, God's children may observe Sunday - their Victory Day. It is a joy to commemorate Christ's personal victory over Satan; but also, in Him, they became recipients of Jesus' victory. In Christ, they, too, became victors over Satan, sin, world, and death.

 

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.

- Matthew 28:1

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

- Luke 24:1

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

- John 20:1

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

- John 20:19

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

- Acts 20:7

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, As God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

- 1 Corinthians 16:2

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

- Revelation 1:10

 

How does the Old Testament Sabbath Day reflect God's promise, and the New Testament, God's fulfillment?

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