There are some verses in the New Testament that Christians quote to say that Jesus has abolished the Sabbath day Commandment. Is there any truth in this? Did Jesus abolish the sabbath day? Let's take a look at the verses in question.
Colossians 2:16-17 ...'Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.' ... This verse is talking about feast days and yearly Sabbaths. The verse starts with 'let no man THEREFORE'. So that word "therefore connects this verse to the one's previously, which say ... verses 14-15 ...'Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.' ... 'The handwriting of ordinances.' Does that sound like the Ten Commandments? No. These were the ordinances written by Moses in the 'book of the law' and placed beside the ark (not inside like the ten commandments were) as it says in ... Deuteronomy 31:26 ...'Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.' ... You see, the law that was against us was the law of Moses, the ceremonial laws, which contained 'ordinances' of feast days; offering days; new moon days; yearly Sabbath days.
See THIS STUDY for more info on the ceremonial laws.
The seventh day weekly Sabbath was written by God Himself on stone and placed inside the ark. The Ten Commandments are not against us or contrary to us. How could the Ten Commandments be against us? How could Commandments saying to 'Love the LORD with all your heart and mind' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself' be against us? That makes no sense! So Paul in the above verse in Colossians is talking about the yearly Sabbath days, NOT the weekly 7th day Sabbath.
Please take in this next point carefully and meditate on it, this is a very important point to do with Colossians 2:16-17. Note how it says that the Sabbath days were a 'shadow of things to come.' Now how can the weekly Sabbath day, that God created BEFORE sin and set it apart and made it holy ... how can it be a shadow of anything? Friend, it's impossible! A shadow is something that was instituted AFTER sin and pointed to Christ, ie. the ceremonial laws written by Moses in the 'book of the law'. The weekly seventh day Sabbath was instituted BEFORE sin and included in God's great moral law, the Ten Commandments. Please let that point sink in, it's very important.
Let's do an interesting comparison of Colossians 2:16 and a verse in the Old Testament describing the ceremonial law:
Colossians 2:16 ...'Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.'
Ezekiel 45:17 ...'And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.'
Do you see the connection?
The context of Colossians is discussing the ceremonial laws that were written by Moses in the 'book of the law', which brought reconciliation for the sins of the people. These ceremonial laws pointed to Christ and at the cross, the great veil was torn in two, and the ceremonial requirements of the law ended. You see, it was those 'ordinances' in the ceremonial laws of Moses that were nailed to the cross and taken out of the way, and that is why Paul was saying in Colossians not to judge anyone who no longer kept these 'ordinances', because they were no longer needed. The text in Colossians 2:16 is in no way walking about the Ten Commandments, which includes the weekly seventh day Sabbath that was started BEFORE sin entered this world.
Many Christians say that they keep the law in 'spirit', and therefore don't need to keep the Bible sabbath anymore in accordance with the 'letter' of the law. This is a misunderstanding of the spirit and the letter of the law. Click the spirit and the letter for a great little eye opening study on this.
Methodist founder John Wesley declared the Bible truth when he wrote: "This 'handwriting of ordinances' our Lord did blot out, take away, and nail to His cross (Colossians 2:14). But the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away ... The moral law stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law… Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages." (John Wesley, Sermons on Several Occasions, 2-Vol. Edition, Vol. I, pages 221-222).
And what is included in the moral law? The Seventh Day Sabbath Commandment!
Romans 14:5 ...'One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.' ... Many apply this to keeping either the Sabbath or Sunday, but to begin with, neither Sabbath nor Sunday is found in the entire chapter. The chapter begins, "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations." Romans 14:1 (KJV). The NKJV reads, "disputes over doubtful things." Thus the initial context of Romans 14 is doubtful things, and is not a discussion of the Ten Commandments. The Commandments of God are not doubtful, but exceedingly clear, written with the finger of God on two tables of stone. Paul does NOT say ...'one man esteemeth the Sabbath day above another day.' .. He says 'one man esteemeth ONE DAY above another.' The Sabbath day is still Sabbath in the new testament as it is called that many times. So if Paul was talking about the Sabbath day, then he would have said that.
Remember! The Sabbath Day was instituted at creation, BEFORE sin. If there is anything we can be sure of, it's the Sabbath Day, because it was included in God's plan for man BEFORE sin! The Sabbath Day isn't a 'doubtful thing.'
Galatians 4:10-11 ...'Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you' ... Now why would Paul be afraid for those who kept the 4th Commandment of God? For some reason, some people apply Paul's words to the Sabbath day, but never to Sunday. As with Romans 14, a close look at the text reveals that Paul was not talking about either the Sabbath or Sunday. The context refers to those who believed that they had to continue in the laws of Moses, the ceremonial laws that pointed to Christ and ended with Christ: 'Then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now ... how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.' (Verses 8-10) ... Is resting on the seventh day sabbath bondage? Of course not! Paul rebuked them for believing they had to keep the ceremonial laws of Moses and putting themselves again under bondage, by observing days, months and years. These days, months and years were the ceremonial sabbaths and feast days instituted by Moses at Sinai. Also, we can tell 100% that Paul was NOT talking about the seventh day Sabbath above, because of what it says in verses 8-10 ...'how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements.' ... Is the Sabbath Day that God instituted BEFORE sin at creation and the 4th Commandment written on Stone by the finger of God a 'weak and beggarly element'? NOT A CHANCE! How could Paul be 'afraid' for those who continued to keep the true seventh day Sabbath that God instituted at creation? When you really think about what is said in the Bible and put aside the worldly tradition of man, then God's truth jumps right out at you.
The seventh Day Sabbath is still called the 'Sabbath Day' right throughout the New Testament. So how could it be abolished and replaced with the first day of the week? The first day is given no significance whatsoever in the New Testament, it's called just that, the first day of the week! Did Jesus abolish any of the ten commandments? CLICK HERE to find out the Bible truth.
The covenant CANNOT be changed after Jesus' death.
Think about this AMAZING fact!! Sunday keeping Christians say that the Sabbath Commandment was changed AFTER Jesus death and resurrection. They claim that keeping Sunday as Sabbath is part of the new covenant. This is impossible and here's why: ... Hebrews 9:16-17 ...For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.'' ... According to Scripture, the testament / covenant actually goes in force after the death of the Testator, who is Jesus. In other words, in order to change ANYTHING in the Covenant, the Testator (Jesus) MUST DO SO BEFORE DEATH. Ask any lawyer and they will tell you that you can change your last will and testament before you die, but after you die it is impossible! That which the Testator placed in writing before death, becomes strong and rock solid after his death. And Scripture verifies that fact. Jesus SEALED it with His blood. Jesus will and testament (The new covenant) COULD NOT be changed after His death. The Sabbath Commandment was not changed by Jesus before His death, therefore it still remains the same today. If the Sabbath Day was changed after Jesus' death, then it was done by man and does NOT have God's approval.
So as we can see, the clear Biblical answer to the question, "did Jesus abolish the sabbath" ..... is no, He did not.
Click The Origin of Sunday to continue with this study.