God set up a “life cycle” for us so that He would never be far from our remembrance—1 day in 7; 4 or 5 days a month; 52 days a year; 3,640 days over 70 years. One day in seven. “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.” Before we examine this God-given concept of seven days equaling one week, let’s look at the other “markers” on our calendar.
What is a year? A year is the measurement of the amount of time that it takes the earth to orbit the sun. What is a month? A month is a unit of time corresponding approximately to one cycle of the moon’s phases. One month (moon) is the period of time of a complete revolution of the moon around the earth. What is a day? A day is a unit of time corresponding to one cycle of the earth’s rotation on its axis. What’s a week? A week is the only unit that does not correspond to the cycle of any heavenly body—no moon, no sun, no stars. A week is an ecclesiastical measurement of time that only makes sense in light of the creation account in Genesis. It’s the only reason we have the concept of a week (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). The Bible does not refer to the days of the week as we do, but refers to them as the first day, second day, etc. If the Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday (the seventh day), that would make Sunday the first day of the week. That being the case, then why do we celebrate the first day of the week as our “Sabbath,” and not the traditional seventh day as the Jews did (Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Exodus 20;8-11)? The Jewish Sabbath was on the seventh day—Saturday—if you mark the first day as Sunday. Just as God changed the Jewish calendar and made the month of the first Passover the new beginning of the year (Exodus 12:1-2), when Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, God had the early church meet on the first day of the week—Sunday—to distinguish themselves from the Jewish religion that He was through with. We don’t need to “keep” the Sabbath in the traditional sense, Jesus is our Sabbath and He has “kept” the Law perfectly (Mark 2:27-28). Jesus truly is our Sabbath rest. Another new beginning. Notice what happens when you refer to Sunday as the first day (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; 1 Corinthians 16:2)—the Lord’s Day becomes the center of all time. Everything else is measured by its distance from the Lord’s Day—the priority of worship.
So, what does this teach us? What does this concept reveal to us about the Creator and His creation? This is not about how you observe Sunday. We can have discussions about that, but that’s not the point right now. It teaches us the balance of work and life that’s written in the creation account and written in Scripture. It teaches us—who were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)–the priority of worship, of gathering together to worship the God who created us all. And we are reminded of this one day in seven. It always comes and it’s always His. We are constantly reminded that God is to be the center point of our lives, and without that basic understanding, life really doesn’t “work” like it is supposed to. Sunday is a weekly reminder that we are His just as the regular observance of the Lord’s Supper is a reminder to us of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). Each week we—if we take advantage of it—have an opportunity to “right” our lives…to put things back like they are supposed to be…to ensure that our worship revolves around the Creator, not His creation (Romans 1:18-25). Apparently, a week is the minimum amount of time we can go and potentially lose our way. Just like we need to sleep every day to refresh us physically, we need the discipline of Sunday to make those needed adjustments to our spiritual lives.