What did Jesus do on the Sabbath
The meaning of the Sabbath
“Remember the Sabbath, keep it holy” (Exodus 20: 8; see also D&C 68:29.)
The word Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word and means Quiet. Before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Sabbath was a reminder of God's day of rest at the end of creation. It was a sign of the covenant between God and his people. We read in the book of Genesis that God created the heavens and the earth in six periods of time called days. “On the seventh day God finished the work that he had created, and he rested on the seventh day after he had finished all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy ”(Genesis 2: 2,3.) Today the Sabbath also commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Every seventh day is the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a holy day that God has established so that we can rest from our daily work and worship it.
The purpose of the Sabbath
How would you explain the purpose of the Sabbath to someone ignorant of the Sabbath?
Jesus taught that the Sabbath was created for our benefit (see Mark 2:27). The purpose of the Sabbath is to give us a specific day of the week to focus our thoughts and actions on God. It's not a day when you just rest from work. It is a holy day dedicated to worship and devotion. When we rest from our usual day-to-day work, our mind is free to reflect on spiritual matters. On this day we are expected to renew our covenants with the Lord and spiritually nourish our souls.
Think about what you can do to keep your purpose in mind as you prepare for the Sabbath each week.
Story of the sabbath
The seventh day at the beginning of the earth was sanctified by God as a Sabbath (see Genesis 2: 2–3). Since the earliest times the tradition of a seventh day has been preserved among different peoples of the earth. God renewed a commandment about this day when He said to the Israelites: “Remember the Sabbath, keep it holy!” (Exodus 20: 8). The keeping of the Sabbath was also a sign that the Israelites were His covenant people (see Exodus 31 Dec. : 12,13,16; Isaiah 56: 1-8; Jeremiah 17: 19-27).
However, some Jewish leaders created many unnecessary rules for the Sabbath. They determined how far you could go, what kind of knot you could tie, and so on. When Jewish leaders criticized Jesus Christ for healing the sick on the Sabbath, Jesus reminded them that the Sabbath was made for man.
The Nephites also kept the Sabbath holy according to God's commandment (see Jarom 1: 5).
In modern times the Lord has repeated His commandment that we should observe the Sabbath and keep it holy (see D&C 68:29).
The day of the lord
Why was the Sabbath changed from the seventh day to the first day?
Until the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he and his disciples kept the Sabbath on the seventh day. After his resurrection, Sunday was kept holy as the Lord's day as a reminder that he was resurrected that day (see Acts 20: 7; 1 Corinthians 16: 2). From that time on, his disciples kept the Sabbath on the first day of the week. In both cases there were six working days and a day of rest and worship.
The Lord has commanded us in our day that we too should keep Sunday, the Lord's day, a holy Sabbath (see D&C 59:12).
How can remembering the resurrection affect our Sabbath worship?
For the teacher: You can help your students or family think more deeply about a question by giving them enough time. When they have had enough time to think, ask them for answers.
Keeping the Sabbath
What does it mean to keep the Sabbath day holy?
On the one hand, the Lord encourages us to keep the Sabbath day holy. In a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1831, the Lord commanded the Saints to go into the house of prayer and offer their ordinances, to rest from their work, and to worship the Most High (see D&C 59: 9-12).
He also asks us to rest from our daily work. This means that we should not do any work that prevents us from focusing on the spiritual. The Lord said to the Israelites: You “must ... do no work: you, your son and daughter, your slave and your slave girl, your cattle” (Exodus 20:10). Our prophets told us not to shop, hunt, fish, attend sporting events, or participate in similar activities on this day.
However, President Spencer W. Kimball taught that if we just laze around and do nothing, we do not keep the Sabbath day holy. The Sabbath calls for constructive thinking and action (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, Page 203).
What can so we do on the sabbath? The prophet Isaiah suggests that we turn away from our own pleasures and call "the Sabbath (the day of) bliss, a day of honor, the Lord's holy day" (Isaiah 58:13).
We should consider what good we can do on the Sabbath. For example, we keep the Sabbath day holy when we attend Church meetings; read the scriptures and the words of Church leaders; Visiting the sick, old and relatives; listening to uplifting music and singing hymns; Praise and give thanks to Heavenly Father in prayer; Do chores for the church; study genealogical records and family history; tell our families faith-strengthening stories and bear testimony and share spiritual experiences; Write letters to missionaries and loved ones; fasting for a purpose and spending time with family.
In order to decide whether an activity is suitable for the Sabbath, we can ask ourselves: will this build and inspire me? Does it show respect for the Lord? Do my thoughts turn to him?
Sometimes we have to work on the Sabbath. We should avoid this whenever possible, but when absolutely necessary we can still keep the spirit of worship in our hearts as best we can.
Think about what you can do to help keep the Sabbath day holy better. If you are a parent or grandparent, think about what you can do to teach your children or grandchildren the importance of the Sabbath.
What blessings do we get from keeping the Sabbath day holy?
As we observe the Sabbath, we can receive great spiritual and temporal blessings. The Lord said that if we observe the Sabbath with thanksgiving and joyful hearts, we will be joyful. He has promised:
“So the abundance of the earth belongs to you ... be it for food or clothing or for houses or for barns or for orchards or for gardens or for vineyards;
yes, everything that comes from the earth in its time is made for the benefit and use of man, so that it please the eye as well as the heart,
yes, for food and clothing, for tasting and smelling, for strengthening the body and for reviving the soul ”(D&C 59: 16-19.)
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