Q & A
1. Does Shabbat have to be done on Sabbath (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown)?
If it is possible to observe Sabbath as God first instituted it, then it only makes sense to follow God’s design as part of the whole story. Sabbath is not Jewish. It is biblical. God established the time frame of Sabbath in the creation order of Genesis 2. Sabbath was to occur on the seventh day of the week according to Genesis 2:2-3, “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (ESV) The seventh day is Friday from sundown to Saturday sundown. The day is to be set apart as sacred or holy by ceasing from one’s normal work. Sabbath observance was instituted long before God gave the Jewish people the Mosaic covenant and the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 19-20)
Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath which means that He and He alone has authority over the day. Mark 2:27-28says, “And he (Jesus) said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” (ESV) The Sabbath belongs to God, and only God has the right to change the time frame of when it should be observed. Jesus did not change or rescind Sabbath observance.
However, as Gentile believers living under the new covenant, there is grace if you are not able to observe Sabbath on Friday/Saturday because of work or other responsibilities. (Romans 8:1) What is most important about Shabbat is ceasing from work and fulfilling one’s priestly role within the family through prayer, blessing and remembering Jesus.