Not much is said about the day after Jesus died. We know it was the Sabbath. But it must have been a somber, quiet, sad, reflective Sabbath for the followers of Jesus. Even the religious leaders had to know something was different. For they were still concerned about the body of Jesus and the disciples stealing it.
What strikes me is a comparison of the events of that original Easter Weekend. For six hours one Friday, He hung on the merciless and cruel cross of sin-fill hatred, dying in the place I deserved. After those six hours, in keeping with His own commandments and heavenly law that predates even creation, He rests on the seventh day. Thus I can't help but reflect back to creation--the six days at the beginning of earth's history where Jesus created our planet, solar system (and more). But on the seventh day of creation week He rested. ...
Matthew and Mark make it clear when Jesus was resurrected: It was the first day of the week--the day following the Sabbath, which followed the Day of Preparation--or Friday (cf Matthew 27:62, 28:1, Mark 15:42, 16:1-2). Interesting to me that they qualify what day it was in relation to the seventh-day Sabbath. Clearly we see that when Matthew wrote his Gospel, and Mark wrote his, the first day of the week was still that--the first day. In their minds, Sabbath was still the day of God's creation: Holy, for rest and worship. If the Holy Day of rest and worship had been changed by Jesus at His resurrection, one would expect Matthew or Mark to tell us.
Consider that while we don't know the exact date for writing, many believe Matthew was most likely written in the 50s AD, and Mark in the early 60s AD during the Nero Persecution. So in the very writing of their Gospels, we are reminded that they themselves, 20 and 30 years later, were still observing the seventh-day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord God and not some other day.
Thus I join the world in celebrating the Lord's resurrection on a Sunday morning. But I will continue to keep holy the seventh-day of God's creation for worship and rest.
Just as His disciples did.
Just as Jesus did.
Pastor Ben is a pastor, marriage counselor, and international lecturer on Bible prophecy for more than 18 years. His lectures and preaching appointments have taken him to Europe, Australia, and Central America. He currently serves as the Lead Pastor for the South Tacoma Adventist Fellowship in Tacoma, WA.