"The Sunday Sabbath is Thoroughly Documented
One might conclude that we are building a very great principle on the teaching of one verse, Matthew 28:1. But when we continue to investigate this truth we find that it is thoroughly documented in the Bible. Mark 16:1-2 records, “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.”
Again we must look carefully at the Greek and then we discover that this verse is actually saying, “And when the Sabbath was past . . .very early in the morning the first of the Sabbaths.”
The teaching of this verse is identical to that of Matthew 28:1. The last Old Testament Sabbath is past because it is Sunday, the day Christ rose from the dead. This Sunday is the first of a new era of Sabbaths. For the second time God insists on a new era, it is the first of the Sabbaths.
Now remember, this is Sunday, this is not Saturday. This is not the seventh day of the week, this is the first day of the week, and God insists this is the first of the Sabbaths. In Mark 16:9 we read, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”
In this verse the word translated “first” is the Greek word “protos,” which more than a hundred times is translated “first.” The word translated “week” is the Greek word “Sabbath.” A correct translation of this verse is, “And rising early on the first sabbath, he appeared.”
God is clearly indicating that the Sunday on which Christ arose is called the first Sabbath. Thus, we have complete assurance that in Matthew 28:1 and in Mark 16:1, where the Greek word “mia” is translated “first,” that the word “first” is a correct translation. Because that first Sunday Sabbath was one of the many Sunday Sabbaths that would follow, it was one of the Sabbaths as well as being the first of the Sabbaths.
We very clearly see, therefore, that not only in Matthew 28:1 but also in Mark 16:1 and in Mark 16:9 God is emphasizing this new era of Sabbaths.
Furthermore, in Luke 23:56 we read, “They returned [that is, from where Christ had been buried], and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath [not the Sabbath Day], according to the commandment.”
Six days they were to work, and the seventh day they were to rest. They wanted to anoint the body of Jesus but they had to wait until the seventh-day Sabbath was past. They had to stay in their homes and rest on this day.
Then in Luke 24:1 we read from the Greek manuscripts: “Now upon the first of the Sabbaths [not “week”], very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre.” This is exactly the same language we found in Matthew 28 and Mark 16. For the fourth time, God insists that the Sunday morning after the cross begins a new era of Sabbaths. It is the first of a whole series of Sabbaths that is going to come. It is amazing how God has locked this principle in and that we have overlooked it for so many years.
In John 19:42, God again speaks of the death of Christ, “There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.” This was Friday, when preparation was made for the Sabbath that was to come. Then in John 20:1 God records, “The first of the Sabbaths [not “week”] cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.” Do you see that? - the first of the Sabbaths - this is the way the original manuscripts were written.
What is God teaching us? He is teaching that the Old Testament Sabbaths ended after the cross when Jesus was in the tomb. He is teaching that a new era of Sabbath days began when Christ rose that Sunday morning. In Colossians 2 we read that the Old Testament Sabbath was a sign, a shadow. 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 Sabbaths: which are a shadow of things to come.”
These verses are speaking of the Old Testament signs or ceremonies that were conducted in anticipation of the coming of Christ; they were a shadow of what was to come. These signs or shadows include the seventh-day Sabbath. But as we are learning, this shadow or sign of the
Sabbath continues into the New Testament until Christ, who was typified by that Sabbath, is placed in the tomb. With that action, the sign of the seventh-day Sabbath is completely fulfilled in Christ and the sign is no longer to be observed."