The Meaning and Importance of the Sabbath to Christians According to Mark's Gospel

The Meaning and Importance of the Sabbath to Christians According to Mark's Gospel

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The Meaning and Importance of the Sabbath to Christians According to Mark's Gospel


The Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word meaning rest. It marks the day in
which God rested after creating the world. It is the Jewish holy day
of rest and worship.

The Christian Sabbath is on a Sunday. It is a day we dedicate to
worship. It is on a Sunday because it marks the day on which Jesus
rose from the dead. This is a happy occasion because Jesus died to
forgive our sins. If he hadn't done this, we would not go to the
kingdom of heaven.

Mark's gospel speaks mainly of conflict between Jesus and the
Pharisees, therefore it does not go into much detail into explaining
what the Sabbath really is. It does tell us however, what Jesus and
the Pharisees thought of it, and what it meant to them.

At the beginning of Mark Ch.1 v 21, Jesus and his disciples go to the
synagogue, on the day of the Sabbath. From this simple verse, we can
deduce that the Sabbath is considered a holy day, and a day of
worship.

In Mark Ch.1 v 22-31, the people are amazed at the way Jesus is
teaching. They say 'he is like no ordinary teacher of the law, instead
he teaches with authority.' At this point a man with an evil spirit is
brought to him, and he commands the spirit to leave the mans body. The
people start to question who this man is, and are scared as he has
power over the evil demons.

Mark Ch. 2 v 23-26, Jesus and his disciples are picking corn on the
Sabbath. The Pharisees object by saying 'Look, it is against our law
for your disciples to do that on the Sabbath.' Jesus answered 'Have
you not read what David did that time when he needed something to eat?
He and his men where hungry, so he went into the house of God and ate
the bread offered to God. According to our law only the priests may

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eat this bread - But David offered it to his men.' Jesus was trying to
prove the point, that if you are hungry on the Sabbath, feed yourself.

Jesus says in Mark Ch. 2 v 27-28, 'The Sabbath was made for the good
of human beings; They were not made for the Sabbath. So the son of man
is lord even of the Sabbath.' This means Jesus has the power to do as
he sees fit on the Sabbath. It means the Sabbath was made for our
benefit, but we should spend it as we want to. Jesus is Lord of the
Sabbath.

At the start of Mark Ch. 3 v 1-6, Jesus went to the Synagogue where a
man with a paralyzed hand was brought to him. Some people were there
who wanted to accuse Jesus of doing wrong, so they watched him very
closely to see if he would heal the man on the Sabbath. Jesus spoke to
them and said, 'What does our Law allow us to do on the day of the
Sabbath? To help or to harm? To save someone's life or destroy it?'
when he got no answer Jesus was angry and he said to the man, 'stretch
out your hand,' and immediately it was well again. After seeing this,
the Pharisees went of to start plotting Jesus' death. This tells us
that the Pharisees found Jesus a threat because he did not follow
their rules. They wanted him to act like everyone else on the Sabbath,
and follow the Law set down for them, which states you should worship,
and dedicate the day to God. You should not do any work on the
Sabbath.

In Mark Ch. 12 v 28-31, Jesus was asked the following question by a
teacher of the law. 'Which Commandment is the most important of all?'
Jesus Replied

'The most important one is this:

Listen Israel!

The Lord our God is the only Lord

Love the Lord your God

With all your heart

With all your soul

With all your mind

And with all your Strength

The second most important commandment is this:

Love your neighbor as you

Love yourself.

There is no other commandment more important than these two.'

The teacher of the Law was very pleased with this answer, and Jesus
was pleased the man saw the commandments positively, so he said, 'You
are not far from the Kingdom of heaven.' This is important to
Christians today because it encourages us to act peacefully towards
our enemies and people we might not necessarily like. It also tells us
to love and worship God, because he is the only one we have, so we
should dedicate our life's to him.

Some Christians celebrate Holy Communion because we believe it is
Jesus' body and blood'. We do this because of the last supper when,
'Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it and
gave it to his disciples. "Take it", He said, "this is my body." 'This
is my blood which is poured out for many, my blood which seals God's
covenant." Taking holy communion symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice
Jesus made for us. His body and his blood, his life.

Communion is the most spiritual ritual in the Roman Catholic Church
because we believe it is the same ritual performed 2000 years ago in
the presence of Christ. It is the renewal of our covenant with God. We
believe it is a physical and spiritual sacrament. Baptists and
Methodists do not consider communion as important as Catholics, and
therefore may only celebrate it once or twice a month. This is because
they only believe in the spiritual importance of communion, not the
physical.

Quakers and the Salvation Army do not have Mass and therefore do not
have Communion. The Salvation Army do good deeds to show their love of
God, e.g. Collecting Money for Charities and over fundraising events.
Quakers have prayer meetings, and wait in meditation to be spoken to
by God.
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