Is the Sabbath Affirmed in the New Testament? Matthew 28:1

Matthew 28:1 “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb (NIV).” Jesus was crucified on a Friday. If one reads that passage one will notice that people were hurrying because the Sabbath was about to begin. The sabbath would have been sun down on Friday to sun down Saturday. Jesus died around 3:00 pm Friday so night fall may have been only a few hours away. The women may have been up very early Sunday morning as the sabbath would have been over on Saturday night but it may have been too dark to go to the tomb so Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph (Matt 27:56) went out to Jesus’ tomb. When they arrived at the tomb, they discovered that Jesus was no longer there and an angel told the women that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Bible scholars have been divided on the issue of the sabbath. Some argue that it has not changed since its institution in the Old Testament others argue that it is a spiritual rest of the soul. Because the sabbath commandment is the only one not mentioned in the New Testament, some scholars hold to this fact communicating that one does not need to keep the sabbath the same way it was done in the Old Testament, a ceasing from work. But here in Matthew 28:1 we see the two Marys honoring the sabbath. They had been with Jesus and knew of his teaching so if Jesus changed the idea of the sabbath, the Marys would have known. Because the two women waited until the sabbath concluded gives us evidence that the institution of the sabbath is the same in the New Testament times as it was in the Old. Working six days and resting for one is still something that should be held if one is a Bible purist.

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