Acceptable Day of Worship

Weekends have become somewhat problematic for my family since we started discovering our Hebrew Roots. We now celebrate every Sabbath from sun down on Friday night through sun down on Saturday, during which time we do engage in any activity that feels like work. The point being that we honor God with a day of rest imitating His rest at the last day of Creation (not to mention its one of the 10 commandments).  Then on Sundays, we get up and do it all over again, attending the morning service, and try to jam all of our remaining activities (house cleaning, yard work, etc.) into Sunday afternoon. It's exhausting at times and often feels like we can never keep on top of things. Furthermore, I feel like we are serving two masters and I do not think that either day was meant to be a burden!

All of this has me thinking.  Why did we start worshiping on Sunday to begin with?

Pro Sabbath Scriptures

The commandment to honor the Sabbath begins in Exodus 20:8-11:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11 ESV)
We find that Christ honored the Sabbath. In Luke 4:31, Yeshua was teaching in the Synagogue specifically on the Sabbath. From this we can also deduce that since Christ came to the Jews first (Romans 1:16), He would have honored the 10 Commandments literally keeping Sabbath. Furthermore, if Yeshua is indeed our High Priest, then He would have fulfilled & continued to fulfill His duties on the Sabbath.

We can also turn to the Book of Acts, to find the first Christians keeping the Sabbath even though Christ had already risen: Acts 13:13-14, Acts 16:13, and Acts 17:2.

Pro Sunday

So why then did Christians start worship on Sunday? Actually, it also started with the scriptures. Paul implies that Christians were worshiping on Sunday in 1 Cor. 16:1-2, when he instructs them to set aside an offering on the "First Day of the Week", which many interpret as Sunday.

Another school of thought is that many Christians worship on Sunday to honor the day of Christ' resurrection. For many years, I shared this same belief because I understood that this event was so powerful Jews were willing to change their day of worship. The Sabbath is considered the holiest of days, and to change that day would require a very powerful, life changing event. However, I can not get the math to add up. If Christ died on Friday and was buried for three days, then doesn't that mean he rose on Monday? Or does it mean that Christ died on Thursday?

Another school of thought is that since keeping the Sabbath was a part of the law, Christians are no longer required to keep it, since we are not under the law. For this, I would point that we do not have the freedom to murder, lie, steal, or sleep with our neighbor's spouses, as these too were under the law.

Church History

The Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, and our Christian forefather's might have interpreted this as God's anger towards the Jews, stirring Christians to segregate themselves from the Jews.

We have a snippet from Ignatius (2nd Century Church Father  in his letter to the Magnesians indicating should worship on the Lord's Day (Sunday) instead of the Sabbath, asking the early congregation to "Lay aside the evil, the old, the sour leaven...It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus and Judiaze. For Christianity did not embrace Judaism but Judaism Christianity." I hardly think that this was written in love!

Constantine, a man who I think did more damage to the Church than good, passed a law in 321 AD that closed all Roman courts and restricted the use of slave labor on Sunday.  This may have created a cultural shift in the Early Church, emphasizing Sunday as a day to be set apart.

Matter of the Heart

I think it had something to do with the Gentiles coming into the Kingdom, which challenged many Jewish customs including the Sabbath. In Romans 14:5-6, we find Paul addressing an argument where there was opposing views on the day of worship and food laws:
In the same way, some think one day is more holy than the other day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food, do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.
It seems that Paul was dealing with the exact same issues we deal with today and it always boils down to one point: its a matter of the heart. Regardless of the day you choose to worship, the point is to worship God with the intent of pleasing Him.  With this in mind, my family and I have some choices to make and regardless of which day we land on, God will honor it. I will not get caught up in the legalism that leads to judgement & dissension.

Perhaps the meaning of Sabbath changed as did the other commandments through the fulfillment of Christ, wherein hatred becomes murder, lust becomes adultery, and the Sabbath becomes a day set aside for Him?