All small type font is of a secondary importance.
Celebrating the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week was a sign of the Old Covenant that God made with the Jews. The Sabbath honored God as the Creator. It was very good. However, the fullness of its importance was not to be realized until the coming of Christ and the New Covenant. The Sabbath of the Old Covenant pointed toward a greater reality beyond itself, a new and better Sabbath that honors God not just as Creator, but also as Redeemer and Sanctifier as God remakes us into His adopted children. Since Christians are under the New Covenant we have a new seventh day which is the eighth day, or first day of the week and every seven days after that. Just as the Old Covenant prefigured the New Covenant, celebrating the Sabbath on the seventh day prefigures and points us toward the celebrating our community worship and the renewing of the consecrating of ourselves to God in Christ who was "raised for our justification" [ Romans 4:25] on the first day of the week in the New Covenant. And so for Christians the Lord's Day, the First Day of the week, and every seven days after that became the new day for community worship and the breaking of the bread. This change, which is God's will, took place while Jesus’ faithful apostles were still alive.
JESUS’ AUTHORITY OVER THE SABBATH
Jesus is God. Accordingly, He has full authority to interpret
His own law, and to change it.
PURPOSE OF THE SABBATH
God commanded man to rest on every seventh day not because God got tired and He needed it, but because man needed it. God was giving us an example to follow. Man was made on the sixth day with the other animals. We work as do the animals of the field (e.g. oxen.) We have dominion over the earth as other animal have dominion in their areas, for example lions and tigers in the jungle, bears in the woods and arctic, and alligators in the swamp, etc. However, unlike the other animals, even though we are made on the sixth day we are made for the seventh day. We are made in the image of God.
God blesses and sanctifies or hallows, that is, He sets apart the seventh day, to reveal man’s ultimate destiny. The Sabbath signifies two things: One, unlike the other animals we will not find our fulfillment and happiness in just working for our food and our other bodily needs because we have a spiritual as well as physical nature. Second, the purpose of man’s creation is to be in a covenant relationship with God and only in Him will we find true rest for our souls and lasting happiness. We are made to love and worship God and to be united with Him in His Covenant. By establishing the Old Covenant God entered into a relationship with man and He blessed him with the privilege to worship his Creator.
Because of Original Sin man has a tendency to wonder away from God. Perhaps this is why God commanded the Jews to "remember" the sign of the Old Covenant in order to help them regain their focus. "It (the sabbath) is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money." CCC # 2172 - The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Sabbathing on the seventh day is a sign of the glory of the Old Covenant. However, it only prefigured the glory of the New Covenant. Our destiny is to worship God in heaven.
2 Corinthians 3:5-10 "…our competence is from God,
who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a
written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit
gives life. Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters
on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at
Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as this was, will not
the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor?
For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the
dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor.
Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at
all, because of the splendor that surpasses it." RSV
The Sabbath ceremonial law was carved in stone, but it has been replaced
with the greater glory that comes to us in the New Covenant.
If we only follow our animalistic instincts we will
not find lasting peace and true joy. We are set apart from the
other animals. The Sabbath indicated man’s need to worship God.
In order to find true happiness in our lives we must become united to
the One in who’s image we are made.