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Chapter 88

Sunday Sacredness

*** In what part of the New Testament is found the first mention of the first day of the week?
“In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.” Matt. 28:1.
NOTE. – Sunday is the first day of the week. See Webster. Matthew wrote his Gospel six years after the resurrection of Christ, yet calls the day before the first day, the Sabbath.

*** Where is the first day next mentioned?
“And when the Sabbath was past,... very early in the
morning the first day of the week they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.” Mark 16:1, 2.
NOTE. – This is the same incident as that related by Matthew, and Mark wrote his gospel thirty-two years after the resurrection of Christ.

*** On what day was Jesus raised from the dead?
“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.” Mark 16:9.

*** On what day was Christ laid in the tomb?
“This man [Joseph] went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.Luke 23:52-54.

*** What did the holy women do, after seeing where He was laid?
“And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56.

*** What work did they postpone till the first day because they would not do it on the Sabbath?
“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” Luke 24:1.
NOTE. – Luke wrote his gospel twenty-four years after the events he records had occurred, and he, too, by Inspiration, calls the day before the first day of the week, the Sabbath.

*** How does John speak of these events?
“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.” John 20:1.
NOTE. – John wrote his gospel in 97 A.D., and yet he gives no title of sacredness to the first day. He gives substantially the same account as the other evangelists.

*** What took place in the evening of that same first day?
“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the
midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” John 20:19.

*** Had Jesus previously appeared to some of His disciples?
“He appeared in another form unto two of them,
as they walked, and went into the country.” Mark 16:12.

*** When they went and told the others who were assembled, how did they receive the news?
“And they went and told it unto the residue; neither believed they them.” Mark 16:13.

*** When Jesus afterward met the eleven, what did He say to them?
“Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.” Mark 16:14.
NOTE. – From this testimony it is plain that the eleven were not assembled together to celebrate His resurrection; for they did not believe He was risen.

*** Did Christ appear to the eleven while the two who had seen Him at Emmaus were relating their experience?
“And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon... And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” Luke 24:33-36.

*** Were the disciples here assembled to partake of the communion?
“And while they believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honey comb. And He took it, and did eat before them.” Luke 24:41-43.
NOTE. – Fish and honey are never used at the communion.

*** Where did the disciples live when in Jerusalem?
“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James, the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.” Acts 1:13.
NOTE. – They all abode in this room, and were probably at home, partaking of their evening meal, when the Saviour met with them. He knew their habits and their time of eating, and when He came, He found them with their doors closed for fear of the Jews.

*** When did the Saviour next meet with His disciples?
“And after eight days,
again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.” John 20:26.
NOTE. – This is not the eighth day, but “after eight days,” an indefinite expression. If this were a definite expression, it would carry the meeting (counting from Sunday night) over beyond Monday of the next week. (For meaning of such expressions, compare the text with Matt. 17:1 and Luke 9:28.)

*** On what day did Paul once meet with the brethren at Troas?
“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until mid. night.” Acts 20:7.

*** At what time of day was this meeting held?
“And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.” Acts 20:8.

*** How many accompanied Paul on his journey into Asia on this occasion?
“And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.” Acts 20:4

*** While Paul was walking across the peninsula (nineteen and one half miles) to Assos, what were his companions doing?
“And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul; for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot.” Acts 20:13.
NOTE. – None of them regarded Sunday as anything more than an ordinary day.

*** What did Paul tell the Corinthian church to do on Sunday?
“Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store,
as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” 1 Cor. 16:2.

*** What was the collection for?
“Now concerning the collection of the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.” 1 Cor. 16:1.
NOTE. – This was not to be taken up in the public congregation. “let everyone of you lay by him in store.” This is generally translated in other places as being with one’s self, at home by himself, near himself, at his own house, etc..

*** This completes the entire list of texts in the New Testament containing a mention of the first day of the week, and they all treat that day as only a common day.

*** When was John in the Spirit?
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” Rev. 1:10.

*** What day has God called His?
“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day.” Isa. 58:13.

*** Of what day has Christ claimed to be Lord?
“Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:28.
NOTE. – The other six are for man’s use, in which to labor. Sunday sacredness is not known in the New Testament.

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