4/12/2020 安息日 (Sabbath)

by 鍾卓權牧師 (Rev. Bernie Chung)

「… 安息日是為人設立的、人不是為安息日設立的。」(馬可福音 2:27)聖經創世記第二章2-3 節說 : 「到第七日,神造物的工已經完畢,就在第七日歇了他一切的工,安息了。神賜福給第七日,定為聖日;因為在這日,神歇了他一切創造的工,就安息了」。故舊約的安息日是每週的第七天(即我們所說的星期六) 定為聖日,猶太人為纪念此聖日而安息在 神面前,專心敬拜祂,出埃及記 20:8 節這樣說:「當記念安息日、守為聖日」。猶太人的習俗守安息日,是從星期五的日落開始,到星期六的日落結束,他們停止工作,敬拜上帝。耶穌在世時衪會在週六去會堂守安息日講道教訓人(參馬太福音12:9,約翰福音18:20),使徒保羅也是一樣(參使徒行傳17:2; 18:4)。在舊約時代及教會初期,猶太人及耶穌和使徒都在星期六守安息日,那麼為什麼今天我們會在星期日敬拜上帝呢?

一週的第一天是星期日,使徒行傳 20:7 節說:「七日的第一日、我們聚會擘餅的時候、保羅因為要次日起行、就與他們講論、直講到半夜。」,這節經文提供了兩個教會的重要職責,就是領聖餐和証道信息。況且,使徒行傳作者路加並沒有使用猶太曆法來計算一天的開始和結束 (從日落到日落)。路加所使用的是羅馬制度,也就一天是始於午夜並止於午夜。這是猶太宗教曆與當時民事曆的不同之處,表明猶太安息日制度不是路加福音所採用的制度。

哥林多前書 16:1-2 節說:「論到為聖徒捐錢、我從前怎樣吩咐加拉太的眾教會、你們也當怎樣行。每逢七日的第一日、各人要照自己的進項抽出來留著.免得我來的時候現湊。」,請注意,保羅是指示教會把該捐獻的金錢先作安排,他可能是指給上帝的什一奉獻,並在每個星期的第一天各人聚會時就該把奉獻的款項準備妥當。路加引用了主耶穌的話、說:「又拿起餅來祝謝了、就擘開遞給他們、說、這是我的身體、為你們捨的.你們也應當如此行、為的是記念我。」(路加福音 22:19)。既然教會初期是在七日的第一日聚會擘餅,為的是記念主耶穌在十字架上的受苦和祂救贖恩典,記念祂已經勝過了死亡並且主耶穌是在七日的第一日復活了,讓我們仔細來思考,又有哪一日比七日的第一日來敬拜上帝更有意義呢? 況且主耶穌曾說:「… 安息日是為人設立的、人不是為安息日設立的.」(馬可福音 2:27)。阿們!


In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week (Saturday), a holy day of rest. Genesis 2:3 says: "Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” The Jews rest and dedicate themselves to worship God on Sabbath. Exodus 20: 8 NIV says: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” It is Jewish custom to have Sabbath start from sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday. They would stop work and worship God during that time. Jesus went to the synagogue on Saturday to observe the Sabbath and to preach and teach (see Matthew 12:9, John 18:20), and so did the Apostle Paul (see Acts 17:2; 18:4). If we were ordered to observe the Sabbath on Saturday as Jesus and Apostle Paul had practiced, why are we worshiping God on Sunday instead?

Let's explore this further. The first day of the week is Sunday. Acts 20:7 says: "On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.” Two important church functions were performed on that day: receiving the sacrament and delivering the message. Please note that Luke, the author of Acts, did not follow the Jewish custom of counting days from sunset to sunset; rather, he used the Roman system that each day starts from midnight and ends at the following midnight. This subtle difference has shown that Luke did not strictly adhere to the designated Jewish Sabbath day.

In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Paul says: "Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” Please note that Paul instructed the church to handle the money matter first, possibly referring to tithing to God on first day of every week. We should make this as the first order of business when we gather and worship together. Luke 22:29 says: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Ever since the early church gathered on the first day of the week, it was to remember the suffering and salvific grace of the Lord Jesus on the cross. The most important thing to remember is that the Lord Jesus has overcome death and was resurrected on the first day (Sunday) of the week. Are there any other days more meaningful than the worshipping of God on the first day of the week? Moreover, the Lord Jesus once said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Amen!

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