Why Sunday Is Not As Important As You Think

Some say the Sabbath is Saturday. Some say it is Sunday. 

Which is it? If we are going to keep it holy, we kind of need to know, right?

The answer, actually, is irrelevant.

You see, I have been in church since I was born.

Sunday comes, I am there. In the pew. In the seat. Standing. Singing. Clapping.

Listening, praying, eating flesh and drinking blood.


I do all the right things on Sunday.

That makes me a good Christian, which means I am going to heaven, right?

It is easy for a guy like me to fall into this kind of thinking—that devotion on Sunday equates to following God’s law. Turns out my righteous footing may be more tenuous than I thought.

The reality is that Sunday is not even the Sabbath. Never has been. The original Sabbath was on Saturday, the seventh day.

But the Sabbath is not just on Saturday. It, quite literally, is Saturday. It may not be so obvious in our language, because in English the day is named after the planet Saturn. But look at many other languages and you will see that the word for Saturday and Sabbath are the same:

In Spanish, sábado (the same in Portuguese).
In Italian, sabato.
In Croatian, subota.

So how did Sunday come to be the “Sabbath” for Christians? I have identified three reasons (though I am sure there are more):

1. Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday

The most important event in the Bible happened the day after the Sabbath, “the first day of the week.” See: Luke 24:1-8.

2. Pentecost took place on a Sunday.

Pentecost—the day that the Holy Spirit was poured out on mankind—is another pivotal moment for Christ followers (Acts 2:1-41). Pentecost, which means “fiftieth day,” is the Greek term for the Jewish Festival of Weeks. The name is fitting because Old Testament law prescribes that the festival take place “seven full weeks” from “the day after the Sabbath” of the Offering of the Firstfruits (Lev. 23:15). You don’t have to be Rebecca Black to know that following the Sabbath, “Sunday comes afterwards.”

3. The Council of Laodicea in 364 AD formally established Sunday as “The Lord’s Day” in Canon 29:

Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.

Judaizing—trying to justify oneself before God by adhering to Jewish law—had become such a problem that the Christian establishment made a rule against using Saturday as the Sabbath. But do you see what the council members did? They did not dispute that the Sabbath is Saturday. They simply said that the Fourth Commandment does not apply to Christians (I disagree).

It is an irony that the Council rejected Saturday in response to Judaizers, because now we do the same thing with Sunday. We think that going to church and being good on Sunday is grounds on which we can stand before God, and we can judge others who do not do these things.

Sunday is not unimportant; it is just not as important as you thought.


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  1. Tradition has always been the basis for me for Sundays. Once I came to Christ, it just came natural for me to stay with that day of the week.

    1. And I don't think that's a bad thing Neil. It is logical and good to meet with other believers.