The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath Day in Order to Keep It Holy; for Six Days You Will Labor and Do All Your Work, but the Seventh Day is the Sabbath for Jehovah Your God

This is the third commandment, as you can see in Exodus 20:8-10; and Deuteronomy 5:12-14. In the earthly meaning, which is the literal meaning, it indicates that there are six days that belong to us and our labors, and a seventh day that belongs to the Lord and to the peaceful rest that he gives us. In the original language “Sabbath” means rest.

The Sabbath was the holiest thing among the children of Israel because it represented the Lord. The six days represented his labors and bettles with the hells. The seventh day represented his victory over the hells and the resulting rest. That day was holiness itself because it represented the completion of the Lord’s entire redemption.

When the Lord came into the world, however, and therefore symbols representing him were no longer needed, the Sabbath day was turned into a day for instruction in divine things, or rest from labors, for meditating on things related to salvation and eternal life, and for loving our neighbor.

It is clear that the Sabbath became a day for instruction in divine things, because the Lord taught on the Sabbath day in the Temple and in synagogues (Mark 6:2; Luke 4:16, 31-32; 13:10). On the Sabbath the Lord also said to a healed person, “Take up your bed and walk”; and he told the Pharisees that it was acceptable for the disciples to pick ears of corn and eat them on the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:1-9; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-6; John 5:9-19). In the spiritual meaning, these details all stand for being instructed in religious teachings.

The fact that the Sabbath day turned into a day for loving our neighbor is clear from the Lord’s practice and teaching (Matthew 12:10-14; Mark 3:1-9; Luke 6:6-12; 13:10-18; 14:1-7; John 5:9-19; 7:22-23; 9:14, 16).

All these passages make it clear why the Lord said that he was in fact the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5). It follows from this saying of his that [before he came] the Sabbath day used to represent him.

from True Christianity, Section 301

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