"The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:28)
The Sabbath Law was very important in the Old Testament. We see, at least, four reasons behind its institution:
1. A CREATION BASIS
"For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." (Exo. 20:11).
In the New Testament, whenever Jesus wanted to point at a Law that was valid, He referred to Genesis, the beginning. For instance, He argued that the original marital institution didn't permit divorce by referring to the Genesis account.
"They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her." And Jesus answered and said to them, "Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God "made them male and female.' "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Mar 10:4-9)
Of course, the Sabbath law was not emphasized in the New Testament and its literal observance is not stipulated; but, that doesn't mean that the original Law was cancelled, as we will soon see.
2. A COVENANT SIGN
"Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant." (Ex.31:16)
The Sabbath was a sign of the Covenant between God and Israel. God commanded "Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you." (Exodus 31:13).
3. A CONSECRATED DAY
The Bible declares that God set this day apart as a holy day of rest.
"You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people." (Ex. 31:14)
"Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings." (Lev.23:3)
4. A COMMANDMENT OF GOD
"Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God." (Lev.19:3)
God historically has commanded mankind to observe the Sabbath day of rest. The Sabbath certainly only applies to space-time, to the temporal historical framework of this life. It is a shadow of the eternal rest of God.
The Bible talks of many Sabbaths: Day of Atonement, Sabbath Feasts, Jubilee, etc.
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, all the commandments of the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) are reiterated except the Law of the Sabbath. Jesus Himself was accused by the Jews that He broke the Sabbath. But He didn't break it. Instead He fulfilled its meaning in Himself as we shall see.
1. THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN, & NOT MAN FOR SABBATH (MARK 2:27)
Thus, Jesus healed people on Sabbath Day (Luke 13:10ff; John 5) because man was more important than the Law of Sabbath, and the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. If a man would do his best to save his donkey that had fallen into a pit on Sabbath day then to save a man on the same day is multiple times more valid.
2. THE SON OF MAN (JESUS) IS LORD (MASTER, RULER) OF THE SABBATH (MARK 2:28; MAT 12:8; JOHN 7:22,23)
In other words, in Jesus the Sabbath finds its fulfillment.
Jesus is the Author and the Source of our Rest. In Him mankind finds true rest. He inaugurated the Year of Rest (Jubilee, Sabbath) for all. Therefore, He could call and say, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." In Him we are complete. That's why He is called the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, the Faithful and True Amen.
"sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ." (Col 2:16,17)
Hebrews 4 talks about the True Rest of God in Jesus. God's works were already completed from the foundation of the world (Heb 4:3), the Lamb was slain for the foundation of the world. We have entered the rest of God in Christ; THEREFORE, a SPECIAL SABBATH DAY IS NOT REQUIRED OF US.
IN JESUS, we experience:
1. A FINISHED WORK. In Him all righteousness is fulfilled.
2. A FRUITFUL LIFE. As we abide in Him, we bear fruit (There are works of the flesh, but not works of the Spirit -- only fruit of the Spirit).
3. FULFILLMENT OF JOY. Fruitfulness brings fulfillment and joy.