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ElliottNYC

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Jesus Questions
« on: March 30, 2010, 12:25:23 pm »
A few questions about Jesus that have been bothering me.

   

   1.  What did Jesus change?  Did Jesus overturn any parts of Old Testament law?  Say, if a first century observant Jew became a Christian, how would his life change and how would he behave differently?

   

   2.  When did the sabbath day change from Saturday to Sunday?

   

   3.  Jesus was supposed to be entombed for 3 days, but wasn't it just from Friday to Sunday?

   

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Harvey

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Jesus Questions
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 12:44:12 am »
ElliottNYC wrote: 1. What did Jesus change? Did Jesus overturn any parts of Old Testament law? Say, if a first century observant Jew became a Christian, how would his life change and how would he behave differently?

It wasn't fully recognized a day after the Resurrection, but Christians became aware of how significant Jesus' coming was to the Jews, and then eventually to the whole Gentile world. They came to understand that "having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

Elliott wrote: 2. When did the sabbath day change from Saturday to Sunday?

At first Christians continued to be circumcised, not eat meats dedicated to idols, and other Jewish commandments. However, as time went on and they became to realize the wide implications to Jesus' coming in the flesh. Paul realized that if the sabbath along with the other parts of the law was sufficient for salvation, then there was no need for Christ's sacrifice. If the law was necessary but not sufficient for salvation, then that also suggested that Christ's sacrifice was not itself sufficient for salvation. This bothered Paul greatly, and therefore by the time he wrote Colossians he came to realize that these elements of the law were of no great importance. Rather, "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ." All of the new moons and sabbaths spoken of in the Torah were not the substance and therefore keeping them or not keeping them was not the substance of the new faith in Jesus Christ. Rather, the substance is Christ.

So, to answer your question, there wasn't any instant transition from Saturday to Sunday services. As Christians became aware of the importance of Christ's sacrifice, the keeping of the day of the week along with other practices celebrated by the Jews were not as important as before. They found themselves having to consider other factors other than the law. For example, as Christians became separate from Jews -- i.e., since many became more hostile toward Christian claims of Jesus being the Messiah; converts to Judaism may have been more willing to attend a Christian service if it were on the first day of the week. This allowed more people to gradually shift their loyalties from the strict Jewish worship of God. This worship demanded circumcision, not eating foods from the market which were regularly offered to idols before being sold, not eating non-kosher foods, and other tough worship requirements. Christianity offered a view of God that was more kind and loving, and above all an accessible Savior in the person of Jesus who was compassionate to the sick, elderly, the poor, women, and who didn't place severe burdens of ceremonious requirements of the law.

After the two Jewish wars against the Romans (66-70 CE and 132-135 CE) it became dangerous to appear to be siding with the Jewish nation. And, so that was probably a deciding factor that led to the final break with Jewish customs. The Christians sought to show the Romans that they were not the same as those who rebelled against the Empire, and therefore they began to worship almost exclusively on Sunday. Other factors perhaps including a fascination with the eighth day being the fulfillment of the seven days of creation, and the Resurrection occurring on the first day of the week (or eighth day).

Elliott wrote: 3. Jesus was supposed to be entombed for 3 days, but wasn't it just from Friday to Sunday?

Three days originally meant that you were dead. Prior to the three days there was always a chance that you would wake up, but after three days that was considered unlikely. Therefore, the tradition means that Jesus really died, and so his Resurrection was a miracle of God.

I personally think the phrase has much more that we have yet to learn about the time and place. For example, I think it is very plausible that the phrase was a "catch phrase" to talk about the Messiah, and therefore Jesus may have used it for that reason.

As for the actual fulfillment, Jesus was dead on Friday day (day 1), Saturday day (day 2), and Sunday morning (and on day 3 he rose again). This permanently established in the minds of the early Christians that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the anointed of God