Header Image: Greg Rakozy

What is the “eighth day” you may ask; surely we know there are only seven days in a week!

But in ancient times, Sunday – which was also known as the first day of the week, was also referred to as the eighth day by Christians.

This day was considered a holy day from the earliest of times by Christians (despite some weak arguments that Constantine, or the Pope, “changed the Sabbath” some 400 years later), and this was because it was the day on which Christ rose from the dead!

I will make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. For that reason, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day on which Jesus rose again from the dead.

Barnabas 15:8-9

 

Barnabas, in his epistle, makes the first recorded mention of this day as specifically called the “eighth” which is as early as somewhere between 70 - 130 AD.

Advertisement

But the concept of an "eighth day" isn't new and is found throughout the Scriptures in the Old Testament, specifically in the last of the great feasts: the feast of booths (Leviticus 23:33 onwards), and circumcision on the eighth day after birth. The priests and Nazirites also had seven days of cleansing before offering sacrifices specifically on the eighth day (Numbers 6, Leviticus 8:33ff).

The apostles pick up on these themes, like with the eight people, including Noah, who were “saved through water” (1 Peter 3:20) and how we now have a spiritual circumcision of the heart instead of a physical procedure (Romans 2:29). But if we look back at the gospel in John 7:37-38 and also John 8:12, we can see that during the festival of booths Jesus used the symbols of that festival (water and light) to declare that he himself is the true fulfillment of that! You can read a more in depth explanation of that at jewsforjesus.org.

After Barnabas, we find scattered references in other early writings which show understanding of Christ's fulfillment in these things – such as Justin Martyr, who wrote saying that the eighth day “possessed a certain mysterious significance, which the seventh day did not”; and Cyprian who wrote that this was also the fulfilment of the Jewish practice of circumcision on the eighth day after birth (Genesis 17:12) which was a shadow of Christ rising from the dead to give us “the circumcision of the Spirit”. This symbolism and spiritual fulfillment carries on throughout various early authors too, and is also sometimes referred to as the “Lord’s Day”, which is a phrase you might recognise from Revelation 1:10 too.

But every Lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure.

Didache 14:1

 

As early as Acts, we can see the believers all began to gather and teach on a Sunday (the first day):

Acts 20:7

On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight.

1 Corinthians 16:2

On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come.

 

Advertisement

Praise and worship was held on Sunday’s because of the resurrection – this day was to be a celebration of what Jesus accomplished and what that now means for the rest of us who are in Christ: being a part of the New Covenant, which makes us a new creation through baptism and through our outworking of the faith, we reconcile the world back to God as co-workers with Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:9)!

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

 

Resting with God

Advertisement

This is God showing that things work differently now. No longer is he only found in a physical brick and mortar temple, or a specific holy place (as Jesus points out in John 4:21) – now God dwells with us and in us because our bodies ARE the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)!

Because of that, we have now entered the fulfillment of the Sabbath – which is Jesus, who is our Sabbath rest.

Matthew 11:28-29

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Advertisement

 

Jesus is the fulfillment of all the types and shadows which the Old Testament predicted (Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 14:5-6), and that includes having a certain day for rest and worship.

Hebrews 4:3, 9-10

For we who have believed enter that rest … So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.

Advertisement

 

Dwelling with God

Compare what Paul says about believers being the temple, with what is declared in Revelation about this very concept:

2 Corinthians 6:16b

For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will live in them and walk among them,

   and I will be their God,

   and they shall be my people.”

Revelation 21:3

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.

He will dwell with them;

they will be his peoples,

and God himself will be with them”

 

This is why everything is new! Heaven will never be the same again, and neither will the Earth! God has set up a new temple where he dwells now: in us!

Paul had grasped this concept and if you read through his letters you will notice that he really hammers this point home quite often! We need to stop viewing everything so physically, and look beyond to see what God has done in the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

 

Made new by God

If we are “in Christ” then WE are that new creation! Hence why, in the preceding verse, Paul writes that we should “regard no one from a human point of view” if they are believers.

Advertisement

Again we see this theme in Colossians 1:19-20, where Paul writes that “God was pleased” to reconcile all things to himself, whether “on Earth or in Heaven” – in other words, all of Creation.

This again is echoed in Rev 21:5, where “the one on the throne” (ie. God) declares: “See, I am making all things new.”

Reconcile means “the restoration of friendly relations”, so now if God is on friendly terms with “all things” in Heaven or Earth, and has given us the “ministry of reconciliation” as “co-workers with Christ”, then this must make us think about what a new earth really means. You don’t destroy something you have reconciled with, do you?

This is why baptism was seen as so important in the early church, and not so much as a symbolic act of faith, and definitely not an optional choice if you wanted to be part of the Body of Christ!

Advertisement

The waters of baptism is where we see the new creation really taking place; this is where we become “in Christ” and are raised new in our spiritually resurrected bodies.

Colossians 2:12

When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Colossians 3:1

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Ephesians 2:5-6

…[God,] even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

Romans 6:4

Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Also, just a interesting side-note here: baptismal fonts in the traditional Church buildings are often Octagonal in shape due to the symbolism of the eighth day and baptism representing new creation!

 

A new Kingdom with God

Not only are we within the new creation, raised up and seated with Christ in the heavenlies, but we are co-workers in this new ministry! We work together with God to bring all of Creation back to Him, and we do this as ambassadors for Christ because we are also now within the Kingdom of God and have that authority through the Spirit who dwells in us!

Advertisement

As Jesus told the Pharisees in Luke 17:21, “the kingdom of God is among (or within) you”. Paul also writes to the Colossians (1:13-14) and tells them that God “has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son”.

This is our reality. If we are in Christ, then we are made new, raised up and are in the Kingdom of God as ambassadors. This is the Eighth Day.

 

Take hold of this truth and let it transform you.

Advertisement





Further Reading:

Subscribe to Updates
Subscribe to:

Have something to say? Leave a comment below.

Leave a comment   Like   Back to Top   Seen 215 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe today and get a 10% discount code for the online shop!

Subscribe to Blog updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to Blog

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

My Upcoming Book

| 09th August 2017 | My Books

It's been a little quiet from me over here, but not for lack of things to write! I have been busy putting together a book based on the Lenten series I recently did this Easter just gone. It has been reformatted for paperback and soon to follow, eBook/Kindle too, as a daily reading plan not just to be read during Lent but can be read as your own personal reading plan over a forty day period of your choosing. The book will also be released with a companion book which will contain all of the full, original texts from the relevant Church Fathers that are included within the forty day plan. You can read more about it, and follow any updates here on this promo page: 40-days-with-the-fathers.html  ...

The Resurrection as a historical event

| 29th April 2017 | Easter

Table of Contents Jesus was raised bodily – and historically The resurrection is what makes Christianity unique! Evidence from Paul The mystery of the resurrection The nature of the resurrection The resurrection is more than physical What with Easter still ringing in our ears, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the topic of resurrection, but from a historical standpoint and why we can trust it as a real, world-changing event. So, what really is the resurrection? How will we be resurrected, and what does it mean for us that Jesus rose again? Let’s explore what this means for us as Christians, and see what the Scriptures say. Jesus was raised bodily – and historically Let’s look at the way Jesus was resurrected first, since he is the “firstfruits” of the resurrection (1 Cor 15:20-23). The historical, bodily resurrection of Christ is central to our faith. Without it, we may as well pack up and go home, which Paul makes clear to the Corinthian church: 1 Corinthians 15:12-15 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. I saw a survey recently about this very topic, which suggested that a worrying amount of self-identifying Christians in Britain don’t believe that the resurrection of Jesus happened at all! Fewer than one-in-three Christians in Britain believe “word-for-word” the Biblical story of Jesus rising from the dead … A survey for the BBC carried out to mark Palm Sunday found that 23 per cent of those calling themselves Christians “do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead” at all. [Source: telegraph.co.uk] The resurrection is what makes Christianity unique! Despite the misinformation that circulates on the internet, Jesus isn’t just a carbon-copy of previous “dying and rising gods” from Egypt and Greece – mainly because none pre-date Christianity! The consensus among modern scholars — nearly universal — is that there were no dying and rising gods that preceded Christianity. They all post-dated the first century. [Source: y-jesus.com] It’s this uniqueness and reality which impacts our lives and changes us from within, because the “Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells” in us (Rom 8:11)! Think about that for a moment. The power that raised Christ from the dead – that incredible force of God; the very life giving Spirit of the universe, dwells in US! Christians might do all those [good works], but that is not the core of their faith. It is the result of their faith. They do those things as the musician plays music or the athlete plays his sport. They do those things because they are talented and it gives them joy. So the Christian does these good things because he has been filled with the Spirit of the risen Jesus Christ and he does those things with joy because he wants to. [Source: patheos.com] Recently, the Shroud of Turin has been in the news again, as it has been recently authenticated again, which shows that it may not be a medieval forgery or piece of art! If you’ve not heard of this “Shroud of Turin”, it’s an ancient burial cloth which bears the image of a man who has been crucified, obviously meaning to be of Jesus. It attracts attention because of its unique nature and that it appears to be a negative image somehow imprinted on the cloth in an inexplicable way: Giulio Fanti of Padua University ... In 2012 … concluded that an electrical charge in the form of radiation is what likely caused the man’s image to be imprinted on the Shroud. He has also dated the Shroud to th...

Lent Day 40: Leo the Great: Sermon LXXII: ON THE LORD'S RESURRECTION, II

| 15th April 2017 | Lent

Day Forty: St. Leo the Great: Sermon LXXII: ON THE LORD'S RESURRECTION, II Who: Leo the Great, also known as Pope St. Leo I (the Great), was Pope from 440-61 AD. Place and date of birth unknown; died 10 November, 461. Leo's pontificate, next to that of St. Gregory I, is the most significant and important in Christian antiquity, as he tried to  combat the heresies which seriously threatened church unity even in the West, such as Pelagianism. What: A sermon on the Gospel, incarnation and resurrection of our Lord. Why: To encourage the Church in the power of the incarnation and the true faith and the nature of Christ and to give a new meaning to Passover in light of Jesus When: Between 440 and 461 AD You can find today’s reading on page 195 here: lentfatherscomplete.pdf   Here we are, at the final day of Lent. I hope you've found it an interesting journey through Church History, covering various authors and topics from the first four centuries of the Church. And what better way to end this series than with a sermon on the resurrection! “The whole of the Easter mystery, dearly-beloved, has been brought before us in the Gospel narrative”, Leo declares as the opening statement of this sermon. What is this Easter mystery? “The cross of Christ, which was set up for the salvation of mortals” which is both a “mystery and an example” for us to follow. It's “a sacrament where by the Divine power takes effect” and “an example whereby man's devotion is excited” to be “inseparably united to” Christ, who is “the Way that is of holy living, the Truth of Divine doctrine, and the Life of eternal happiness (Jn 14:6). Christ took our nature upon Him for our salvation In the beginning, when the “whole body of mankind had fallen”, our merciful God had purposed in himself to make a way to reconcile “His creatures made after His image [...] through His only-begotten Jesus Christ”. Leo goes on to say that if we had not fallen from how God made us, we'd have been happy; but now we can be happier if we remain in what he has remade us to be through his Spirit. Jesus was “excluded [from] all taint of the sin which has passed upon all men”, that taint being “weakness and mortality, which were not sin, but the penalty of sin”. The “Redeemer of the World” suffered these things for our sake, “that they might be reckoned as the price of redemption”. In us is the “heritage of condemnation”, but in Christ is the “mystery of godliness” (1 Tim 3:16) Through the enemy, Jesus had “His spotless flesh” tortured. Because of this, because Jesus willingly went to die for us, now “believers in Him might find neither persecution intolerable, nor death terrible, by the remembrance that there was no more doubt about their sharing His glory than there was about His sharing their nature”. Set your minds on things that are above Following on with the previous thought, Leo goes on to explain that, “in Christ we are crucified, we are dead, we are buried; on the very third day, too, we are raised”; which is why Paul writes to the Colossians, Colossians 3:1-4So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. We achieve this raising by the power of Christ with us, who lifts us up, because he is with us, as he promised: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). This in itself fulfills the promise that his own name means, prophesied by Isaiah when he said, they “ ... shall name him Immanuel” (Isa 7:14), which means “God with us”. But even in Christ's ascending, he has not forsaken us, because even though he sits at “the right hand of God” (Acts 2:32-33), he...

Lent Day 39: Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI)

| 14th April 2017 | Lent

Day Thirty-nine: St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI) Who: Leo the Great, also known as Pope St. Leo I (the Great), was Pope from 440-61 AD. Place and date of birth unknown; died 10 November, 461. Leo's pontificate, next to that of St. Gregory I, is the most significant and important in Christian antiquity, as he tried to  combat the heresies which seriously threatened church unity even in the West, such as Pelagianism. What: A sermon on the season of Lent as the Easter festival approached. Why: To encourage the Church to fast during this season in order than they may put away temptations and overcome their vices, to be guided by God in all things. When: Between 440 and 461 AD You can find today’s reading on page 191 here: lentfatherscomplete.pdf   Today's reading is a Lenten sermon from Pope Leo I that he preached in the run up to the Easter festival, in which “the greatest and most binding of fasts is kept, and its observance is imposed on all the faithful without exception; because no one is so holy that he ought not to be holier, nor so devout that he might not be devouter.” Lent is a time of self-reflection and discipline, a time where we look at the life of Jesus and mourn his death as the disciples did, before we realise the reality of the resurrection which comes in a few short days. “Who is there who would not wish for additions to his virtue, or removal of his vice?” Leo asks rhetorically, referring to the benefits of the Lenten fast and discipline. “Blessed, therefore, is the mind that passes the time of its pilgrimage in chaste sobriety, and loiters not in the things through which it has to walk”. Leo refers this back to what Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 as a way of living in such a way that we don't get too caught up in this life and this world that we forget about the divine promise and the life we are called to live. Matthew 7:14For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. “...although that which [the flesh] desires is short-lived and uncertain, yet men endure toil more willingly for the lust of pleasure than for love of virtue”, which leads to the why the wide road is filled with unnumbered people who chase after the visible. But the narrow path, for those who prefer the eternal, unseen things, is few and far between, but by hope we will be saved (2 Cor 4:18; Rom 8:24). Satan robbed of all his tyrannic power It is during this season, Leo goes on to say, that Satan is “consumed with the strongest jealousy and now tortured with the greatest vexation” due to the great number of people fasting to renew their faith and discipline in following Christ. Even those who had slipped into worldly cares, become lukewarm or were just weak in faith, “furnished [themselves] with spiritual armour” and renewed their enthusiasm! Through Jesus's victory on the cross, many people turned to faith, and so Satan was “driven from the hearts of those he once possessed” and was stripped of his power over such people. But as James wrote, “all of us make many mistakes” (James 3:2), so we must all be willing to forgive one another, in order that we don't violate the holy command in the Lord's prayer which we bind ourselves to, where it says, “forgive those who sin against us” (Luke 11:4); if during this time, Satan brings temptations or divisions amongst the Church. Our duties during Lent Leo goes on to say that we must strive to be peacemakers because they will be blessed and “called children of God” (Matt 5:9), so especially now, any discord or enmity between other believers should be rectified and reconciled; otherwise, “let no one think to have a share in the Paschal feast that has neglected to restore brotherly peace”! Aside from forgiveness and reconciliation amongst ourselves, Leo also says that our fast-times should be “fat and abound” with regards to almsgiving and care of the poor. “Let...