If I were in a public debate concerning the Sabbath, I would in no way attempt to discredit the Sabbath or the observance of it. Those who take this approach ought not to get involved in such a debate because you cannot discredit the Sabbath with scripture.
I would instead address Jesus’ interpretation of the Sabbath and pose the following question:
“If we are to observe the Sabbath, shouldn’t we also do the works which Christ did on the Sabbath? If we are to truly observe the Sabbath, shouldn’t we follow Christ’s example and do what He did on the Sabbath?
When the New Testament is surveyed we find the following:
• First, Jesus was condemned by the religious leaders as a Sabbath breaker.
• Secondly, Jesus never condemned anyone concerning the Sabbath.
• Thirdly, Jesus was actively working on the Sabbath meeting the needs of people.
I would also show how Christ is the true rest that the Sabbath foreshadowed using both the Old and New Testaments. The scriptures testify of Jesus and in Him is the true rest to which the Sabbath pointed.
Some may object, claiming that the New Testament doesn’t teach that Jesus is our Sabbath. Ahh, but it does. How? You may ask. Well, each of the feasts given to Israel was in and of itself a Sabbath in addition to the weekly Sabbath.
Consider the following:
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets (the festival of trumpets), an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. ~ Leviticus 23:23-25
Notice that the festival of Trumpets is called a Sabbath, and the Sabbath is repeatedly described as a time in which “Ye shall do no servile work therein.”
Also, Leviticus 23 refers to an eight day Sabbath following the feast of Tabernacles:
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: Ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eight day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and Ye shall do no servile work therein. ~ Leviticus 23:34-36
If we are going to teach people to follow the teachings of scripture concerning the Sabbaths, then let’s go all the way. The feasts were ceremonial Sabbaths in addition to the weekly Sabbaths and lets describe them as such.
In the New Testament the apostle Paul says, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” In Christ and in him alone, we have the rest foreshadowed in the Sabbaths: both in the weekly and ceremonial Sabbaths.