The first holiday mentioned in the Bible is Shabbat, aka the Sabbath.
Shabbat is the portrait representing Jeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ): Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.”
THE PORTRAIT: Shabbat is Judaism’s day of rest and seventh day of the week. In Jewish literature, poetry and music, Connected with Shabbat is “Manna” is the English translation of the Hebrew word, “man” (pronounced “mawn”) meaning “a whatness” since never having ever before seen anything like it, they said, “What is it?” to which Moses replied, “This is the “lechem” (bread) which the Lord has given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:15).
Shabbat (aka Shabbos) commemorates the Genesis account of God’s having rested after completion of all of Creation; and the main element of the observance of Shabbat is the bread commemorating the bread from heaven referenced in Exodus called “manna”.
YESHUA (JESUS) IN SHABBAT: Jesus Christ is the living rest that is entered into; and Jesus Christ is the living bread from heaven!
- Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His (Jesus) rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel (of Jesus Christ) was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest… Read more: Hebrews 3:14-4:3
- And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. Read more: John 6:27-57
GOING DEEPER: God created the universe and everything in it in six days and rested on the seventh, declaring it to be holy.
Exodus records the event of God’s deliverance of the Hebrews from their enslavement in Egypt and Moses leading them across the parted Red Sea and into the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land. While the Hebrews wandered in the desert, they were to collect manna on six days (Exodus 16). On the sixth day they were to collect enough for the seventh day. Each evening the manna that not had been consumed rotted by morning, except the manna collected on the sixth day. It was good on the seventh. Exodus 16:29-31 “See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day. And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.”
When He gave Moses the Law, God made remembering and observing the Sabbath the fourth of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
When questioned by the Pharisees why Jesus allowed His men to pick grain enough to eat on the Sabbath, Jesus replied: “…Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:25-27
Throughout the Old Testament God’s people are admonished to do no work and to rest on the Sabbath, to remember all that God has done for them. While Jesus allowed His men to pick the food they needed on the Sabbath, He did not negate or change the need for or the meaning of the Sabbath.
WHY DO CHRISTIANS NOT OBSERVE SABBATH ACCORDING TO OLD TESTAMENT TRADITION?
For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 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. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 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. (Colossians 2:1-16)
While Christians have been freed from the “law” of the Sabbath, the need for and the meaning of the Sabbath has NOT been erased! Devout followers of Jesus Christ recognize the need and celebrate the meaning of the Sabbath with their sacrifice of service to a local congregation that has come to be called “church” where, at the beginning of every week (Sunday, although there exists sects of Christianity, i.e. Seventh-day Adventists in which Saturday is their chosen Sabbath day), they come together under the commandments of worship, love, fellowship, and service; and to receive teaching in the gospel of Jesus Christ, encouragement, exhortation, correction, and discipling.
Sadly, many Christians, having been taught that they’ve been freed from the mandate of obligatory observance of Sabbath, have turned this liberty into lascivious and licentious neglect of the need for and the meaning of the Sabbath- neither of was changed or erased.
Yeshua, the Bread from Heaven: John 6:27-57
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”[a]
32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Rejected by His Own
41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’[b] Therefore everyone who has heard and learned[c] from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me[d] has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed,[e] and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.