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Lesson 25

Constantine decreed Sunday (dies Solis) to be the official Roman day of rest in early March 321 and it has been adopted as the Christian day for worship. He said, “On the venerable day of the sun let the magistrates and people residing in the cities rest, and let all workshops be closed”. Four years later, at the council of Nicea in 325, he further distanced Christianity from Judaism and reinforced Sunday observance by having the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection bound to Sunday. Constantine believed it was every Christian’s duty to have nothing in common with any Jewish traditions and blamed them for killing Jesus. Using the solar calendar and mathematically setting the celebration date for the resurrection of Jesus to the spring equinox, Constantine reinforced the supremacy of Sunday as the Christian day of worship.

When societies want to honor a special day or event they most often observe the date the event took place. July 4 for independence day, July 1 for Canada day, December 25 for Christmas, even your birthday, all use the date of the occasion. When a long weekend is desired, the date isn’t as important as more focus is placed on the day of the week. Labour day is the first Monday of September, the date doesn’t matter. By celebrating Good Friday and Easter Sunday every year regardless of the date they took place, Constantine put the focus on Sunday as the Christian day for worship.

John 4:21-24 English Standard Version
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Jesus said the Samaritans didn’t know the God they worshipped. He went on to say the true followers of God would soon worship in spirit and truth. Christians are free to worship God in spirit on any day. Knowing the truth why we worship is important. God set out his holy days following the lunisolar calendar of the Bible. The days God chose are important to salvation. Jesus is our Passover lamb covering our sins, just as the blood from the Passover lamb covered the enslaved Israelites. The link between the old covenant holy days and our new covenant reality isn’t readily apparent until after the event takes place. You need to know what’s coming to see it ahead of time. What do the other holy days symbolise? Do you know what they are?

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