According to Exodus 20:8-11, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Surely then, if God made such a big deal about the seventh day, shouldn’t we also, after all, it is a commandment?
Often, as a prelude to a joke, the question is, “if God made everything in 6 days and then rested on the 7th, what did God do on the 8th day (did He go fishing)?
It is interesting to note that the ‘Law’ was given to mankind through Moses as God’s prophet, yet Deuteronomy 18:15 & 34:10 state that God would raise up one even greater than Moses. By the authority given to him by God, Moses instituted the sacrificial temple system and the civil laws of the Israelite nation. Leviticus 9:1 leads us into the establishment of these ordinances. For 7 days Aaron and his sons went through the process of being made ritually clean, and then on the 8th day Moses invested them into the priesthood. Then, one day each year, the High Priest was allowed access to the Most Holy Place, whereas Moses, never a member of the priesthood, entered daily to meet with God face-to-face and interceded with God on their behalf. Thus, he was prophet, priest and civil ruler (king). So, therefore, Moses was greater than the ‘laws’ that he established, even though those ‘laws’ would give the Israelites a good way to live (Deut 30:19). By this definition, Moses could be considered a Priest/King of the Order of Melchizedek. As stated above, it was on the 8th day that Moses initiated the new beginnings of Israelite Law and worship.
Exodus 12:1-11 explains the requirements for the Passover. One of those was that the lamb was to be tested for 5 days so that it could be attested to be sound and without blemish. The lamb was then to be killed and the feast of Unleavened Bread began. On the first day of the week after the first sabbath since the sacrifice of the lamb, the Feast of First Fruits was to be held. When we consider the events of what we call Holy Week, Palm Sunday through to Resurrection Sunday, we see Jesus enter Jerusalem to be tested by the priests and populace and worldly authorities. We note that all of them declare him to be ‘without guilt’. That is, ‘without blemish’. Then he is crucified. John 20:1-18 tells the story of Mary of Magdala going to his tomb on the morning of the first day after the sabbath. This is the next Sunday after Palm Sunday, the 8th day.
For 7 days Jesus had been through a purification ritual. On the 8th day, Resurrection Sunday, he instigated a new covenant. So, the ‘one greater than Moses’ instigated a new type of King with new Laws, and a new type of High Priest presiding over a new Temple and its worship, as he had prophesied.
In Biblical numerology: 6 = man, flesh, antichrist, 7 = rest/completeness/holiness,and 8 = infinity/eternity/new beginnings (fat/overabundance). From this we see that the new order began by Jesus would be eternal and provide an overabundance for its people (see John 10:10). And although Exodus 20 commanded the people to observe the 7th day sabbath, we now have a new LORD who commands obedience and worship on the 8th day. Therefore, it is spiritually legal for humanity to worship on Sundays, though anytime and at all times are legal (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
The 8th day is also associated with circumcision where the flesh is removed, and in traditional Jewish understanding, the person enters into the covenant of his people. With Jesus, the flesh of our hearts has been removed by him on his 8th day and You-manity has entered into the new covenant of eternal overabundance.