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From David VanDrunen’s Living In God’s Two Kingdoms:

One way in which the Old Testament pointed them to the coming of Christ was by giving them a second kind of Sabbath that was different from the ordinary weekly Sabbaths. For a couple of special occasions God gave Israel the equivalent of an eighth day rest–or, a rest on the first day of the week (see Lev. 23:15-16, 21; 25:8-12; see vv. 1-12). Leviticus 23 teaches about the Feast of Weeks and commands a rest on the fiftieth day (a Sunday), following seven cycles of seven-day weeks. Leviticus 25 speaks about a Sabbath year, the Year of Jubilee, a time when people were released from their debts and restored to their inheritance. This Year of Jubilee took place on the fiftieth year, the year after “seven times seven years,” that is, seven squared, the perfect number of ordinary cycles of years. Liberty was to be proclaimed throughout the land (25:8, 10). This was the year for showcasing the grace of God that conquers all evil. This practice of celebrating a Sabbath on the fiftieth day/year must have been wonderful for the Old Testament Israelites, but a little confusing nonetheless. The ordinary weekly Sabbath was about working first and only then taking a rest. But here they were instructed to rest at the beginning of the cycle of time, before the period for work.

The weekly Old Testament Sabbath had looked back to God’s work of creation (Ex. 20:8-11) and reminded God’s people of the first Adam’s original obligation to work perfectly in this world and then to attain his rest. The resurrection now announces that Jesus, as the last Adam, has completed the task of the first Adam and has attained his reward of rest in the world-to-come. (p. 138, 139)

Even the Sabbath laws of the Old Testament anticipated the Sabbath rest that Jesus would provide–and pointed to the Christian practice of a Sunday Sabbath rest on the first day of the week.

And, more importantly, the Old Testament Sabbath laws pointed forward to the Sabbath rest that remains for the people of God.

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