What is the Lord’s day?

The Book of Revelation is a Jewish, anti-Roman text that comes to us from the first century. The Jewish Christ acts as the High Priest of the heavenly tabernacle, walking amidst seven golden lampstands (Rev. 1:10-13). He speaks a message of warning and encouragement to seven real assemblies struggling to be loyal to Israel’s God in Christ Jesus, as residents of an unapologetically pagan Roman Empire.

In one of the visions characteristic of Jewish apocalyptic tradition, John finds himself “in the spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10). In view of modern controversies many Christ-followers wonder whether it was the seventh or the first day of the Israelite week that John had in mind.

Both options, Sunday (1st day) and the Sabbath Day (7th day), while possible are a bit problematic for several reasons. One of them is that while the Sabbath Day does belong to the Lord it was never called the “Lord’s Day” before. On the other hand, Sunday, the Day that the resurrection of Jesus had become public, was never referred to as the “Lord’s Day” either. It could be argued, however, that “There is first time for everything”, but I would like to submit to you another possibility that should be also considered.

“The Lord’s Day” is none other than “The Day of the Lord” spoken of so often by the prophets of Israel (Is. 2:12-22). According to Isaiah this is the day when justice finally prevails as the God of Israel judges his enemies and rewards his children with peace and prosperity. So, was this Saturday or Sunday? Neither. It was the Day of the Lord.

This article originally appeared on Israel Study Center and reposted with permission.