One of my housemates here at Spirituality House is a devout Catholic, Ren. Ren noted today that she was feeling rather hyper for two reasons. The first being that she had gotten about ten hours of sleep and the second being that because it is Sunday, she has had several Cokes. This perked me up for a moment.
“You’re drinking Coke because it’s Sunday?”
“Yes. I like Coke so I drink it on Sunday because Sunday is a celebratory day.”
We compared notes on this for a moment. The conversation wandered around to the nature of the Sabbath. I know for a fact that Christianity moved the Sabbath to Sunday to take advantage of already established pagan celebrations. Ren, however, offered a far more interesting backwards projection of an explanation.
The Sabbath in this case, is not being celebrated as the seventh day. On the contrary, she agrees with Judaism that Saturday is the seventh day. Instead, Sunday is being celebrated as the EIGHTH day! Why? Jesus rose from the dead on the eighth day. Why, I inquired, not just say that Jesus rose on the first day of the week and call Sunday the first day of the week. The number eight, for reasons I could not fathom, she explained is important. Why? She explained it me in terms of circumcision. Circumcision, entrance into the Jewish covenant, is conducted on the eighth day of a Jewish boy’s life. If Jesus’ died for everyone’s sins and in doing so created a new covenant, eight days is an important symbol because the Jewish covenant, that which is being superseded by this, also sees the eighth day as important.
You learn something new every day.