In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day

David Bast

Read: Revelation 1:10-11; John 20:1-10, 19-20

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. (Rev. 1:10)

I have a pastor friend who likes to explain Scripture phrases by running them through the “Bible decoder ring.” If you run our key verse through that, it comes out “I was worshiping one Sunday.” John was doing what Christians do: we go to church on Sunday to worship God. We’re told that Jesus went to the synagogue one Sabbath day, “as was his custom” (Luke 4:16). There is something to be said for custom, for worship as an ingrained habit. We don’t go to worship only when we feel like it; we don’t go just when we’re happy; we don’t go when we’ve nothing better to do; we don’t go only on the big holidays. We just go. Because that’s what Christians do.

But now pay attention to this term “the Lord’s day.” John doesn’t have to explain to his readers which day he means. They all knew. Jesus’ disciples began calling Sunday the Lord’s Day because that was the day he rose from the tomb. It was the day they first met him in the upper room and realized it really was Jesus. Soon the early Christians were no longer going to the synagogue on the seventh day of the week; they were gathering on the first, because that was when they worshiped the risen Lord in the Spirit. Lord’s Day worship is actually a telling piece of evidence for the reality of Jesus’ resurrection, and for the truth of the gospel. —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks for the Spirit’s help in worship.