From Sabbath to Lord's Day
SUNDAY IN ROME
"Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly." (Justin Martyr – c. 150 AD)
This is the second oldest documented evidence of early Christian Sunday observance. Justin Martyr was a pagan convert to Christianity who died for his faith in Rome about 165 AD. There is a definite anti-Jewish flavor to his work. He wrote that God had imposed the Sabbath on the Jews because of their unrighteousness.
As the theological justification for observing the first day of week instead of the Sabbath, Justin Martyr wrote: "...it is the first day on which God...made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead."
Linking the first day to the beginning of Creation makes for a startling paradox. The Sabbath of the Ten Commandments was specifically a celebration of the completion of Creation.
By isolating the weekly holy day from its biblical roots, church leaders cut off the day of rest and worship from its biblical roots and its source of spiritual meaning.