Three church leaders during the first and second centuries AD called the day of Jesus’s resurrection the eighth day. Those included Ignatius (AD 30–107), Justin Martyr (AD 110–165) and Barnabas (AD 100).6Although their writings are not a part of the inspired Scriptures, what they taught does reflect the thinking of the early church and confirms that the idea of the eighth day has a historic place in Christian tradition.
The Epistle of Barnabas, states,
“I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world.”7
Historically the eighth day symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus, and by implication, it also marks the beginning of another world that Jesus made possible through His death and resurrection. That new world is called the New Creation. While the eighth day is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, what it represents as the New Creation is taught throughout the New Testament, and its benefits are far reaching, impacting every person and the entire cosmos.8
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5a).
Therefore, the eighth day represents the resurrection of Jesus and metaphorically the entire New Creation that has unfolded since. It has existed as the New Creation for two thousand years, and one day, after the return of Jesus, it will fully dawn into a glorious eternal day.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea (Revelation 21:1).
6The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, Chapter 9; Epistle of Barnabas 15; Justus Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 138.
7Epistle of Barnabas 15.
81 Corinthians 11:25, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Hebrews 9:15, Hebrews 10:20, Hebrews 12:24, Matthew 9:17, and Mark 2:21.
Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation
Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.