The Jewish celebration of Passover begins today [April 8] at sundown and is the first of seven major feasts. The feasts of Israel are religious celebrations remembering God’s great acts of salvation in the history of His people. The term “feasts” in Hebrew literally means “appointed times” and in Scripture the feasts often are called “holy convocations.” They are times God has appointed for holy purposes.
While there are many religious celebrations in Jewish history and custom, seven are most significant: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles. God established the timing and sequence of these feasts to reveal to us a special story — the work of the Messiah in the redemption of mankind and the establishment of His kingdom on earth.
Jesus of Nazareth is among the most famous, admired and influential persons in history. Amazon.com offers more than 175,000 titles about Him. Google lists more than 165 million references to Him. For the most part, every major world religion holds Jesus in high esteem, but they can’t agree on who He is or what He accomplished.
- Islam teaches that Jesus was a great prophet who lived a sinless life, but denies that He is the Son of God or Savior of the world.
- Hinduism, for some, says Jesus was an Avatar or incarnation of God, a great spiritual teacher, a guru, but not particularly unique among Hinduism’s 330 million gods.
- Buddhism generally regards Jesus as a teacher who may have possessed Buddha hood or enlightenment, but was not mankind’s Savior.
- Judaism considers Him a humble and insignificant prophet, a reformer who performed good deeds, but not the Messiah and not divine.
- Christianity declares that Jesus is the Son of God, Messiah, and Savior, whose death and resurrection paid mankind’s sin debt and provided forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
The debate over Jesus is not new, however. Jesus Himself addressed the issue with His disciples in Matthew 16:13-17, confirming Peter’s answer, given by God the Father, that He is the Messiah (or Christ), the Son of the living God. Further, Jesus provided evidence for His claims through the fulfillment of prophecy, His teaching, miracles, sinless life, sacrificial death, and physical resurrection. The New Testament writers recorded Jesus’ words and bore eyewitness testimony of His life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension – and many of them died for their faith.
But what about you? Will you honestly examine the best available evidence and decide for yourself? Everyone can find the real Jesus by examining the best available evidence – the Scriptures – and asking three important questions: 1) Who does Jesus say He is? 2) Who do the eyewitnesses say He is? And 3) Who do you say He is?
Download this free study guide and examine the Scriptures for yourself.