"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God," said Jesus Christ (Luke 4:4; Matthew 4:4). So why don't more people believe that statement—especially those who claim to follow Him?
Too many who say they follow Jesus ignore what we today commonly call the Old Testament—even though that was the only "Word of God" people knew when Jesus uttered these words. In fact, He was quoting the Old Testament itself (see Deuteronomy 8:3).
Indeed, the Old Testament has so much to teach us about our Savior. And by not living by its words (almost three-quarters of our Bibles!), dismissing them as irrelevant and obsolete, people miss out on a great deal about what God reveals about the role and mission of Jesus Christ and the kind of relationship He wants to build with us.
Soon millions of churchgoers will be celebrating Easter, one of the world's most popular religious holidays. Curiously, it's a holiday found nowhere in the Bible (except in one place in the King James Version where it's a clear mistranslation of the original Greek).
Meanwhile, a relatively small number of churchgoers will be participating in an observance that is found in the Bible—Passover.
Did you realize that Passover is mentioned more than 70 times in the Bible (compared to no mentions of Easter)? What do those Christians who will be observing Passover know that others don't?
For one thing, they know what John the Baptizer, whose role was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, exclaimed when he saw Jesus: "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29, emphasis added throughout).
They also know that Jesus Himself, observing the Passover with His apostles on the night before He was crucified, left them with the bread and wine as symbols of His sacrifice, telling them (and His subsequent followers throughout the centuries) to partake of these symbols "in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
They also know that the apostle Paul, writing more than 20 years after Jesus Christ's death and ascension to heaven, tells us that "Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7).
And in the very next verse he tells the members of the church in Corinth—including many who were gentile and not Jewish—to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, another biblical feast closely associated with Passover, and mentions several spiritual lessons Christians are to learn from keeping this feast in the right way and in the proper spiritual attitude.
Does this sound like instruction that is obsolete, outmoded and no longer relevant to Christians? Maybe we'd better carefully consider our assumptions!
In this issue we'll help you discover how these little-understood biblical festivals teach us a great deal about Jesus Christ—our Savior and coming King. They tell us why He had to come, why He offered Himself as a sacrifice and what He expects of us in return.
Nothing could be more important for you to understand in building a right relationship with Him—a relationship built on the understanding God reveals to us through the festivals He commands for us in His Word, the Bible.
Are you ready to start living "by every word of God," as Jesus tells us to? We hope so, and what you'll learn in this issue is a good start!