As this Update (#872) is being published and sent out, many of those faithful to the Word of God will have already observed the Passover, the first of God’s annual Feasts. This will be followed by the Feast of Unleavened bread, which contains the first two of God’s commanded annual Holy Days.
These, and those Holy Days and Feasts which follow throughout the year, portray the plan of mankind’s salvation. The ultimate focus is on the role God gave to Jesus Christ in making this plan possible. This is why God the Father sent His Son into the world, and Jesus confirmed this:
“‘I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was'” (John 17:4-5; also, verses 24-25).
The “work” which Jesus “finished” represented two major accomplishments. First He qualified as the Messiah. The Apostle John wrote of the mission given to Jesus: “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). Jesus said of Himself: “‘…I did not come to [condemn] the world but to save the world'” (John 12:47). Jesus also established the Church of God (Matthew 16:18)–into which those destined for salvation would be called.
Concerning the “glory” which Jesus previously had with the Father, consider the remarkable opening verses in the Book of John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14).
Likewise, Paul wrote:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Colossians 1:15-18).
Following the Feast of Pentecost, Peter and John were arrested for preaching in the name of Jesus Christ and questioned for healing a lame man. Peter boldly stated that it was “‘…by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth'” that the man was made whole (Acts 4:10). Then Peter made this powerful declaration:
“‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved'” (Acts 4:12).
The Feasts of the LORD are holy convocations (Leviticus 23:2). God has commanded that they be observed in order for us to understand His great plan for mankind’s salvation and the vital role Jesus Christ has in giving us eternal life in the Kingdom of God.