House of Peace

The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29)

Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

Resurrection Day greetings!  Jesus Christ, our Savior is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Throughout scripture, the theme of the slain Messiah Lamb, resounds.  He is seen in Genesis in the “coats of skins” that the LORD God made for Adam and Eve, so as to cover their nakedness (Gen. 3:21).  An animal, possibly a lamb or lambs had to die.  Blood was shed, to save the man and the woman, and to “cover” their sin.  Able offered the firstborn of his flock, a lamb whose sacrifice was respected by the LORD (Gen. 4:4).  When Isaac questioned his father: “Where is the lamb?” Abraham replied: “God, will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8).  And yes, a ram was miraculously caught in the thicket, providing the sacrifice.  The Israelites obeying God’s instructions, took a lamb into their homes, four days before the last plague.  Before sunset occurred on the fourth day, they had to slay this innocent creature, apply its blood on their doorposts and lintels, then roast the lamb completely.  Once inside, no one was to leave the protection of their home, since the LORD seeing the lamb’s blood would not allow the destroyer to come into the house to strike them (Ex. 12).  

After the Law was given on Mt. Sinai to Moses, the LORD God established the priestly line, starting with Aaron.  The Tabernacle in the wilderness was established and the Levites were required to offer by fire to the LORD two male lambs “day by day continually” one for the morning sacrifice and the other for the evening (Ex. 29:38, Num. 28:3-4). Later, this same daily sacrifice of the lamb continued in the Temple. The Lamb is also seen in the Book of Isaiah, who prophesies of a future suffering Messiah that is “brought as a lamb to the slaughter.” (Is. 53:7)   

The New Testament reveals who is the Lamb of God though the words of John the Baptist.  He sees Jesus walking and immediately recognizes Jesus as being “God’s Lamb,” selected to be sacrificed not just to save a person, a household or a nation, but to take away “the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29).  The lamb to be sacrificed was always chosen by men in past ages.  This time though, it was God who chose the Lamb, Jesus Christ, His first born, flawless and without sin, selected “from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).  No man could find fault with him (Lk. 20:26; 39).  The Roman Procurator Pilate said himself: “I find no fault with this man.” (Jn. 18:38) Yet like the Passover lamb, Jesus was crucified for our sins.  His blood served as our atonement.  The writer of Hebrews declares:

If the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 

Again, the writer of Hebrews states:

“He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.  To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:26b-28)

“…this Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:12). 

Peter writes in his letter that “the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Yet, it is Jesus who is truly highlighted in the Book of Revelation as the Lamb.  Some fifteen times, He is given the title of the Lamb.  John hears “the voice of many angels…saying in a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain…” (Rev. 5:11-12). Next John hears the voices of every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and those in the sea, also saying “Blessing, and honor, and glory and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever” (Rev. 5:13).  This is no ordinary lamb, but Jesus who is the Eternal Lamb of God.  John also sees the heavenly city, a place so filled with the glory of God, that there was no need for sun, neither the moon to shine.  God’s glory and that of the Lamb gave it light (Rev. 7:15-17).  Lastly, it is a place, where the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him, “And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads” (Rev. 22:3)

Follow The Lamb    John the Baptist spoke of Jesus as being the Lamb of God.  His disciples upon hearing this, follow Jesus.  The Lord in turn, seeing the two behind him, asked them “What do you seek?”  Their answer was “Teacher, where are you staying?”  Jesus replied: “Come and see.”  His word to Philip was also direct: “Follow me.” (Jn. 1:43) Then John writing in Revelation sees 144,000 (an innumerable number).  “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes”.  These servants of the Most High were “redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.”  Let us seek to “follow the Lamb.”

Resurrection Day      Sunday is Resurrection Day.  Marylois and I will be rejoicing and praising God for so loving the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.  May all our praises to the Lamb echo throughout heaven.  May you and I be part of the great multitude that John heard in heaven, “of nations, and kindreds and people, and tongues,” standing “before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands,” And crying “with a loud voice, saying Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9-10).  May your Resurrection Day be blessed and full of His presence.

Israel’s 2021 Elections     The nation’s fourth election in two years, held on March 23rd resulted in an inconclusive draw, thus ensuring another political deadlock.  Some political commentators said this fourth election was like the movie “Groundhog Day” where the same day repeats itself continually.  A total of 13, out of 37 parties participating in the election received enough votes to enter into the Knesset, the most since the 2003 election.  These candidates from these parties that were seated in the Knesset represent a variety of ultra-Orthodox, Arab, secular, nationalist and liberal factions.  Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party and his coalition partners were only able to solidify 59 seats in the 120 seat Knesset, leaving them two seats short of a 61-seat majority needed to form a government (This 59-seat makeup is contingent upon the 7-seat Yamina Party led by Naftali Bennet joining up with Likud). The Center Left Coalition led by Yesh Atid (There is a Future) leader Yair Lapid, won 57 seats, ensuring a stalemate. 

All potential government leaders must meet with President Rivlin who after judging their ability to lead the country will select the best candidate by April 7th to be prime minister. That nominee then has 42 days to form a government. If this leader is unsuccessful, the president will ask others to try.  If nobody succeeds, Israel goes to a fifth election.  In the interim both leading parties now have to seek minority partners who are willing to come alongside and work with the majority parties.  That’s where the “fun” begins, with backroom deals for ministry posts along with promises made and broken in the quest to form a government.

An unlikely “kingmaker” is Masour Abbas of the Arab Ra’Am party who with four seats represented in the Knesset now finds himself in the unlikely role of being a “kingmaker.”  Both parties are seriously courting this minority Arab party, something inconceivable in Israeli politics. 

Masour Abbas Abbas speaking in Hebrew in a prime-time television speech carried on all Israeli networks, called for Arab-Jewish cooperation in Israel, thus asking the various Jewish political parties not to boycott his conservative Islamist party from joining the next government. During his speech, Abbas did not endorse either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid as the next premier.  He did introduce himself to the Israeli public saying, “That which unites us all is greater than what divides us,” Abbas who is from Nazareth, defined himself as being a Muslim and an Arab, but also an Israeli citizen.

Abbas though represents Israel’s Southern Islamic Movement; and like Hamas, it is modeled off the Muslim Brotherhood. Abbas has in the past praised aspects of Hamas’s 2017 charter, although he also criticized the document for not ending the targeting of Israeli civilians by the terrorist group.  Ra’am could possibly put either Netanyahu or his opponents over the 61-seat mark, crowning the next premier. But right-wing politicians, both in the pro-Netanyahu bloc and the anti-Netanyahu bloc, have ruled out basing a coalition on the party’s support, due to what they say is an anti-Zionist stance; others have accused Ra’am of supporting terrorists. 

Upon hearing of this possible coalition merger with an Islamic Party, Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the Religious Zionist Party, said “there won’t be a right-wing government with the support of Abbas,” thereby effectively closing the door on a possible union between Israel’s Islamist and religious Jewish parties (www.jpost.com) Also Naftali Bennet of the right wing Yamina Party has problems with this innovative solution and may well pull his 7 seats out of Netanyahu’s tentative coalition.  Bennet also has designs on becoming Israel’s next Prime Minister.  There is an old saying that “Politics makes strange bedfellows.”  Israeli politics is proof that this proverb is true.

Israel may very well find itself going into a 5th election, in an effort to form a working government.  The miracle today though is how such a small nation, can still operate. The old government fractured as it is, will still stay in power until a new one can take office.  And perhaps God is overseeing this muddle, for without an effective government in power, no land can be given away or divided up into what is called the two-state solution.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,

Gene and Marylois / House of Peace