The Sacrificial Lamb

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying: Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house…Your lamb shall be without blemish… And the whole assembly of Israel shall kill it in the evening.  And they shall take of the blood and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses wherein they shall eat it… And the blood shall be to you a token upon the houses where ye are, and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations, ye shall keep it as a feast by an ordinance forever. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.”  Exodus 12

“For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast.” I Corinthians 5:7a

“At the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow… And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, and he said, Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen: from the dead.” Matthew 28:1-10

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

Passover and Resurrection day greetings from Jerusalem!  This year both celebrations occur during the same week. Passover falls on the same night as “Good Friday” and Resurrection Day is right after the Sabbath and during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The city is full of joyous celebrants, both Christian and Jew.  Those who are Jewish and observant, light big bon fires around the city and burn the leaven which has been collected from all the households. Christian believers flock to the Old City and visit all the holy sites where Jesus prayed, suffered, and rose victoriously over death and the grave. Some first visit the Garden of Gethsemane, then walk the Via Dolorosa (the Sorrowful Way) and come to the Upper Room, where the Last Supper was traditionally held.

At the House of Peace, we as believers are celebrating a Messianic Passover with 33 guests attending.  We will drink the cups of wine and ask each other, “Why this night is so special?”  Then the oldest in attendance will hide the afikomen matza for the youngest to find (symbolizing the hidden Christ).

Passover at the House is a rather joyous event.  We have Kathy Conn and her group visiting us from Alaska.  She makes sure we remember all the plagues.  Last year we had rice thrown at us, symbolizing the plague of lice.  Other times we had giant green pea pods with toothpicks representing locusts.  Then there were the frogs… How would you depict them?  And then we all watch a brief portion from the Prince of Egypt, where the blood is smeared on the doorposts.

Resurrection Day will find us at the Garden Tomb.  What better place to renew our faith than at a Sunrise service.  I hope, like the two Marys, I see an angel this year!  In any event, we all sing and rejoice, listen to the speaker and worship, for the Tomb is empty and He is risen!  Halleluiah!  We hope and pray that wherever you are, that this upcoming Resurrection Sunday is a special day for you.  May you truly encounter Jesus in your worship.

The Sacrificial Lamb
Throughout Scripture, Jesus is represented as the Lamb.  One reoccurring theme is of the slain lamb.  Christ is seen figuratively in the “coats of skins” that the LORD God made for Adam and Eve, so as to clothe them (Gen. 3:21).  An animal, possibly a lamb or lambs had to die.  Blood was shed to save man and woman.  Abraham also told his son Isaac that “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8).  A lamb again was examined and sacrificed in each home to save Israel (Ex. 12).  Isaiah prophesies of Jesus—the suffering servant—that “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter” (Is. 53:7). 

This theme of Jesus being the Lamb resounds throughout the New Testament as well.  John the Baptist, upon seeing Jesus, proclaims “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” Peter writes of the “precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:19).  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).  He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).  Then there is the “marriage of the Lamb” which takes place in heaven and those whose names are written in the “Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27).  Jesus Christ is the lamb “slain before the foundation of the world.”  He is as Paul writes “Christ our Passover, sacrificed for us.”  We will keep the feast this Passover in the House of Peace, and honor the Lamb, “Christ our Passover,” throughout our meal.  It is his blood, sacrificed in this city, Jerusalem, that keeps the destroyer from entering in (Rev. 12:11). Pray that the LORD Jesus may be revealed to his people as “the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.”  Pray that they see him in the Passover meal.

Prime Minister Netanyahu Victorious
President Reuven Rivlin announce this week that a majority of parliament members had advised him to have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu form a government after the April 9 election, effectively ensuring his nomination. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party won some 35 seats in the Knesset, but also gathered the support of other minority parties to ensure a 65-seat majority.  In office for the past decade, Netanyahu won a fifth term despite an announcement by Attorney General Mandelblit in February that he intends to charge the prime minister in three corruption cases. Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing.

Netanyahu’s nomination had been a foregone conclusion after his right-wing Likud party captured 35 seats in the Knesset in last week’s ballot and his closest rival, centrist Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party, conceded defeat.  Netanyahu has said he intends to build a coalition with five far-right, right-wing and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties that would give the Likud-led government 65 seats, four more than the outgoing administration he heads.

Under Israeli law, Prime Minister Netanyahu has 42 days to form a new government.  Pray for this new coalition of Israeli leaders, and that they govern together in unity to lead this nation effectively in these times.  Pray that they turn to LORD and seek His face for wisdom and strength.  Pray that they can successfully meet the challenges of those who wish to destroy the Jewish State.

Asher Shall Dip His Foot in Oil
Last week a Greek energy company working under contract to Israel announced that it had made a significant discovery off of Israel’s northern Coast. Energean stated that it had discovered between 28 and 42 billion cubic meters (BCM) in the north well of Israel’s Karish offshore gas field in addition to 45 BCM already found.

Seven Mediterranean countries, including Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel, agreed earlier this year to set up an “Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum” with Cairo as its headquarters, and aim to create a regional gas market that serves the interests of all the members.

In November 2018, Israeli television news reported that the Jewish state had closed a deal with Greece, Italy, and Cyprus to supply natural gas via a 2,000 kilometer (1200 miles) underwater pipeline in a five-year-long construction that is estimated to cost nearly eight billion dollars.

Israel views its offshore gas reserves as highly valuable to its economic and strategic concerns in the region and has gone to great lengths to ensure its existing gas fields are secure. It has also made agreements with Egypt and Jordan to sell surplus gas (www.i24news.com).

Long ago, Moses prophesied “Let Asher dip his foot in oil.”  The territories of Asher are the coastlands where the modern-day cities of Haifa and Acco are located. These new discoveries are located in the Mediterranean waters offshore.  Israel is rapidly becoming blessed because of its soon-coming oil fortunes and ability to sustain itself.

“Five Cities Shall Speak the Language of Canaan”
The nation of Egypt, home to some 100 million people (Israel has 9 million) is in the midst of a massive building boom.  The current government has plans to move its capital from Cairo into an as yet un-named city later in 2019.  Built on a site between the Nile River and the Suez Canal, and located some 27 miles east of Greater Cairo, this metropolis will feature a new presidential palace, a new parliament, a central bank and business district, an airport, and a massive theme park, alongside housing for 6.5 million people.  In all, 34 government ministries will be located here.

It will be the country’s most high-tech city, home to Africa’s tallest tower, and Egypt’s largest minaret and tallest church steeple. A among its features will be sensors that report smoke or fires to emergency services and a “smart traffic system.” The new city will also boast a huge green space bigger than New York’s Central Park, a mega-mall, residential districts, a science and tech campus, and a cultural complex complete with an opera house, theaters, and a cinema (www.nbcnews.com).

Isaiah prophesies that in the days to come, “five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear to the LORD of hosts”  (Is. 19:18).  Will this new city be one of the cities set aside by the LORD, where the inhabitants will speak the language of Canaan (Hebrew)?  It could happen.  This city will be located on the Isaiah 19 highway. And there will be a great reason to rejoice, for Isaiah says there will come a day “when the LORD shall be known in Egypt” (Is. 19:21).

Treasures Hidden, Yet Revealed
A group of ninth grade Israeli schoolboys stumbled across a shiny coin on a field trip, only to discover that it was 1,600 years old and the first such find in the country. The face of the gold coin bore the face of the man who abolished the presidency of the Sanhedrin in the Land of Israel.  He also transferred monies set aside for the Sanhedrin into his own Imperial treasury.

Following this abolition of the presidency by Theodosius, the Sanhedrin ceased to exist, and the leadership of the Jewish people moved to Babylon and then to the Diaspora for 2,000 years. It is symbolic that the coin with Emperor Theodosius II impressed on it was found by Israeli students near the Sanhedrin Trail, a hiking route prepared this year by the Israel Antiquities Authority that follows the leadership of the Jewish people in the Galilee during the period of the Mishnah and the Talmud (written records of Jewish oral law).  Thanks to their landmark discovery, the four students were awarded special certificates by the Israeli Antiquities Authority  (www.ynetnews.com).

An Ancient Land
Israel is an ancient land whose history spans millenniums.  It is a land rich in archaeological sites, tombs, and undiscovered treasures.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by accident by a shepherd boy.  Ancient coins and clay seals dating from the First Temple era have been found while sifting soil from the Temple Mount, (Israeli Temple Mount Sifting Project) and I have gathered smooth stones from where David fought Goliath.

The greatest treasure to be found is the Savior.  Simon Peter and the other disciples sought Jesus and when they had found him said: “All men seek for thee.”  Christ is our treasure, worthy of cherishing and keeping, yet sharing the “good news.”  Jesus said that “the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, which when a men hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” (Mt. 13:45).  May our treasure be in souls won for the Savior and presented to Him.

Resurrection Day Greetings!
Gene and Marylois,
House of Peace, Jerusalem