Passover - Sunset, April 18-25
"It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set His love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that He swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.Ě
This year, starting at sundown on April 18, Jews around the world will celebrate Passover for 7 days. It is one of GodĚs Ěappointed feastsĚ set to help the Jews remember His faithfulness to them. Passover commemorates the last of the ten plagues God visited upon Egypt designed to show the Egyptians who He was, as He forced Pharaoh to free the Israelites from their captivity. During the 10th and most severe plague, the angel of the Lord moved through Egypt destroying the firstborn of all people and animals (Exodus 11-12). Before this plague of death, the Israelites were commanded by God to take the blood of an unblemished male lamb and smear it on the doorposts of their homes. When the angel of the Lord saw the blood, he would Ěpass overĚ that house, thus delivering the first born of Israel from GodĚs judgments. Soon the world would understand that, in the same way, the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus, would shed His blood, covering the sins of those who believe in Him, causing GodĚs judgment to Ěpass overĚ them. Passover is the celebration of GodĚs Grace in the Deliverance of His chosen people.
And it is His grace that continues to deliver the Jews, although they have gone through several persecutions before and after the death of Christ. Before the birth of Christ, the persecutions and annihilation attempts were designed by satan to eliminate the royal and priestly line that would lead up the the birth of Jesus. When that failed, satan tried to kill Jesus. Yet, it was Jesus, not the Jews, who allowed Himself to be delivered up and crucified in our place, again by His Grace (John 10:17-18). After His resurrection, it was clear satan failed again, and now we all live in an age of grace and have a chance to choose Christ and His Kingdom. It is by Grace we are saved, and our salvation, GodĚs plan of redemption, is from the Jews (Gal. 3:14; John 4:22).
But does this mean true believers have replaced Israel, and God no longer has plans for His chosen nation? If you understand the significance of GodĚs faithfulness to His covenant, you would know the replacement idea is contrary to GodĚs plan for the Jews. The very fact of their supernatural survival for 1900 years, without a land, and their recent revival as a modern nation on May 14,1948 (Pentecost), should empathize the error of this view. Certainly, God is moving in Israel. Remember too, both the church and Israel are referred to as branches of the same Olive Tree (Romans 11:16-36). God uses both the Jews and the church to administer His grace toward mankind. Although, since the birth of the church at Pentecost, GodĚs focus has been on the church; soon His focus will return to the restoration and revival of the Jewish nation. If you watch the evening news, you can see satanĚs persecution of the Jews increasing as he tries to destroy GodĚs plan for IsraelĚs coming salvation. Satan knows Jesus is Lord; he knows what is going to happen in the future, and he trembles.
Points to Ponder and Pray:
Keep your eyes on the events in Israel. Hamas and Israel are expected to have a full scale military confrontation this Spring. Sadly, Hamas is a terrorist group who think they are doing GodĚs work by destroying Israel. Pray for GodĚs peace and protection during this Passover holiday.