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Prayer Letter Israel, April 7, 2017

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“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.”                                                                      Exodus 12:13b

 

“For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast…

                                                                                                                            I Corinthians 5:7a

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

           Greetings from Jerusalem.  The Jewish Feast of Passover will soon be celebrated in this land and throughout the world.   Preparations for Seder’s or the Passover meal are being made, with the markets crowded as families seek to observe this Feast, which commemorates Israel’s deliverance from the bondage of the Egyptians.  Bakeries will soon shut down, and only unleavened bread or matza will be available to eat.  All leavened products must be removed from the house.   It is not uncommon to see the last of remnants of leavened bread being set afire outside homes.  The children are even brought into the festivities, as parents urge them to look for any remaining pieces of leaven.  Of course one or two pieces are then set aside for them to discover and remove.

           We at the House of Peace will be gathering at our table to remember this night.  We will be reading from our own Hagenah or Story and reciting Biblical passages from Exodus 7 through Exodus 12.  We will be singing “Dayenu” or “It would have been enough” as well as thanking God for the blood of the Slain Lamb.  God told the Israelites that “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”

           I have in the past two month been teaching a Biblical series on the hidden Savior.  Jesus told the Pharisees in response to their questions, that he existed before Abraham (Jn. 8:58).  This reply made them so angry, “they picked up stones.”  Yes Jesus as the pre-existent Savior is found throughout the Old Testament.  He is seen in its shadows and types, and as the “angel of the Lord.”  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 with 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).

Passover Prayers 2017: Marylois and I would ask that you would pray against any acts of terrorism, missile attacks, or bombings occurring while Israel “keeps the feast.”  Pray that any plots, plans, and acts of violence be exposed before they occur.  Pray that the IDF, border guards, and police remain alert and vigilant to stop these acts.  Pray for the safety of Israel’s citizens during this week of Passover.  Pray that the Lord Jesus 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.

Resurrection Sunday: Resurrection Sunday, occurs soon after Passover.  Many services will be held throughout the city commemorating “Holy Week.”  We will be participating with others by attending the Sunrise service at the Garden Tomb.  What a place, what a time to see the empty tomb at sunrise and declare, “He is not here, He is risen.”  Hallelujah!  We hope and pray, wherever you are, that this upcoming Resurrection Sunday is a special day for you.  May you truly encounter Jesus in your worship.

Special visitors: The Book of Hebrews counsels to “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers…for some have entertained angels unaware” (Heb. 13:1).  We are currently hosting 12 Singaporeans at the House of Peace.  They are here to pray and worship.  It has been a sweet time to make friends and join our brothers and sisters in Christ in worship.  The nations truly come to the House of Peace and up to Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24-26).  ETH & S Roy and Cindy Key are also here to help in the work of the ministry.

Thank you: Marylois and I would like to thank you for your prayers.  Last month, I had a kidney stone, which effectively “knocked me out” for a week.  But through your prayers, I have been healed and delivered.  God’s goodness is incredible.  When I cried out in my weakness, He heard and healed me.  He is a God who heals.  The week after, I was healthy enough to drive the ETH prayer tour throughout the land.  Thank you.  Please pray that Marylois and I may continue to run the race of the high calling in His health.

Shabbat Shalom,

Gene and Marylois/House of Peace