Israeli National flag waving on the top of Mount of Olive with background of residential houses in Jerusalem, Israel
By Marelinke van der Riet
Almond blossoms in Jerusalem

In the bustling streets of Jerusalem, the sweet scent of almond blossoms mingles with a palpable sense of anticipation, heralding the arrival of Spring. This atmosphere signifies more than just a seasonal change; it represents a period of renewal and preparation for the upcoming cherished holiday – the festival of freedom: Passover.

Passover, known as Pesach in Hebrew, stands as one of the most significant Biblical feasts during which the Jewish people commemorate God’s liberation of their Israelite ancestors from bondage in Egypt. This year, however, the observance of Passover has taken on a whole new meaning, as Israel is still locked in a prolonged war that may not have even peaked yet. Weighing on everyone’s mind are the 134 Israelis still held hostage in Gaza after six months of captivity. Additionally, tens of thousands of Israelis are still evacuated from their border communities, unable to return home.

Rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel

In the Exodus account, the application of the lamb’s blood served as a protective shield, prompting the Lord to “pass over” and spare the Israelites from disaster. Today, amid the ongoing fighting in the South and even larger looming threats in the North, we as Christians living in Israel can find solace in Jesus, our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), whose sacrificial blood covers and protects us. Just as when the Lord saw the lamb’s blood, and He “passed over” that home so “no plague will befall you to destroy you…“ (Exodus 12:13).

Similar to this monumental biblical event, we currently are also witnessing a modern-day Exodus as thousands of Jews from around the globe find themselves compelled to return to the Promised Land, whether driven out by antisemitism or drawn by God’s divine call to come home. However, this joyous news is tempered by the suffering of the hostages in Gaza. Amidst the enduring fight for freedom, the desperate pleas from countless Jews and friends of Israel echo the timeless cry from the Book of Exodus: “Let My people go!”

Interestingly, some Jewish scholars note that the Hebrew word for Egypt is mitzrayim meaning “pressed in” or “confined.” On the other hand, Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) means “to rescue, save or set free.” Through Yeshua, God’s love is vividly displayed as He becomes the sacrificial lamb, slain to purchase our freedom (Ephesians 1:7).

The prophetic depth of Passover is truly astounding. Just as the Lord liberated the Israelites from bondage and led them to their Promised Land, He has the power to bring the hostages back to Israel. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” (Exodus 20:2) He has done it before; He can most definitely do it again.

During this Passover season, surrounded by numerous uncertainties, we find reassurance in the knowledge that this too shall pass over. And together, we wholeheartedly join in Israel’s fervent appeal, saying, “Let our people go!”

Please stand together with us in prayer and support as we bless and support the people of Israel during this Passover season.

Photo by: Mahmud Hams / AFP, JAFI