Passover – the way to peace.

Pray for Muslims to see that Jesus is the true Messiah – IDF soldier.

by Charles Gardner.

The Middle East conflict is not about land or nationality. It’s theological. Some of us know this, but the world at large – including the Church – is for the most part ignorant of this truth.

It’s so encouraging, therefore, to hear IDF Sgt-Major Chaim Malespin make this clear in his daily five-minute YouTube report from the frontline, Swords of Iron.

Defending his country in Gaza, away from his usual role in charge of the Aliyah Return Centre in Galilee, Chaim alerts listeners to the ‘double talk’ of radical groups like Hamas.

They are aware of the West’s susceptibility to calls for freedom for the supposedly oppressed Palestinians, but their message in Arabic is totally different, emphasizing jihad (holy war) aimed at bringing the entire world under Islam through “first defeating the Saturday people, then the Sunday people”.

Peace agreements or ceasefires are only ever temporary, allowing their forces to regroup. “For too long, Israel and the West have tried to overlook this aspect,” he said.

Instead, Chaim urges viewers to pray for Muslims to see that Isa (Jesus), the true Messiah, is the only one capable of bringing real peace.

“The only way to help Gazans and radical groups is for them to have a change of heart and mind. Let’s pray these Muslims receive the lasting peace that only the God of Israel can offer.”

With Iran now openly entering the fray, it’s becoming ever clearer that we are living in apocalyptic times. But as the song goes, Jesus is the answer for the world today; Above him there’s no other, Jesus is the way.

The Book of Revelation at the end of the Bible speaks of the last days before Jesus returns as a world in greater turmoil than ever. Last week I heard a children’s pastor telling how children around the world on five different continents have said God told them to read this book, and how they have discovered that “it’s all about Jesus”.

He also told the story of a schoolboy who organised a meeting for Christians where no-one turned up except a teacher. So he made himself a badge reading, I am a Christian: ask me why. It wasn’t too long before there were 50 pupils wearing the same badge, indicating a great hunger for the truth about God.

In the UK, meanwhile, antisemitism has sky-rocketed in the wake of the Gaza War as weekly pro-Palestinian marches in London have fanned the flames of Jewish hatred. A staggering 46% of the UK’s four million Muslims now admit sympathy with Hamas, but there are still voices of reason among them.

Taj Hargey, an imam who is Provost of the Oxford Institute for British Islam, posed a serious challenge to fellow religionists in a Daily Mail article1.

“If significant proportions of British Muslims refuse to believe that the Hamas assault truly occurred on October 7th, then their faith…is utterly wanting.”

He added: “True Muslims should unite to condemn Hamas’s butchery. But in the outpouring of support for Palestine, terrorism is being celebrated, while antisemitism is spreading like a virus.”

He is saying in effect that they are not true Muslims, and need to recognise that Jewish lives matter too.

I conclude by recounting the seemingly miraculous way a volatile and potentially divisive situation in a Cape Town church was defused when a mother and daughter challenged a pastor over plans to host a Palestinian group promoting anti-Israel propaganda. Shouldn’t he also host a speaker presenting the Israeli perspective?

He eventually agreed to a Passover presentation on Good Friday led by the Church’s Ministry among Jewish people (CMJ), demonstrating how Jesus is the ultimate fulfilment of Passover – the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world who opens the door to peace and freedom.

With 220 attending, it was a roaring success. My Cape Town contact told me: “At the beginning of the evening, I shared my testimony, including how my family perceived not only the New Testament but Yeshua himself to be antisemitic, and how very foreign Jesus seemed to me in the way he was portrayed by the Church. We didn’t mention the Israel-Gaza situation, but instead focused on the Passover and the Jewishness of the Last Supper, as well as the Jewishness of Jesus himself.

“At the end of our presentation, we were bowled over when the pastor encouraged the church to support CMJ and showed a slide advertising a proposed tour of Israel. And many people told us it had been an amazing experience.”

The blood of a lamb daubed on the doors of their houses saved the Jewish first-born from death and set the nation free from slavery in Egypt.

Now the blood of Jesus, metaphorically marked on the doors of our hearts, is the way to peace and freedom, resurrection, and reconciliation.

Even the world’s top golfer, Scottie Scheffler, who just won his second U.S. Masters in three years, said “victory was secure on the cross”, explaining that whether he wins or loses tournaments, his future is safe with Jesus.

1April 9th 2024