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Satan’s Passover Rage

written by Ariel Blumenthal
April 03, 2020

The long, cold, wet, virus-filled winter is finally over. Spring is here and it is Passover time in Israel. Jewish people gather around the table to remember the great themes of the exodus from Egypt: deliverance from slavery, liberation, freedom!

It was no different 2000 years ago! Yeshua celebrated his “last supper,” a traditional Passover celebration the night of his betrayal, the evening before His crucifixion. Myriads of Jews had ascended to Jerusalem from all over the world. Scholars believe that as many as 400,000 crowded on to the huge expanse of Herod’s Temple colonnade, many praying for liberation from the yoke of Roman rule over Israel and Jerusalem. 

It was a very tense time for the Roman overlords. They had established their harsh rule over numerous kingdoms and peoples – most of whom surely desired to be free again. 

There was something different about this people, the Jewish people and the kingdom of Judah. They hoped for a “messiah,” a coming king who would deliver the people from pagan rule and establish a great kingdom. This was not just some makeshift ideology, spread by rebels in order to stir the people to overthrow Rome. No, it was ingrained in them from childhood, part of their religion, culture, their very sense of identity as a “chosen” people. Passover – the feast of liberation – was the time when all these tensions came together.

Pilate’s interrogation of Yeshua revealed his main concern: “Are you the King of the Jews?” (John 18:34) He couldn’t have cared less about the Sanhedrin’s verdict of blasphemy concerning Yeshua’s claims to be the Son of God or the Son of Man (Mt 26:63-65). Like Herod who had slaughtered all the male, Jewish babies in Bethlehem (Mt 2:16-18), what worried Pilate most was the potential for Yeshua’s “messianic” claims to stir up hundreds of thousands of Jews to rebel against Rome. This is eventually what happened 30 years later in 68-70 AD, and again in 133-136 AD.

This messianic “idea,” in the person of the “King of the Jews,” is what all the kings and powers of this world are afraid of, because behind them all is Satan himself, “the ruler of this world.” (John 14:30; 2 Cor 4:4) Satan knows that there is only one person, one king, one ruler, who has the authority to bind him and redeem the world from his control – and that is the promised Messiah-King of Israel, Yeshua. 

Here we are 2000 years later, celebrating Passover in Jerusalem, Israel, and throughout the world. Much has changed, but some things are still the same. Behind Herod, Pilate, Haman, Hitler and many others, is this supernatural satanic force of Jew-hatred. In our time, it has called “anti-Semitism.”  We read in the news about an upsurge in anti-Semitic acts of hatred and violence all over the world – not just in Tehran, but also in New York, Pittsburgh, Paris, London, etc.

As believers in the Bible, we can expect this trend to continue and grow, as we get closer to His second coming. Satan’s rage will increase, as he knows “his time is short.” (Rev 12:12) Israel, the Jewish people, and all Christians who are looking for the return of “the King of the Jews” and the “King of Kings” will increasingly be the target of this rage. As with His first coming, so the Jewish people today, in a restored nation with Jerusalem as its capital, have a role to play in welcoming Him to return.  (Mt 23:37-39

There is, and will continue to be, great warfare – both spiritual and physical – around the Messianic Jewish presence in Jerusalem.  We must stand and pray together, as our salvation grows nearer and nearer (Romans 13:11)!  So, as we celebrate Passover, may these great events of the Exodus remind us of what lies ahead in the not so distant future!    

Ariel Blumenthal

Ariel grew up in a Reform Jewish home. He was searching for meaning in life in Zen Buddhism after college, when he was born again at a church in downtown Tokyo. He made Aliyah in 1998 and co-leads Ahavat Yeshua Congregation in Jerusalem.

He is the author of ‘One New Man—Reconciling Jew & Gentile in One Body of Christ’, and teaches the Bible in English, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese.

Ariel and his wife Vered have 4 children, and live in downtown Jerusalem.

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