'The Passover Lamb' reviewed by Pat Franklin
At last - a beautiful and intelligently written Christian book for children! Written by Ruth Nessim and illustrated by Jeanne Elizabeth, it is a perfect gift for any Christian child - or indeed ANY child.
I was thrilled to see a copy of it and sent this email to Ruth:
'Thank you for the absolutely brilliant new Passover Lamb book. I love it! You are certainly bearing fruit, a tree planted by the water. Wow. I was just so happy to see this book. A few years ago I went into a Christian bookshop in St Louis and looked at every children's book they had. Not one could I find to buy. Not one was biblical. Not one was intelligent and scriptural. Not one even had good illustrations - all had stupid, clumsy, cartoony pictures. Nothing pretty, nothing interesting to look at, nothing thought-provoking. So - many congratulations... and to the artist Jeanne Elizabeth as well.'
'The Passover Lamb' is written in verse and is short enough for a bedtime book which will not bore the parents! Ruth Nessim is the perfect person to have written this wonderful book. She is Jewish, was born in London, trained as a nurse, married a Jewish Christian and the couple raised a family of five children in Israel. So she knows all about Passover, the night the angel of death slew all the first born sons in Egypt - but passed over the houses of the Jewish slaves who had daubed their doorposts and lintels with the blood of a lamb.
For years Ruth and her husband Albert celebrated Passover with their family and friends in Israel, but for them it meant much more than the night the Jewish slaves were set free and left Egypt for the Promised Land. They knew that the blood on the doorposts prefigured the blood which was shed by the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Messiah of Israel. They knew that it is only Jesus' holy blood shed for us which saves those of us who put our trust in Him.
The book opens with the scene of a Jewish Passover supper, with the youngest child asking the question which is asked every year: 'Why is this night different from all other nights?' The Passover feast is to help all Jews remember, and to teach their children to remember, the great deliverance they had.
The great strength of the book is that it does not stop at Passover, but goes on to link it with Jesus' death at Calvary, and also ties in the return of modern Jews to the Promised Land.
We too celebrated Passover this year (2011), because our daughter and son-in-law and their two children were visiting from Israel. We invited a few friends as well and had a wonderful meal and a wonderful evening. The meal was interspersed with singing, scripture readings, much laughter and yet solemn moments. We had the traditional large Matzos crackers and at one stage our son-in-law Michael broke one into three pieces, hiding the middle piece. We know that this symbolizes the Godhead, three persons in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But the Second Person, the Lord Jesus, is still hidden from the eyes of most Jewish people. One glorious day they will recognize Him and turn to Him in faith, and that will be the wonderful day of the Second Coming.*
Our dining room is not large enough to set an empty place for Elijah, as most Jewish families probably do, but I could not resist taking our little granddaughter Rachel to peer out the front door to see if Elijah was coming. He didn't show up this year. Maybe next? For sure he is coming one year, but not to our house in England. He will be in Jerusalem, just as the scriptures prophesy. He will be preaching to the unbelieving Jews, and many will come to recognize Jesus as Messiah when he explains it all to them.
Anyway, getting back to the book, I cannot recommend it too highly. Plus - it is not even expensive! You can buy it from CJF (Christian Jew Foundation) Ministries website
I have to declare an interest here. Ruth is our son-in-law's mother, and since that does not make Ruth and I in-laws to each other, she likes to call us 'outlaws'. In-laws, outlaws, whatever - I am just very privileged to know this talented lady who I think of as a sister.
You can read all about the events of Passover in the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible. It is real history; it really happened. The blood of the lamb applied to the doorposts had real life or death consequences - and the blood of the Savior applied by faith to our hearts also has real consequences, only now it is eternal life or eternal hell. Which will you choose? Christ died for sinners, and the Bible confirms that we all qualify when it comes to sinning. All need a Savior. None of us is good enough to gain eternal life on our own merits. Only the blood of Christ, who willingly became a sacrifice to pay the penalty of all our sins, can save us.
When we put our trust in Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary, it is like the ancient Isrealites putting the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. They too were sinners, but when the angel of death saw the blood, he passed over their homes and did not strike the first born son dead. When we trust in Jesus' sacrifice, it is as though His blood is applied to our hearts, and then we are sealed for heaven, indelibly marked forever as belonging to Him, a solid guarantee of our eternal destiny.
Won't you put your trust in Jesus today? Ask Him to help you understand and know the truth. Get it settled once and for all in your heart Who you believe in and where you are going when you die. Then get on and serve Him with all your heart - just as Ruth Nessim is still doing many years after she first accepted Jesus as her Savior.
* Matthew's gospel, chapter 23, verse 39: 'For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' This prophecy of the Lord Jesus was made after the Jewish leaders had rejected Him as the Messiah. It means He will only return when the entire nation of Israel cries out for Him, recognizing Him as Messiah at long last. They will do this at the end of the seven year Tribulation period, when they are faced with total annihilation by the armies of Antichrist. What a day that will be!