Israel’s Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut), when the nation joyfully celebrates the establishment of the modern state of Israel, comes after a week of sad remembering. The day prior to Yom HaAtzmaut is Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) honoring the soldiers who have fallen in Israel’s wars. Exactly one week before that is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, when all Israel remembers the six million Jews murdered during the Second World War. Every year throughout Israel, this cycle of suffering and death, leading to life and joy – “beauty for ashes” is repeated.
The parallel with Yeshua’s suffering and death followed by His glorious resurrection is unavoidable. Yeshua was chosen by God, before the world was created, for His unique and eternal destiny. According to the Scriptures, He endured the pain of the cross and sat down at the right hand of God. His example reveals God’s desire and purpose for every human. Israel is mentioned more than 2000 times in the Bible. Like Yeshua, Israel was chosen by God for shame, suffering and death as a people only to rise up again as a modern nation. Biblically, Israel reveals the model for God’s kingdom and His ultimate plan for every nation.
These words of God from the prophet Ezekiel are inscribed on the massive gate of Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem:
“Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:12). On our Independence Day we truly celebrate a national resurrection. We sing the joyful song of a people alive again after almost 2000 years.
I first wrote the words of this article on May 4, 2017 just two days after Israel’s Independence Day. Three days later, our much loved Founding Pastor, David Davis went to be with the Lord. David’s passing somehow makes the theme of resurrection and new life more personal and meaningful. David came as an immigrant to build up Zion and advance the kingdom of God in this ancient land. Just like our Lord and this nation, we know our friend too will rise to live again.
- - Peter Tsukahira