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Worthy News Brief - April 21, 2014

%%First Name%%, believe the Promises of God as a Child!

Matthew 18:3-4 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

One of my favorite "hidden" lessons in the Pesach (Passover) celebration "Seder" meal is the mystery of the “afikomen.” This specially prepared meal-- during which the participants are reminded of Israel's supernatural deliverance from Egyptian slavery by the mighty hand of God-- also includes 3 particular pieces of matzah, (unleavened bread). These three are placed in a "matzah tash" -- a special pouch containing three compartments.

Some rabbis explain these matzot (matza in plural) as representing the three Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Others suggest that they represent three individual groups of Jewish people – the Priests, the Levites, and the Israelites. However appropriate these explanations may be, they seem to fall short of adequately explaining the tradition in which the leader of the Seder breaks the middle matzah in two, and hides half of it in a white linen cloth until the end of the meal. As the children finish their meal, they begin to search high and low throughout the house for the afikomen – and the one who finds it returns to the leader of the Seder demanding a reward in exchange for returning it! At the conclusion of the Seder, according to Rabbinic law, a small piece of the afikomen must be broken off and eaten by everyone present, as a reminder of the Passover lamb.

What is this "afikomen"? And what could be the real meaning concealed in this ancient tradition? I suggest that the answer to this question may be discovered when we learn that “afikomen” is not a Hebrew word, but comes from the Greek word – ikneomai – which literally means, “I CAME!” May this not point to the reality that Messiah's first coming as the Passover "Lamb of God", was "hidden" in some way from the Jewish people, as the Lord Himself said? [Luke 19:42]

Is it simply coincidence that matzah is pierced and striped? Or might this also be a "hidden" and providential indication of Messiah's experience at His first coming? "He was wounded for our transgressions..." and, "by His stripes we are healed"; [Isa. 53]. Why was only the middle matzah broken? Because only the Son was "broken" for us? Why must the afikomen be wrapped in linen and hidden away? Because the Son who died was wrapped in linen and hidden away, and may only be found through inquisitive childlike faith.....which is richly rewarded....

%%First Name%%, there are so many wonderful mysteries hidden in the Hebraic roots of our faith – yet, to me, this one stands out boldly among them– that one must come to God with the faith of a child – not through intelligence, religious ritual, or human wisdom– but simply accepting His word and His promises as children, believing and trusting them. Isn't it beautiful that the Lord chose this humble way to reveal Himself?

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Negev Desert, Israel

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Worthy News Features
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Today's Breaking News
Around the World
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Two members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee called Sunday for tougher Western sanctions against Russia to include its petrochemical and banking industries and warned that Moscow thus far has ignored US and European efforts to persuade it to back off its confrontation with Ukraine.

Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout - Fox News
Within hours of an Easter morning shootout at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine, Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement blaming militant Ukrainian nationalists and Russian state television stations aired pictures of supposed proof of their involvement in the attack that left at least three people dead.

Not Even the Threat of War in Europe Can Unite the E.U. - Time
European countries with strong trade ties to Russia remain reluctant to impose stiffer sanctions even as the conflict in eastern Ukraine worsens.

US ready to target Russian president's hidden $40bn stash - The Hill
The Times of London reported Friday that the U.S. was preparing a sanctions regime that would target Putin's personal wealth, which includes a reported $40 billion stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years - UK Telegraph
It is said to be China's biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance - not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.

Washington on back foot in web negotiations - Financial Times
A meeting in Brazil this week will reveal whether Washington has succeeded in preventing international anger over the Edward Snowden revelations clouding discussions about future governance of the internet.

Iran: Row with world powers over Arak reactor 'virtually solved' - Jerusalem Post
Iran and six world powers have "virtually solved" a dispute over the Arak heavy-water reactor, which the West is worried could produce bomb-grade material, the Islamic Republic's nuclear chief was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Strong 7.5 magnitude quake hits off Papua New Guinea - Reuters
An earthquake with a magnitude 7.5 struck off Papua New Guinea on Saturday and a tsunami warning was briefly issued for the Pacific Island nation and neighboring Solomon Islands, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

Air Strikes in Yemen Kill 40 Al Qaeda Militants in Two Days - Washington Free Beacon
Air strikes in southern Yemen killed about 30 suspected al Qaeda members on Sunday, local tribal sources said, in the second day of strikes against militant targets in the country.

Sources: White House deliberately leaked photo of ill Saudi King with breathing tube - World Tribune
The United States is said to have disclosed that Saudi King Abdullah was dying.


Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Alarm over Reported Deal with Vatican for David's Tomb - Arutz Sheva
Is there a secret deal between the Vatican and Israel to transfer control over King David's Tomb to the Catholic church? An investigative report in Makor Rishon cites La Stampa Vatican Insider journalist Andrea Tornielli as saying that the deal has been nearly completed, and that Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin is in charge of the negotiations with the Vatican, but Israel denies any such deal.

Six rockets hit southern Israel ahead of Mimouna celebrations - Ynet News
The silence of the Passover holiday morning was disrupted Monday morning when six rockets fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in Sderot and in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council.

Police, Arab rioters skirmish on Temple Mount - Times of Israel
Israeli police clashed with dozens of Arab stone throwers on Jerusalem's Temple Mount as thousands of Christian worshipers descended on the Old City for Easter Sunday.

Bennett responds to Abbas' threat to disband PA: 'Israel won't stop you' - Jerusalem Post
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett defiantly chafed on Sunday at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' latest threat to resign and disband the autonomous government that has been ruling over the Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria.

If talks fail, Abbas said to be weighing dissolution of Oslo, PA - Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly threatened to dissolve the PA and disband Palestinian security forces operating in the West Bank if peace negotiations with Israel fail, a move which would create huge security and diplomatic problems for Israel.

Bennett: Judea, Samaria Key to Israel's Security - CBN News
Judea and Samaria: to Jews and Christians around the world, it's the Bible's heartland. But much of the world, including the United States, wants Israel to give this important piece of history to the Palestinians as part of a Middle East peace deal.


Inside the United States
Western lawmakers gather in Utah to talk federal land takeover - Salt Lake Tribune
It's time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah's Capitol on Friday.

"Domestic Terrorists" Celebrate At Bundy Ranch - CBS News
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy celebrated what many of his supporters called a "victory" in the ongoing battle with the Bureau of Land Management.

In Colorado, a pot holiday tries to go mainstream - USA Today
As Colorado residents celebrated the pot holiday of 4/20, Denver police issued 63 citations or arrests for public consumption Saturday and Sunday at the official 4/20 rally at Civic Center Park in Denver.

Boy sings gospel song until kidnapper sets him free: 'Every praise is to our God' - Washington Times
A 9-year-old boy who was abducted from his home in Atlanta, sang a gospel song for hours until his kidnapper snapped and set him free.

Rand Paul: Nuclear Iran Not a Threat to U.S., Israel - Washington Free Beacon
Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) denied that a nuclear Iran would pose a national security threat to the United States or Israel in a 2007 radio interview with talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

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