Passover begins at sundown on Good Friday this year, 2015. Jesus Christ was killed during the Passover season. His sacrifice on the cross began a new passover. The angel of death now would pass over everyone who believed in Jesus as their Savior. Their souls would never again be separated from God. It was–it is–a new freedom that went deeper and wider than what God had done for the Israelites when He brought them out of slavery in Egypt.

I like knowing about the first Passover. It gives me a concrete picture of a rescue. It helps me grasp a little better the rescue God did of me when Jesus went to the cross.

Exodus, written and illustrated by Brian Wildsmith and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (1998) is a picture book for adults and elementary-school-age children. It tells the story of the Israelites from Moses’ birth to his death. The telling is quite abbreviated, but it hits most of the high points. The simple, direct language is easy to understand and follow. Wildsmith’s  colorful illustrations, pen-and-ink and watercolor, are magnificent.

Using double-page spreads, he tells us visually that this event in history is of huge importance. The first pages depict the might and grandeur of Egypt and a question forms in the reader’s mind. How can anyone oppose such power? On subsequent pages we see mere men dwarfed in the presence of Pharaoh and his court. Only God, we realize, can accomplish the rescue of the thousands and thousands of enslaved people. Further, only God can protect them, provide for them in the wilderness, and bring them to the Promised Land.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) Two of her published works for children are Marty’s Monster and Jessica Jacobs Did What?  Her latest work is I Get a Clue, a mystery novel for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.