I’m in my first Beth Moore Bible study, and I’m loving it. But this isn’t about what a great teacher Beth Moore is… except that in one of her homework lessons from “Living Beyond Yourself” I noticed something that has had me thinking ever since. She brought our attention to the passage in Zechariah 14 which tells of the last days when Jesus will return. Verse 4 says, “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”
I’ve never really noticed that verse before, that I can recall. What made it jump out to me recently was because of my visit to Israel in September. Something that fascinated me was the fissure in the bedrock that runs from the Church of the Holy Sceptre to the Temple Mount. Ok, stick with me a minute while I explain. The place that is mostly closely held traditionally as where Jesus was crucified and buried is where the Holy Sceptre stands. When Jesus was on the cross and gave up his life, Matthew 27:51 tells us that “at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split”. In other words, there was an earthquake. Archeologists have found that there is a large fissure in the bedrock of the city that runs from the Holy Sceptre directly to the Temple Mount, where the Temple stood. This fissure runs from west to east. (more…)
The following is taken from an essay by Mark Twain, which I read online here. I found it interesting and wanted to share it.
If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.
His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. (more…)
Growing up in the church, you hear over and over again that you have a Heavenly Father. We are sons and daughters of the King. We are told that we are part of God’s family since Jesus paid the way. While all this is true and important to know, somehow we miss the deep connection in the Western culture.
Part of this disconnect I think happens because many of the pictures we see of Jesus while growing up are of a very handsome western European-featured man. Obviously at some point as a child I recognized that Jesus was Jewish, but I’m not sure my mind translated the mental image right away. Maybe when all you have to look at is pictures of a European Jesus, you just have a hard time picturing Him another way. But there’s another problem with these old images – the Bible tells us that Jesus wasn’t handsome. Isaiah 53:2b says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (And we know this passage is about Jesus because the passage goes on to say how he was pierced for our iniquities.) What I find interesting about this is that while in Israel last September, I didn’t see a single not-handsome Jewish man (or woman, for that matter). They are a beautiful people! Which kind of makes me wonder if Jesus’ homeliness made Him stand out bit…. (more…)
Jill, my roommate from my trip to Israel, just shared a video from youtube with me. This video shows a new archeological discovery in Israel. Because of a sewage leak, the real Pool of Siloam was unearthed. Previously, experts thought the Pool was at the end of Hezekiah’s Tunnel, however they admittedly said that the strata wasn’t quite right and they knew there could be another Pool of Siloam nearby. Only months before we arrived in Israel, they discovered the real one and we got to visit it. This was a special treat because it wasn’t open to large groups yet, but we were in our smaller group of six for the afternoon with our own private guide… and he got us in. I wrote about that day here. (more…)
I arrived back in the States on Saturday from a simply wonderful time in Israel. Unfortunately I’m still fighting the effects known as jet-lag. One thing is for certain – they got the ‘lag’ part right! My body is revolting against coming back to my time zone. Why is it that it is so easy to get into a new time zone? Could it be the adrenaline that helps us adjust quickly to a new place? Maybe I need to get more excited about coming back home so my body eases into the time of origin better. But, to be honest, I wasn’t excited about coming home. Not that I don’t love Knoxville and the people here… I just completely fell in love with Israel and it’s people. I told my group that they could sell me for camels and leave me behind – I would have been completely content with that. (more…)
In a little less than an hour, we will be in the truck on our way to Atlanta. I’ve never actually flown to or from Atlanta, so that in itself will be a new experience. But the really exciting part is where we’re leaving Atlanta to fly to – Israel! I will hopefully be able to post a few updates while there, to keep everyone informed of what we’re seeing and experiencing. But, if I don’t get many posts written there, you can count on all sorts of info and pictures when I get back!
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Imagine living in Israel over 2,000 years ago. Your husband works hard to make a living farming, but sometimes the ground is so unforgiving. When you are not tending to the children, you are weaving garments to sell at the local market. It isn’t much, but every little bit helps. But you are thankful for all that the Lord provides. After all, He has provided for your people for centuries. Sure, there were times of darkness and hardship, but the Lord has always come through for your people. He has given you the land you live in, the Promised Land. He has sent judges, prophets, and kings to guide, direct, and lead. However, it has been a long time since He sent a prophet.You are starting to wonder if the Lord forgot about His people. (more…)