What Do You Think of When You Hear a Rooster?

One morning when I was in Jerusalem, I chose to have my devotions on the Mount of Olives at sunrise. Making my way through the Old City’s dark and narrow streets, I passed beside the Temple Mount and exited the city on its east side.

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

(Photo: Overlooking Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Photo: צולם ע, via Wikimedia Commons)

After climbing the steep ascent of the Mount of Olives, I sat near its summit as the sun began to warm my back. Turning to Matthew’s Gospel, I read about Jesus leaving the Temple, predicting its destruction, and sitting on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:1–5).

Looking across the Kidron Valley at the Temple Mount—now crowned with a Muslim shrine—I thought about how Jesus’ prediction proved true. Because Israel rejected Him, they ultimately lost the very objects they hoped to secure through His death—their Temple and their nation (John 11:48).

Suddenly I heard a sound that jerked my mind in another direction.

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Why We Should Remember the Holocaust Today

Today always amazes me. At ten o’clock on this holiday each April, sirens ring loud in Israel. People stop—wherever they are, whatever they are doing—and stand at attention for 120 seconds of silence.

Imagine that for a moment. Two minutes. Silence. Everywhere.

Memorial

(Photo: Janusz Korczak Memorial at Yad Vashem honors one who sheltered Jewish children during the holocaust)

Then the sirens rang again, and life resumed—full-speed. This annual pause allows the nation to remember the six million Jews who were murdered simply because they were Jews.

Yom Hashoah, known as Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, marks the Jewish holiday that remembers those who perished in the Holocaust.

Many times I have visited Jerusalem’s Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem.

It changes you.

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Is Jesus the Messiah? My Open-Letter Answer

A few weeks ago I received an email from a Jewish man who had hard questions about what Christians believe. His questions were excellent. His inquiries about Christianity boiled down to three questions.

Is Jesus the Messiah? My Open-Letter Answer

(Photo: Jews touching the Torah at the Western Wall. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

I’ve listed his questions here without changing his wording:

What I can never fathom is how you can honor and accept the ‘teachings’ of one called Paul—an apostate and traitor to his people—to be the truth.

• Is this Paul who wrote 13/27 books of the Greek New Testament any more authoritative than the great Hebrew prophets such as Jeremiah or Amos?

• Are we to assume that G-d changed His Mind regarding His People and the Torah, and simply informed one solitary man about a new dispensation 100 years after the death of the man from Galilee?

• When Hashem [“The Name”] gave us the Torah, there were millions of witnesses to this earth-shaking event. It has become part of our collective spiritual DNA. How can a ‘new revelation’ be given with no witnesses to one individual who wrote in Greek things that are anathema and inimical to Jewish belief?

To me, these questions all boil down to one: Is Jesus the Messiah?

Here is my open-letter answer. Would you have answered differently?

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8 Tips to Maximize Your Holy Land Tour

How to make your journey magnificent.

In my previous post, I offered some suggestions for how to prepare for a Holy Land Tour. After all, you’re investing a lot of money and significant time for this journey. It makes sense to prepare yourself beforehand so that you get the most from your experience in Israel.

8 Tips to Maximize Your Holy Land Tour

(Photo: Western Wall and Temple Mount, courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

But after you arrive in Israel, there are a number of ways you can ensure you get the most from your Holy Land tour.

The following 8 tips include both practical and spiritual ways to maximize your experience every single day you’re there.

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The Tabernacle at Shiloh—A Promise, Person, Place & Parable

Local schoolchildren ate their lunches across the olive grove from my wife and me.

Like the kids, we came on a field trip to explore ancient Shiloh. Although our lunch was hardly a feast, it reminded me of the reasons the young nation of Israel initially came to this site. They came to worship at the annual feasts before the Tabernacle at Shiloh.

The Tabernacle at Shiloh—A Promise, Person, Place, & Parable

(Photo: Area of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Ask most Americans where Shiloh is, and you’ll likely get a blank stare.

  • Historians may point to a Civil War battle in Hardin County, Tennessee.
  • Music buffs may start singing the chorus to a Neil Diamond song.

But question someone who knows his or her Bible, and Shiloh means something far more significant.

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The Walls of Jerusalem through the Centuries—a Timeline

I’ve heard it said, “If you want to understand the history of Israel, then learn the history of Jerusalem.” Many books depict the expansion and contraction of the walls of Jerusalem, but I thought a timeline might illustrate it well.

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7 Israel Museum “Must-Sees”—and Why They Matter

Day 8: Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour

It may sound odd to travel to the land of the Bible and then go indoors to see a museum. But some museums you can only see in Israel.

(Photo: Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Even if you aren’t a “museum person,” this one has stuff in it you should see. Lots of stuff. Especially if you have an interest in the Bible.

While I could mention many of objects of note, I’m reducing it down to 7. I’ll also give a link to its virtual museum. (Cool!)

Here are 7 “must-sees” in Jerusalem’s Israel Museum and—more importantly—why you should care.

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Messianic Prophecies Change a Life

Why can’t I just pray to God without Jesus in the middle?” asked a Jewish friend of mine in Israel. The lady to whom he spoke answered, “Why don’t you just pray that God will reveal to you who Jesus is all about?”

(Photo: My friend Amir at Masada, Israel)

So for the first time, Amir sat down, wrote out a prayer, stuck it on the wall where he could see it—and prayed. “And I made sure I said every word,” he said.

The next day changed his life.

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