A city’s gate was one of the centers for public life. It was also the easiest way for an attacker to gain access. Let’s visit the excavated city gates of Dan that illustrate life in Old Testament times…
Jesus’ first miracle, as recorded by John, was in Cana of Galilee. Jesus was at a wedding. When they ran out of wine, Jesus turned the water in 6 large jars into the best wine. The Master of Ceremonies, not knowing what had happened, tasted it and said, “you have saved the best till now.” In other words, when Jesus makes wine, he makes the best.
Mt. Carmel is the sight of two significant stories in the Bible. The first is the face off between the prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal in the Old Testament. The other is in the future with the battle of Armegeddon.
In John 9:1–11, we read the story of the blind man who comes to Jesus to be healed. Two interesting things about the story jump out to me. First, Jesus uses mud to heal and secondly, he sends him to the pool. Why are those two things interesting? Let’s find out…on location in Jerusalem.
When you read the story of the last days of Jesus’ life, you don’t realize how much climbing the disciples had to do. The Mt. of Olives is a mountain and the temple was on another mountain next door. So Jesus and disciples come over one mountain and down the valley to the Upper Room and then come back! Let’s walk the Mount of Olives together…
We always think of the story of Peter denying Jesus as involving a random cock crowing. However, it is more prophetic of Jesus if he not only predicts Peter’s betrayal, but also the time it happens. It’s more likely that the “cock crowing” was a Roman trumpet played every morning before dawn to signal the changing of the guard…and it all happened in Jerusalem.
The ancient Greco-Roman city of Bet She’an was a huge city in Jesus’ day. It was one of the pagan cities of the Decapolis that was later destroyed in an earthquake. Since the 70’s it’s been discovered and excavated. It’s interesting to us because it MIGHT have been the site of the first missionary (the man possessed by a legion of demons and then freed by Jesus) to the gentiles.
The purpose of the meeting between God and the Hebrews at Mt. Sinai was clearly to establish relationship with them (see Exod. 24:1-8). . . . Christian worship is like Hebrew worship. In worship, God renews his covenant with us. In worship, our relationship to God is deepened and strengthened when the order itself represents God’s speaking to us and God’s saving us through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son.
I recorded this prayer experience in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. I know it’s a Catholic church and we have some theological differences, but it is a beautiful space and one that has engaging pictures and sculptures. For example, the sheaf of wheat carved into the alter table that points to Jesus being our “first fruits”.
So as the season of Lent is a time to confess our sins and become more aware of our own mortality, here is a prayer experience based on Psalm 130. For more on this prayer model, click here.