NEW ARCHAEOLOGY DISCOVERY CONFIRMS BIBLE’S ACCOUNT OF JESUS MINISTRY

Second Temple-era synagogue unearthed in northern Israel

Jesus archaeological discovery

The recently discovered ruins of a first century synagogue in Israel confirm historic accounts of Jesus’ life found in the New Testament.

Located near Mount Tabor in the Nahal Tavor Nature Reserve in the lower Galilee at a site called Tel Rechesh, the synagogue ruins date back to the time of the Second Temple period, which ended in AD 79 when the Romans attacked Jerusalem.

Motti Aviam, a senior researcher at the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, explained in a statement the significance of the Tel Rechesh excavation find.

“This is the first synagogue discovered in the rural part of the Galilee and it confirms historical information we have about the New Testament, which says that Jesus preached at synagogues in Galilean villages,” explained Aviam, as reported by JNS.

Haaretz noted that while there have been seven other synagogues from the Second Temple period discovered before, the one at Tel Rechesh is the first to be found in a rural instead of urban setting.

“Inscriptions and historical sources show that the synagogues of the period were used for meetings, Torah readings and study, rather than worship. They had neither Torah ark nor regular prayer services,” reported Haaretz.

“One source mentioning synagogues is the New Testament, which states that Jesus ‘went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues.'”

In an interview with YNet News, Aviam explained why the findings at the Tel Rechesh site “makes the place very important for Christians.”

“During the same period Jesus was still a Jew who observed Jewish rituals and requirements and like many rabbis, he delivered sermons in synagogues. Christianity which developed after his (sic) placed an emphasis on his sermons at synagogues in the Galilee.”

Aviam added that he hoped “that when the work is completed the place will constitute a tourist attraction for Jews and Christians alike.”

This is not the first major find in Israel this year connected to the times of Jesus. In March it was reported that several artefacts from the first century Near East were located in an orphanage in Jerusalem.

As Jesus Himself claimed the Bible is inerrant. It is God’s Word to us, it can be trusted from Genesis to Revelation.

 

Love Great Testimonies: U2, Bono’s is no exception

“I pray to get to know the will of God, because then the prayers have more chance of coming true — I mean, that’s the thing about prayer,” Bono told interviewer Gay Byrne, RTE ONE Television. “We don’t do it in a very lofty way in our family. It’s just a bunch of us on the bed, usually, we’ve a very big bed in our house. We pray with all our kids, we read the Scriptures, we pray.”

Byrne presses Bono on his perception of Jesus — Was he divine? Did he truly rise from the dead? Bono answers in the affirmative.

“[Jesus] went around saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified. He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God. So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God or he was nuts. Forget rock-and-roll messianic complexes, I mean Charlie Manson-type delirium. And I find it hard to accept that whole millions and millions of lives, half the Earth, for 2,000 years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter. I just, I don’t believe it.”

When asked if he believed Jesus made promises that would come true, Bono replied, “Yes, I do.”

 

Image result for Bono and his family picturesImage result for Bono and his family pictures

Married to Ali for thirty two years. They have four children with whom they share their strong faith in Jesus. A family that prays together stays together.

Significance of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns?

Symbolism of thorns in Scripture

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As well as thorns and thistles being a very real physical component of the cursed world that we all now live in, they carry further symbolic negative overtones throughout the Bible, firmly pointing back to the Curse in Genesis. Their symbolic meaning also creates problems for those who do not read Genesis as a true historical account, as the negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles are integral to their historical origin at the time of the Curse. Without the connection to their historical origin, their symbolic meaning becomes empty and vague.

The numerous references to thorns and thistles throughout the Bible remind us of the historical Original Sin and Curse that followed. The negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles after Genesis 3:18 are demonstrated in their representation as obstacles, punishment, or serving as a reminder of sin and its consequences. For example:

  • In Numbers 33:55, God warned the Israelites that if they did not drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, allowing them to remain, the Canaanites would be an obstacle to them. They would be, “thorns in your sides”. Proverbs 15:19 again uses the imagery of thorns as obstacles, saying, “The way of the sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”
  • The New Testament also uses thorns and thistles in reference to the inner workings of the worldly heart, corrupted by sin. In the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:3-8 some seeds “fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them” (v. 7). Also, the outward expression of that worldly heart which apostatizes from Christ is likened to a barren wasteland, which, “if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:8).

The ultimate fulfilment of the symbolism that thorns and thistles have in the Bible is found in Matthew 27:29:

“And twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ ”

Here the governor’s soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head, to mock him as the King of the Jews. Oh, if only they had known both what they were doing and the symbolism that their actions entailed! Thorns were not present in the original very good world, but the Roman soldiers didn’t have any trouble finding thorns to place on Jesus head. Thorns that were a direct result of man’s original sin are now found in abundance in a world that is steeped in sin. What the soldiers unwittingly did was hugely significant. There is nothing random in the Bible; every word that has been written in its pages is significant. The crown of thorns vividly symbolised the curse of sin being placed on Jesus’s head. It immediately takes the reader back to Genesis, reminding us of why Jesus went to the cross, to take the penalty for sin on our behalf. He died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that the Curse that God had pronounced upon this earth because of sin, can be removed for those that believe in him, and that ultimately creation itself can be redeemed. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” Romans 8;20-21. Christ’s actions will blunt every sharply pointed thistle and thorn as well as the other effects of the curse. The Christian can shout, “O death, where is your sting?”

extract from article Why did Jesus wear a Crown of Thorns by and  www.creation.com

MOVIE “RISEN” The Tomb is Empty

“Risen,” directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Joseph Fiennes, is the story of the manhunt for the corpse of Jesus Christ. Spoiler alert: They don’t find it.

Fiennes plays a Roman tribune named Clavius. He’s tasked by Pontius Pilate with crucifying the latest batch of Jewish rabble and self-proclaimed messiahs. The only catch? One of them really is the Messiah.

Of course Clavius, a good Roman military man, doesn’t think anything of Jesus. When the centurion at Golgotha admits, “Surely this Man was the Son of God,” Clavius lets him have it. Clavius is tough, and he’s immune to Jewish superstition—that is, until Sunday morning. For Clavius, that’s when all Heaven breaks loose.

The tomb is empty, the guards aren’t talking, and the Disciples of Jesus are spreading the news that He’s come back to life. The high priest warns Pilate that they’ll have an uprising on their hands if he doesn’t put the resurrection story to rest. So Pilate sends Clavius on a grisly, CSI-style hunt for the body of Christ.

That’s when our tribune has an encounter that shakes his pagan worldview to the core. “I have seen two things which cannot reconcile,” he says. “A man dead without question, and that same man alive again.”

This a powerful film, not just because it’s a respectful and riveting portrayal of the gospel accounts, but because it shows an unbeliever’s crisis of faith when confronted by the Risen Lord.

In anticipation of Easter, I cannot think of a better reminder of how Christianity, as Tim Keller puts it, forces us to “doubt our doubts.” The empty tomb is the most startling fact of history—something two millennia of skeptics have tried to explain away. But the evidence is just too strong. And “Risen,” like a good detective novel, follows that evidence where it leads.

For instance, the Roman officials and Jewish leaders had every motive to produce a body. Yet they couldn’t. And Jesus’ Disciples had nothing to gain and everything to lose from lying about the Resurrection. But their transformation from cowards to spiritual conquerors testifies that they, like Fiennes’ fictional character, saw something—or Someone—who rocked their worlds.

Make sure you take your non believing friends to see this challenging movie and what better time just before Easter.

 

 

LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU

Consider how easy it is to tell the religious faith of many people in the world by their dress or actions. One religion’s members shave their heads, wear saffron-colored robes, play musical instruments, and chant and sing in public. The faithful of another religion stop and kneel for prayers, wherever they are, five times a day. Another religion’s orthodox members wear black coats and hats, white shirts, and have long, curly locks of hair or beards.

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There is only one mark Jesus asked His followers to display to the world: the mark of love. He told His disciples,

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)

It is not if we dress or speak a certain way or act religious in a certain way, but if we have love for others. Loving people the way Jesus loves people is the true mark of His followers. Love is the highest kingdom value (see Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 13:13).

Let our love and service for Christ be translated today into love and service for others.

ETERNITY IN HEAVEN OR HELL?

Hell

It is evident from the current fallen state of the human race, that we do not live on a planet that resembles paradise, where harmony exists and where death is absent. This is because two people, Adam and Eve decided to disobey God, even after all that God had provided for them, an awesome home (Earth), a beautiful garden with abundant food, the ability to procreate and have dominion over it all.

People alive today have the same choice as Adam and Eve  that is to obey God or reject Him and face the consequences of separation from God, only this time forever, with no second chance.

Jesus , the Son of God , gave Himself as a sacrifice for the payment of sin, not just for Adam and Eve, but for the sins of everyone who ever lived. We, therefore, have a choice to repent of our sin (disobedience) and accept Jesus offer of a new life with Him as Lord and Saviour or stay separated from God forever.

Today, instead of just one fallen angel deceiving two people, we have Satan and his demonic forces as well as two billion people who are against Jesus and deny God. There are global media corporations, government schools and universities that promote the theory of evolution and mock religion. Despite this seeming overwhelming force against God the choice is still the same, it’s a choice of heaven or hell, whether you believe it or not.

The stakes are high because we all face judgment and then eternity in a new heaven and earth with your Creator God or eternity in hell without Him.