Friday, September 13, 2013

Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, starts at sunset tonight.  This is our favorite of the Jewish holidays.  Tonight everything will shut down in Israel - no traffic, no stores open, no radio or TV.  It is a day totally given over to fasting for 25 hours and praying.  The Jews will ask for forgiveness of sins they have committed in the past year and for the ones they will inadvertently commit in the coming year.  We love that a day is devoted to God and whether one is secular or religious you know what this day is for.  Remember when Sunday's honored God in the USA?
It is our great joy to reflect on Jesus who made atonement for us on the cross by paying the sin price for our sins.  And what better place to be than here in the Garden, near the spot!
In Jesus day the High Priest would make sacrifice for himself and go into the Holy of Holies in the Temple and sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat or in that day the foundation stone because the Ark of the Covenant had not been there since Jeremiah's day.
The High Priest would then come back out and draw by lottery the fate of two goats, one for God and one scapegoat.  The goat for God was slain and the blood sprinkled in the Holy of Holies for the sins of the people.  He then came out, laid hands on the scapegoat, recited sins of the people over this goat and the goat was led away into the wilderness.  It is said that a scarlet rope was tied to the temple door and when the scapegoat was gone to the wilderness, it turned white which showed that God accepted the sacrifice.  However Rabbis state that the cord no longer turned white starting 40 years before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.  You do the math!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah in Jerusalem

We are back in Israel and will be here during the Fall high holidays.  Today is Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the year 5774.  It is also referred to as Feast of Trumpets from Leviticus 23:23-25.  The blowing of the Shofar or Rams Horn on this day is a reaffirmation of God as supreme judge and King of the universe.

Jewish Sages teach this was the 6th day of creation, the opening of Noah's Ark and the almost sacrifice of Isaac right here on Mt. Moriah where are located.

The 3 major components of Rosh Hashanah are repentance, prayer and charity.  It is the beginning of ten days of awe ending with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  During these ten days the Jews are to inspect their lives and get rid of sins so their name will be written in the book of life.

The weather is perfect.  It is a great joy to be here!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Israel Bound

We are going HOME!

"Home" to Jerusalem!

We leave Tampa August 25th and will stay until October 31st.  This is an incredibly busy time in Israel as literally thousands of tourists, from all over the world, flood Israel to celebrate the Feasts of Israel.  Many of them will come to the Garden Tomb to worship our Risen Lord!  How exciting to be a part of what God will do in their lives as they meet with Him!

Please pray for our travel, safety, strength, health, stamina (we are over 70 and will be working 12 hour days in the waning days of summer heat!), for clarity as we proclaim the Gospel each day and for our family in the US.