Happy Easter! He Is Risen! We Are Saved! As a Bible Gateway blogger grid member, I was offered the opportunity to review The Path to the Cross Online Bible Study with Ray Vander Laan, a web-based video course filmed on location in Qumran, Machaerus, En Gedi, Jerusalem, and Gethsemane!
By witnessing each historical site, the five-video study helps shape a picture of Jesus and His world in the context of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. It examines Jesus’ temptation in the desert where He, like Israel, was tested and prepared for His mission to the world. It considers the events of the Last Supper against the backdrop of the exodus experience. And along with Israel’s history of sacrifice, it explores the atoning act of Jesus on the cross.
I must say as an American, I’m a comfortable Christian. I live in a temperature-controlled home in a reasonably safe suburb off of a street that has at least four churches. However, I choose to drive to my home church which is about a thirty-minute trip. I’m pointing out these parameters to demonstrate that living as a Christian in America doesn’t require that much sacrifice or discomfort. However, when you watch these videos filmed in the locations where Jesus and the disciples and the people of that time period lived, you see that those who followed Jesus Christ at that time had to sacrifice and were uncomfortable.
I need that reminder because although the Bible is very descriptive, the additional aid of seeing the Holy Land provides another perspective. (I so hope to travel there some day!) To be a Christian is and should be costly. It should require sacrifice. And serving God is not always comfortable.
Below is information about each video as well as a way to buy this study which works well individually, for small groups and for churches of varied sizes.
Path to the Cross, Session 1, The Way of the Essenes
In Session 1, The Way of the Essenes, you will learn what was most important to the Essenes and how they chose to live, as well as what you can take from their way of life to help you center yourself on God.
Path to the Cross, Session 2, The Way of John the Baptist
In Session 2, The Way of John the Baptist, you will learn how God set apart John the Baptist to strengthen him in spirit to deliver His message and announce Jesus.
Path to the Cross, Session 3, Into the Desert to be Tested
In Session 3, Into the Desert to be Tested, you will learn that just as God tested Jesus in the desert, Jesus tested His disciples, and He will test you.
Path to the Cross, Session 4, The Last Passover
In Session 4, The Last Passover, you will discover the significance of the last supper, the details of the dinner, and what Jesus was revealing to His followers through it.
Path to the Cross, Session 5, The Fifth Cup: Our Way of Hope
In Session 5, The Fifth Cup: Our Way of Hope, you will discover the bitter cup of God’s wrath that Jesus took on your behalf and the true sacrifice it was.
Using research of top scholars in the fields of archaeology, history, and biblical study, historian and bestselling author Ray Vander Laan has guided more than 10,000 people on in-depth study tours of the Holy Land. His teaching ministry is focused on understanding the Bible keeping in mind the historical and cultural context in which God placed it.
For more about about The Path to the Cross Online Bible Study with Ray Vander Laan, go to studygateway.com.