Bible Gateway Online Bible Study ‘The Path to the Cross’ Offers Virtual Travel to Israel for Easter!

Hello World,

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

Duration: 28:11

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

Duration: 29:09

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

Duration: 30:17

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

Duration: 31:55

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

Duration: 28:38

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 

Any thoughts?

Bishop T.D. Jakes & The Potter’s House Present Easter Service to Air on BET, Sun. April 12th


Hello World,

BET announces the BET Presents: The Light, An Easter Production, a special broadcast of Easter Service in partnership with the world-renowned worship center, The Potter’s House. Premiering Sunday, April 12, at 10 AM ET/PT commercial-free on BET, the two-hour special will bring families an uplifting Easter celebration.

The Potter’s House Arts and Music Ministry, a Grammy Award-winning group, along with a special guest appearance by Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Quentin Darrington (Once on This Island, Cats, and Memphis), will tell the story of Jesus Christ from the book of John’s perspective centered around how the light of Christ came into the world to dispel darkness. From hip-hop to presentations by children’s dance companies, to poetry and sometimes comical recitations, the Easter production, aims to bring hope and strength to a world navigating challenging times.

While Easter in quarantine may feel alienating, global spiritual leader Bishop T.D. Jakes advocates that physical distancing requirements are not just a test in how connected we are to one another, but how deeply connected we are to God. Jakes reminds us that Easter, in its beginning, did not start with a crowd, and attendance numbers should not affect the value of the moment.

“The first Easter service wasn’t crowded, and it didn’t lose its significance for the lack of a crowd. There were few people around the tomb,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes. “Celebrating Easter in our homes with our families, you can still have a memorable time together with your family around you and have a spiritual moment that’s intimate between you and the people you love.”

“Many of us around the world are leaning on our spirituality for a sense of calmness, during these times of uncertainty. As many churches are being forced to shutter their doors in response to calls for social distancing, we want to provide a way for families to still observe the valued tradition of coming together for Easter services. As an organization whose roots are anchored in the African American experience, and whose original programming has always highlighted many aspects of gospel music and the religious experience, we are delighted to bring this unique program to our viewers around the world,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET.

For further details on BET Presents, The Light, An Easter Production, as well as resources available around BET’s COVID-19 relief efforts,  please visit

Any thoughts?



Is Pastor Joel Osteen’s Star-Studded Easter Service (i.e. Kanye West, Mariah Carey & Tyler Perry) Appropriate This Easter?

Hello World,

By now, you may have have heard that Pastor Joel Osteeen, leader of one of the largest megachurches in the country Lakewood Church, has a lineup on Easter that is sure to bring the masses. Stars such as Kanye West and his Sunday Service Choir (how they gon social distance?), the Mariah Carey and hometown hero and media mogul Tyler Perry (Y’all heard how he blessed senior citizens with free groceries here in the A & Nola, right?) will be in the house for the online service! While I love all three of these celebrities (well, at this point, my opinion of Kanye is fluid…), I wonder if the celebrity approach is the move on THIS Easter…

I don’t know about you, but this will be the first time that I know about that I haven’t darkened the threshold of a church building on Easter Sunday. Although this will be the fourth Sunday I think I haven’t been in church since the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to quarantine at home, I’m still struggling with it. And this Easter Sunday, I don’t just want to do Bedside Baptist as what is becoming normal. I need a way to celebrate the resurrection of my Lord and Savior that feels befitting of the occasion. I need a WORD from some pastors who know the Lord in special way that can give me some divine strength to continue walking by faith during this strange season. God bless celebrities, but their star power isn’t the power that I need…But at the same time, I recognize that stars may be seeking strength as well and whatever shine they may get from this appearance may be secondary to their need of the Son to shine…

One of my Facebook friends pointed out that the names of the stars are larger than than the word Easter and that Jesus is not mentioned at all on the flyer. She is calling the service “Eastertainment.”

What say you? Will you be tuning on Sunday? How you will celebrate Easter at home?

Any thoughts?