Earlier this month on St. Patrick’s Day I invited you to visit the Emerald Isle with me. Come with me today to the Judaean Hills near Jerusalem.

In 1987 I toured the Holy Land, visiting the usual spots like the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I went to Bethlehem, the Garden of Gethsemane, and Golgotha. I crossed the Sea of Galilee and floated buoyantly in the Dead Sea. I walked the Via Dolorosa in the Old City, where my friend Judy and I drank juice from an enormous, narrow-necked vessel amid the throng of tourists and locals in the narrow, bustling streets.

That trip was a revelation to me, and the start of my love affair with the country of Israel. Years later in Los Angeles I attended the Messianic Synagogue Ahavat Zion which furthered my appetite for understanding the Jewish roots of my Christian faith.

Which brings me to the subject at hand. Stay with me here, even if you don’t consider yourself a “religious person.” Take a cue from Curly, who talked to Mitch in the film City Slickers about the secret of life. There’s never been a time for us in this world when it was more important to understand what that is than today.

Tonight is the first night of Passover, or Pesach, when the release by God of the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt is remembered at dinner tables around the world. I attended an early virtual Seder presented two days ago by Behold Israel with Amir Tsarfati. During it, Tsarfati adroitly demonstrated the connection between the foreshadowing in Exodus–salvation through the blood of the lamb applied to the doorframes of the Israelites–with the substance of what the Messiah achieved–salvation through the blood of the Lamb applied to the doorframe of our hearts.

Here are a few time stamps for reference:

5:00      Video begins

9:30      Background on the location in Israel

21:18    The telling of the story (Exodus 7,8)

26:40    Describing the Passover Plate and the meaning of its elements (lamb shank, bitter herbs, matzoh, wine, etc.)

55:22    Musician Yaron Yerahmiel Cherniak  performs a song on classic Turkish instrument

59:15    The Seder begins

1:36      Yaron presents Psalms 114 and 116 on ancient instruments, followed by closing words.

I hope you take time to view the video, and wish you a great weekend and coming week, spent both with loved ones and in thoughtful reflection.–T.

Special thanks to Vic Stefanu — Amazing World Videos for the superb tour of the Via Dolorosa.