Jam packed days! Those are the words that describe Christian Leadership Seminars led by Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Research Center! If you missed yesterday’s post, I am in Washington DC, where I have joined with over 100 other graduates of Leadership Seminars that were held over the past 6 years in Jerusalem. What a time we are having!
I can’t begin to give you adequate details of what we have seen, heard and felt. What I can tell you is that we all have a heart on fire for Christian-Jewish relationships, and we grow to love one another and the Jewish people more and more every time we gather like this. It is absolutely phenomenal how the Lord has called each of us to slightly different things, yet all with the intent of understanding our Jewish roots more deeply.
So, to summarize…
Susan Michael (Director, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem-US Branch) opened Friday morning with a devotional time, focusing on God’s covenant with Israel being an everlasting one. Then we moved right into a teaching time where we were reminded that to understand Jewish-Christian relations today, we must understand the past. The good news is that Jewish-Christian relations have come a very long way in a very short time. Hallelujah! The bad new is that there is a long way to go, particularly given the rampant growth in churches of Replacement Theology. That false theology goes something like this: the Jews rejected God, so God rejected the Jews and now the church is the new Israel. All the covenants are transferred to the church (or are already somehow fulfilled).
Think about it. If that is true, then:
- God doesn’t know what He’s doing and had to come up with “Plan B.” Wrong! Check out Ephesians 1:4-6! His plan has been in place since before the foundation of the world!
- God is unfaithful and doesn’t keep His covenants. Wrong again! See Psalm 89:34 and Jeremiah 33:20-21. (What hope, then, does John 3:16 bring us then, if God is unfaithful to His promises!?!)
- If the Abrahamic Covenant now applies to the church, what about the promise of land that God gave to Abraham and his descendents in that covenant? Is that the church’s land now?
- If people fail God, He will reject them. Once again…wrong! Hebrews 6:11-20, Romans 11:29, Psalm 89:30-37
That was followed by the incomparable teachings of Stephanie and Efraim Kaye (Directors of the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies). A supreme story-teller, Stephanie walked us through “Goodness Leaves us Grasping,” detailing stories of goodness in those who risked their lives to save the Jews during the Holocaust. Efraim blessed us by sharing what Yad Vashem is doing to preserve survivor testimonies, now that Holocaust survivors are reaching their 90’s and will soon leave a void of first-hand testimony.
In the afternoon we donned hard hats and safety glasses to tour the soon-to-open Museum of the Bible. All we could say was “WOW!” This 430,000 square foot museum is larger than the aerospace museum only a block away. (To put it in perspective, the aerospace museum was built to house spacecraft such as the space shuttle and space exploration vehicles.) Not only is the place going to be huge, it will also be the most technologically advanced museum in the world. It would take pages to describe it, so I won’t even try. But, you MUST see this $500 million museum once it opens in November 2017.
BTW, the folks at Museum of the Bible fully understand that without Judaism, there is no Bible! Thus, they have signed an agreement to work closely with Yad Vashem, not only to present the Jewish roots of our Bible, but also in research and educational programs. (They are one of the major sponsors of these Christian Leadership Seminars.) You will undoubtedly hear more and more about the Museum of the Bible! It is beyond incredible, and will be a monument in Washington DC…only 3 blocks from the Capitol building…to the veracity of God’s Word! Pray for those dear folks as they complete the project!
It is Shabbat (Friday sundown – Saturday sundown), thus Shaya Ben Yehuda (Managing Director of the International Relations Division of Yad Vashem) led us in a festive Shabbat Seder to kick off the Sabbath. What an wonderful time of celebration with our Jewish friends.
I only scratched the surface…and we’ve got the rest of the weekend to go! There is no way I can pack it all in writing, but much of it will end up in a Bible study I am currently writing. My heart longs to spread the truth about our Jewish roots as Christians. We must understand it if we are to understand today’s events, and if we are to be faithful to God’s Word. Stay tuned as I invite you into my experiences in the next couple days!