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Jerusalem Journal 2

Our second day of production began early as we tried to beat the heat. After loading hundreds of pounds of equipment on the bus, we headed for the Southern Steps that led up to the Jewish Temple in the days of Jesus. This area is interesting because archaeologists say that some of these steps date from the first century. It’s not hard to imagine Jesus and other rabbis teaching their disciples on these steps, directly across from the Mount of Olives.

The downside of this location is that by about 9:00 a.m. the step area heats up like an oven. I’d forgotten how quickly a summer Jerusalem sun can drain the strength out of you. By the end of the day I was so whipped I couldn’t think about journaling anything. One of my only consolations was that I wasn’t the only one who had a hard time with the heat. Even one of the most seasoned members of our crew was not above grabbing an umbrella looking for shade :-).

As we pulled our team together to explore the significance of the day that Jesus chased the moneychangers out of the temple, we heard the strong, melodic voice of this orthodox man singing from the street and toward the site of the ancient temple.

Before the day was over we also recreated a Passover/Last Supper event and talked about the significance of the meal Jesus shared with his disciples in the big picture of the unfolding story of the Bible. In spite of the seriousness of our subject, we also had some good laughs as we tried to get in position around a table without legs– and hold that position, with some pain, through as many “takes” as it took for the camera.

The next day was the holiday of Shavuot on the Jewish calendar. Also known as the Feast of Weeks, it happens 50 days after Passover. Just outside of the Dung Gate (leading to the Western Wall Plaza), this orthodox man had a highly decorated case containing the Torah (five books of the Law).

What I find so interesting is that on this holiday, Jewish people celebrate and remember the giving of the Law on Sinai. It is on this same feast day that that the New Testament says the Holy Spirit was given to followers of Christ (Pentecost). I’ve mentioned in other posts that I find the convergence of Jewish holidays with important events in the life of Jesus so compelling.

Last night something really strange happened as we prepared to do a night shoot outside of the traditional site of Caiaphas, the high priest who turned Jesus over to Pilate (also where Peter denied three times that he knew Jesus). A falcon landed on the shoulder of our executive producer and then hung around for awhile. Jeff’s problem is that he felt the bird land on his shoulder, but didn’t want to turn to look at for fear of getting his eye pecked. We were all yelling, “Don’t move. This is unbelievable. We’ve got to get a picture!” :-)

We tried to use the bird in the piece we were recording, but then decided that he would get more attention than the point we were discussing. (We have no idea where the falcon came from. He seemed like a young bird that had bonded with someone other than its mother.)

Today we began our day at the Herodian family tomb located just behind the King David Hotel. It’s a good example of the kind of first century tomb that the New Testament connects to the death and resurrection of Jesus. The scholars who joined us to talk about the importance of the bodily resurrection of Christ made a very strong case for the historical evidence.

After some additional production we headed north to the Galilee where we plan to spend the next two days.

We’ve been working hard, but having a lot of laughs, and feeling so honored to have a chance to explore the life and teachings of Jesus in the land and places where he lived, taught, did miracles before his voluntary death and powerful resurrection.

Wish everyone could have this kind of experience…

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13 Responses to “Jerusalem Journal 2”

  1. poohpity says:

    Hi Mart,
    I am sharing in the experience through your journaling. I believe that is what we experience as we read the New Testament. Thank you for letting us in on everything.

  2. desert rose says:

    I’ll never be able to go so it is a thrill to hear about your trip first hand. I’ve spoken to friends who have gone and they said there is nothing quite like being where Jesus once was. Many will remember, with love, where their parents lived – where love was nurtured. As an adult, when you return home, so many memories come flooding back into your mind. You fondly remember this and that – that must be why we love to read and hear about where Jesus lived and where He died for us. It is because we love Him because He first loved us. Thank you for continuing to share your trip with us.

  3. daisymarygoldr says:

    That is so c-o-o-o-l and now you are making us all d-r-o-o-o-l:( Glad you are all getting to enjoy in spite of the heat and the heavy equipment. Melodic voice in exchange for the moneychangers sounds just like Heaven…on Earth! Still reeling under the side-splitting effect of the hilarious last supper scene in your 21st century garb:) the posture looks perfectly biblical though, and hope the baby falcon finds its real mother. Virtually enjoying Jerusalem with you and your hard working team…thanks for capturing the fine details! The extreme desert temps can be really harsh…take it easy- on the journaling, stay hydrated, keep your cool and have fun at Galilee!
    “Israel” means “Prince”. Jacob is called Israel(Gen 32:28). Jesus Christ is Israel(Hos 11:1; Matt 2:15). The Israel of God is the Church (Gal 6:16)!

  4. BruceC says:


    It’s so thrilling to hear about the trip! Can wait to see the film when it’s done and I know it will be good as usual. I pray the Lord watch over all of you and fill you all with His wisdom.
    I’ve been an outdoorsman all my life and I would rather spend one week in Israel than a month in Alaska hunting and fishing. Think I’d be tempted to stay!
    God bless and keep sending us newss!

  5. Gena says:

    Thank you for sharing your day with us. I love reading about Jerusalem and how things must felt/looked like when Jesus travelled about. I thought of Him today while at work and told Him thank you several times for all He had done for me and how much I loved Him. Isn’t Jesus wonderful!

  6. hal.fshr says:


    Thanks for the record of events and great photos. It is certainly an important trip you are on. Take it easy and drink lots of water.


  7. psalm981 says:


    WOW! I’m right there with you. You bring it right to me in such a way that just blesses me.

    What an honor! God bless you all and keep journaling so that I, we can continue to share this journey with you.

  8. maudeida says:

    Thanks for all your efforts. RBC Ministries blesses many, as you know. All your physical discomforts are noted and appreciated. This latest chapter in your teaching from the holy land are appreciated. God continue to bless you!

  9. paul bishop says:

    Mart: I’ve always been intrigued with falconry.
    It’s amazing. To see this on your blog is really
    a blessing to me, as it is a dream come true.
    Thank you!

  10. brownsfan1642 says:

    sounds like a great day! how is the falafel?

  11. abqbishop says:

    My hat goes off to you just having the courage to visit in that part of the world! I guess sometimes even questionable or dangerous parts of the world can be a blessing to us. Keep the journals coming and God Bless.

  12. Annier says:

    What a great blessing! We shared a similar experience as we were traveling to get to my dad before he passed away. I continued to pray for him to be saved as we did in his life. We tried to get through to my sister on the cell phone, but we didn’t have coverage for most of the 24 hour trip. Into the next day, Isaiah 40:28-31 kept coming to my heart as I prayed. It is one of my favorites, but I ignored it as I was mad at God because He took my mom away ten months prior. After it strongly came into my heart again, I meditated on it. As we traveled on, an eagle dropped down by my window for a few seconds and flew off! It was such an amazing sight! Still in awe, my husband said, “Look!” Attention then drew to the sky. The sun broke through clouds, the rays formed a cross for a short time. My phone rang directly after. My sister was finally able to get through; sadly telling us that my dad had passed away earlier in the day. I tell you this as God as my witness. I don’t believe these were “by chance” happenings. Assurance that my dad was saved? I do think so.

  13. Hephzibah610 says:

    Wow! How exciting! That falcon story is hilarious!

    Does RBC take tour groups over to Israel? My husband is of Jewish decent and lived in Israel for a year. I have never been there but, much because of your series (Holiday’s of God) would love to go and learn/experience the Bible in the Land of the Bible. :^)


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