One of the most powerful moments for many of us on our recent trip to Israel was the experience of worshipping Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. On the Thursday morning of our 1st week, our whole group (over 65 of us) had the occasion of being on the Sea of Galilee with a Christian charter boat. The captain of the boat led a Christian praise and worship band as we sang praises to our Savior and rejoiced together because of God’s great goodness to us. This was a deeply moving experience and a time of great delight and joy for the 10 pilgrims from New Durham Chapel. To be on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus performed some of His most interesting miracles and than to be singing songs of praise and worship to Him was an overwhelming experience.
Our next stop was the Jesus Boat Museum that was located on the other side of the lake. The museum is located at the Kibbutz Ginosar and is a museum dedicated to an intact fishing boat that dates back from the 1st century (the time of Christ). This intact boat was discovered in 1986 and is truly a relic from the time of Christ. The story of its recovery and preservation is nothing short of miraculous. You can read more about the history of this living artifact by simply googling Jesus Boat or Sea of Galilee Boat. After viewing the boat we went to visit the Kibbutz where the discoverer of the boat lives and works. Our guide Nachum, knew personally Yuval Lufan (the person who discovered the boat) and Yuval came on our bus to discuss the experience of discovering the Jesus Boat. How cool was that. It is an amazing story of a profoundly significant archaeological discovery. I encourage you to take some time to read the story on Wikipedia.
I mentioned this because it is so important for us to know that our faith is founded upon historical people and places. God has left abundant evidence of His work in the Holy Land. The writer of Hebrews in the 11th chapter tells us “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (v. 1, NASB). We are also told “and without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (v. 6, NASB). As we walk by faith even through the difficulties of this life, I am thankful for the historical and archaeological evidence that God has faithfully provided to confirm our faith. Be assured whatever trials you may be facing that God will continue to provide and guide as we seek to follow Him and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rejoicing in our Savior,
Pastor Rich Sivo