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I titled this blog Cross2Pentecost because I am passionate about understanding the things that only Jesus himself is able to explain. Jesus first explained these things to “disciples” between the time when he was murdered on the cross and the time of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the people in a miraculous way. This blog is my confession that though I am studying the scriptures intensely, I understand that even Jesus’ own disciples who were with him everyday physically for 3 years were not even able to fully understand the scriptures until he explained them after his resurrection. Today, I am in the very city where Jesus was murdered—Jerusalem!

This city is so alive today and full of life and yet the tension is also apparent. Yesterday, my wife and I walked through the وادي الجوز‎ (Wadi-al Joz) part of town. This part of Jerusalem, 100 years ago, was where wealthy Arabs vacationed in the summers. During our walk, we received innumerable stern looks along with being honked at numerous times. While the Jewish parts of the town seem lively and festive, clean and prosperous, this Arab part of town, today is filled with trash in the streets and Arabs who did not look happy to see us. A Palestinian friend of mine told me that the people in Jerusalem in general are hateful and he has never understood them.

On a more positive note, I made a new Jewish friend yesterday who is a professor in Haifa and we discussed his views on adopting the West Bank as part of the modern Israeli state. I’m no politician and hold no conclusive views on this subject, but I do believe that the Jews were meant to be safe in Palestine/Israel and to be a blessing to all peoples on the earth.

These experiences so far make me eager for my studies in both Arabic and Hebrew these next few years and the opportunities I will have to learn of the conditions that surround God’s authorship of the Bible as well as the conditions that have led to the current state of affairs in Israel.

Please pray for Breanna and I as we connect with Christians here and seek to participate in what God is doing in Israel today!