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Footsteps

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May 9, 2017
27:32

Why Israel Matters

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Footsteps

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  • (Mati Shoshani narrating) It is the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
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  • the birthplace of Jesus.
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  • From Genesis to Revelation,
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  • Israel is the centerpiece of God's story,
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  • a saga that continues to unfold in our daily news.
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  • But behind the headlines are the people
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  • caught in the crosshairs of some really complex issues,
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  • it can be hard to see clearly from the outside,
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  • so let's explore my homeland from within.
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  • (narrator) Every year, American lawyer Matt Staver brings
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  • hundreds of college students to the Holy Land to walk
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  • in the footsteps of Jesus.
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  • Mr. Staver has argued cases before the Supreme Court,
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  • and he is the founder of the Liberty Council,
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  • a law firm which works to preserve religious freedoms
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  • in the United States.
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  • So, why would such an in-demand lawyer
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  • devote his time to bringing college students to Israel?
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  • (Mathew D. Staver) I see two disturbing trends on college campuses.
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  • Christian college students
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  • are walking away from their faith,
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  • and there's a rising tide of anti-Semitism.
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  • But what if we could change this trend?
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  • There's no other place anywhere like Israel and Jerusalem.
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  • You encounter where Jesus was.
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  • You read about Jesus, you read about that last week.
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  • But when you're physically here, it's not just a history story,
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  • it's not something that just happened in the past,
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  • but what we see here is what Jesus saw.
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  • We literally walk in places where the Son of God,
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  • the creator of the universe, the Savior of mankind himself
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  • walked 2.000 years ago.
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  • We're entering a basilica underground,
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  • below the ground level.
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  • And it sets forth those last hours of Jesus.
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  • This is Antonia's Fortress.
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  • It's also called the Praetorium.
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  • Ecce Homo in Latin, "Behold the man."
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  • This is where Pontius Pilate says, "Behold the man."
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  • Much of this arch is above ground,
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  • it's also below ground, you have the smaller arch.
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  • Our primary goal for Covenant Journey
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  • is to strengthen Christian college students' faith.
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  • (Jennifer Sullivan) To be able to walk where Christ walked,
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  • to be able to go to those specific places
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  • that are mentioned in the Bible, is something
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  • that I'd always dreamed of doing.
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  • Growing up, being a fairly politically active family,
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  • knowing that it was important to stand with Israel
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  • and that they were our allies,
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  • I started to ask the question, well, why?
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  • (Danny Pennell) This is the birthplace of my faith.
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  • And I think that's important to gain new perspective
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  • and realize, "Okay, my perspective
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  • "isn't the only one,
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  • "and there's something that's going on
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  • "that's so much bigger than just my own little bubble
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  • or what's going on in America."
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  • They're presenting what's going on over there,
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  • and they're kind of leaving it up to us to decide
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  • what to do with it, and I love that.
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  • This is the place where it happened
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  • at the last hours of Jesus.
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  • It's not tradition, it's not possible,
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  • this is it, 2.000 years old, and we're right here.
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  • When you learn more, you can see more.
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  • And when they go back home, their faith is strengthened.
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  • It's not fiction, it's not tradition,
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  • it's not possible.
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  • This is where Jesus walked.
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  • We want to be able to provide an experience
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  • where they can see, they can taste,
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  • they can actually drink from this water.
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  • They can touch, they can feel.
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  • They actually are living
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  • in the time that goes back to our Lord Jesus Christ.
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  • (Jennifer) I wanted to know more of, as I do my own research,
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  • why do I believe what I believe?
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  • And when I say I'm supporting Israel,
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  • what does that mean for me?
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  • Why are they our allies,
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  • why is it important to stand with Israel?
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  • Because the more I got involved politically,
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  • the more I realize that it can be a divisive topic,
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  • has a lot of passion and a lot of perspectives.
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  • (Danny) It's very important for people to experience
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  • the birthplace of their faith.
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  • The stories jump off the pages of the Bible.
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  • He could have been right there,
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  • he could be-- he could have been right there,
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  • like not me picturing it, like right in front of me.
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  • And that's hard to describe that,
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  • the emotions that come with that.
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  • (Mathew) Let's get everybody up here so we can take a group photo.
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  • When we learn more about the history,
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  • we see more of what Jesus wants to reveal to us.
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  • This is the location where Jesus did these incredible miracles,
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  • proclaiming that he was the son of David,
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  • that he was the Son of God, that he was the Messiah.
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  • It links us to a real person,
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  • and it links us to the Son of God himself.
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  • Now, we come
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  • to the second important miracle in Jerusalem.
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  • The blind and now the lame links back to David
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  • and the founding of this city.
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  • The Scriptures are not just black and white,
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  • they become in color, three-dimensional,
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  • they become real.
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  • This is the place where Abraham brought his son to sacrifice.
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  • And this is the place, at the time that David came here
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  • to establish the capital of Israel,
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  • that it was ruled by the Jebusites.
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  • When David was going to conquer the city, the Jebusite king
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  • taunted David, and he said, "You're so insignificant
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  • "that we're going to put lame and blind on the walls,
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  • "and they'll defend us, and you won't be able
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  • to overcome them."
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  • That becomes very significant when the son of David returns
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  • to this place, and he engages
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  • in two significant recorded healings,
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  • the only two healings that are recorded in Jerusalem,
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  • and it links him back to the King David timeframe.
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  • Sometimes, we think that Jesus just did things on happenstance.
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  • He intentionally healed a man born blind from birth.
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  • He intentionally healed
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  • a man who was a paralytic for 38 years,
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  • linking him back to King David.
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  • Anyone who knew the Scriptures would understand
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  • the significance of that event.
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  • This is not one of those places that it possibly happened,
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  • this is the place.
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  • That's why this is so amazing.
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  • Here, you can see a game, it's a game of chance.
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  • It's the round circle.
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  • It's likely that when Passover came, and the tradition
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  • was to release to the Jews someone who was a criminal,
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  • in that case they had Barabbas, and Pilate said,
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  • "Should I release Barabbas to you?"
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  • And they said, "No, we want Barabbas free.
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  • Jesus should be the one that would be incarcerated."
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  • And it may well be here where these soldiers
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  • were gambling as to which one
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  • was going to be released.
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  • But Barabbas the criminal is let free.
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  • And Jesus, whom Pilate says, "I find no fault in this man,"
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  • is the one that suffers and dies,
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  • not just in Barabbas' place, but for all of us.
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  • (Jennifer) I didn't check my email for 10 days, which was great.
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  • Obviously, you're traveling internationally,
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  • so I wasn't on the phone much at all,
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  • and really just got to be
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  • invested in the culture, and be all there,
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  • which is really what I wanted out of the experience.
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  • I wanted to be able to taste, and feel,
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  • and see, and experience the culture of Israel,
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  • the people, experience the places,
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  • not be caught up in anything else,
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  • but just really get to be all there.
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  • We stayed right off of the Sea of Galilee.
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  • And just to be able to wake up in the morning,
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  • and have my own quiet time, and to think this is
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  • where, you know, Jesus got up every morning,
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  • and the sunrise that he was seeing.
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  • (Mathew) The gap is the reality of who Jesus is.
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  • Jesus is someone they read about,
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  • he's a historical figure.
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  • They are told Bible stories about him, but he's so far away,
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  • it's hard to picture God and man.
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  • And here, they feel, they touch, they taste,
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  • they're literally at the place where he was,
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  • they're at the same location, not tradition,
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  • but in reality, they're here.
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  • And there is something unique about this place,
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  • where you connect with that history,
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  • and more importantly, you connect with Jesus himself.
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  • And that's what makes the difference.
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  • (Danny) The biblical side, the political side,
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  • the just cultural side, all those things built up
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  • into something that helped change my perspective,
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  • and then realize that my perspective
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  • isn't as big as it needed to be, and broadened my worldview.
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  • It was just a collection of moments
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  • that eventually just had a-- gave me a passion
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  • and changed my life.
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  • To be able to have the Word of God come alive,
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  • and to understand the references,
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  • to understand the places, to go to Golgotha,
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  • to go to the Mount of Olives
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  • and these different places that are so rich
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  • in historical meaning and context,
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  • to be able to walk the rows of Jerusalem
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  • and be where Christ was, that's life-changing.
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  • (Mathew) Instead of just reading about it, you see
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  • the reality of this is a physical, tangible place,
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  • where our faith is connected to,
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  • where all of Western civilization
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  • is connected.
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  • All of Judeo-Christian history is linked to this place.
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  • This is where the Savior chose to spend his last hours.
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  • This is where he chose to suffer and die,
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  • and to walk those final moments all the way to Calvary.
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  • In America, we have buildings that are built in the 1900s.
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  • Maybe something built in the 1800s is quite old,
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  • but in this land it's just a baby.
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  • This is a first century road.
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  • Antonia's Fortress with those three columns,
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  • and Jesus brought before Pontius Pilate
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  • and then given over, and then moving
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  • from here down what we call the Via Dolorosa,
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  • the Way of Suffering, this is a place
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  • where people from around the world come.
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  • They're able to walk on ancient history,
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  • 2.000 years old.
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  • (Danny) Politically, we went and talked to people
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  • who were giving us rational discussions.
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  • Like every night, we would have these discussions
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  • with, whether it was political confidants,
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  • or people that were higher up, like a former ambassador,
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  • and he would tell us about what was going on
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  • in Israel with the Palestine conflict,
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  • and how it's way more complicated
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  • than a lot of people would make it seem.
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  • And that stuff just got me thinking.
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  • (Jennifer) Talking to some of the people who have been born there,
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  • they grew up in an environment
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  • that they were constantly having to be aware
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  • of their surroundings.
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  • They were in a very volatile area.
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  • There wasn't a lot of necessarily peace.
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  • They didn't know what tomorrow would bring.
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  • But in that, you see their ingenuity,
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  • and their drive, I think, in their marketplace,
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  • to be creative, to not fear failure,
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  • to try new things, to think outside of the box
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  • because they have to do that on a daily basis for survival.
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  • (Mathew) This is an amazing view.
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  • It's a melting pot of the world, Judaism, Christianity, Islam,
  • 00:13:27.220 --> 00:13:32.140
  • all of them having an interest in this one location,
  • 00:13:32.150 --> 00:13:36.070
  • all of them connected back here in one way or another.
  • 00:13:36.080 --> 00:13:39.130
  • (Jennifer) I've always kind of wondered, why can't there just be peace?
  • 00:13:39.140 --> 00:13:42.270
  • I mean, I know from a biblical perspective
  • 00:13:42.280 --> 00:13:45.190
  • how far it goes back.
  • 00:13:45.200 --> 00:13:47.170
  • But, you know, here and today, why can't we just help them
  • 00:13:47.180 --> 00:13:52.150
  • make that happen?
  • 00:13:52.160 --> 00:13:53.260
  • To hear more of their perspective,
  • 00:13:56.220 --> 00:13:58.050
  • and the different sides,
  • 00:13:58.060 --> 00:13:59.240
  • the side that doesn't think Israel should exist,
  • 00:13:59.250 --> 00:14:02.170
  • for them, their definition
  • 00:14:02.180 --> 00:14:03.270
  • of what that peace looks like is different.
  • 00:14:03.280 --> 00:14:07.080
  • And that doesn't look like peace with Israel existing.
  • 00:14:07.090 --> 00:14:11.090
  • And therefore, it's not about them
  • 00:14:11.100 --> 00:14:13.050
  • having more or less land,
  • 00:14:13.060 --> 00:14:14.180
  • it's that they should have nothing.
  • 00:14:14.190 --> 00:14:16.160
  • That was really mind-opening for me, and to better understand
  • 00:14:16.170 --> 00:14:21.250
  • why Israel has to fight so hard just to exist,
  • 00:14:21.260 --> 00:14:25.290
  • and the fact that they're really one of our only allies
  • 00:14:26.000 --> 00:14:28.220
  • on that side of the world there.
  • 00:14:28.230 --> 00:14:30.100
  • And that's one of the reasons it's so important
  • 00:14:30.110 --> 00:14:32.120
  • to stand with them.
  • 00:14:32.130 --> 00:14:33.230
  • (Mathew) The Ottoman Empire had control of all of this,
  • 00:14:37.080 --> 00:14:39.130
  • and that's when that Dome got built in there.
  • 00:14:39.140 --> 00:14:41.180
  • And so, this whole worldwide terrorism battle
  • 00:14:41.190 --> 00:14:43.280
  • is to wind back the clock back
  • 00:14:43.290 --> 00:14:45.180
  • before the Ottoman Empire was defeated.
  • 00:14:45.190 --> 00:14:48.130
  • That's why this place is so important.
  • 00:14:48.140 --> 00:14:51.240
  • There's obviously so much controversy
  • 00:14:51.250 --> 00:14:57.180
  • over this land,
  • 00:14:57.190 --> 00:14:59.110
  • frankly all the way to the time of Abraham with the two sons.
  • 00:14:59.120 --> 00:15:04.080
  • And that conflict has gone through history.
  • 00:15:04.090 --> 00:15:08.100
  • And it's been here in this land
  • 00:15:08.110 --> 00:15:09.240
  • not only in the tribal divisions,
  • 00:15:09.250 --> 00:15:12.150
  • but in the religious divisions and the political divisions.
  • 00:15:12.160 --> 00:15:16.070
  • But this is the place
  • 00:15:16.080 --> 00:15:17.170
  • that Jesus chose to come and live,
  • 00:15:17.180 --> 00:15:22.210
  • and to be here on his last moments.
  • 00:15:22.220 --> 00:15:27.150
  • This is the Via Dolorosa.
  • 00:15:27.160 --> 00:15:29.280
  • This is the path that Jesus would have walked,
  • 00:15:29.290 --> 00:15:32.120
  • the Way of Suffering.
  • 00:15:32.130 --> 00:15:34.010
  • It's written in English, Arabic, and Hebrew.
  • 00:15:34.020 --> 00:15:39.030
  • His final steps to Calvary begin here.
  • 00:15:39.040 --> 00:15:41.070
  • 00:15:43.070 --> 00:15:49.070
  • (Mathew) What we know is Jesus was before Pontius Pilate,
  • 00:15:49.290 --> 00:15:52.180
  • we know that for 100% certainty.
  • 00:15:52.190 --> 00:15:55.050
  • We know that he came this direction.
  • 00:15:55.060 --> 00:15:57.210
  • Whether he went left or right, we don't know.
  • 00:15:57.220 --> 00:16:00.240
  • And whether he was crucified
  • 00:16:00.250 --> 00:16:02.080
  • at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
  • 00:16:02.090 --> 00:16:03.220
  • or at the garden tomb, we don't know.
  • 00:16:03.230 --> 00:16:06.110
  • But we do know one thing
  • 00:16:06.120 --> 00:16:08.010
  • is that when we get to either place,
  • 00:16:08.020 --> 00:16:09.150
  • the tomb is empty.
  • 00:16:09.160 --> 00:16:10.250
  • 00:16:10.260 --> 00:16:16.250
  • 00:16:16.260 --> 00:16:22.250
  • 00:16:22.260 --> 00:16:28.250
  • 00:16:28.260 --> 00:16:34.250
  • 00:16:34.260 --> 00:16:37.150
  • (Mathew) Bringing the students here and seeing
  • 00:16:37.160 --> 00:16:39.250
  • how the light bulbs begin to turn on, seeing
  • 00:16:39.260 --> 00:16:44.210
  • how the Old Testament lays the foundation for the New.
  • 00:16:44.220 --> 00:16:48.020
  • Without the Old Testament, we wouldn't understand
  • 00:16:48.030 --> 00:16:50.070
  • many of the things that Jesus was doing
  • 00:16:50.080 --> 00:16:51.270
  • and trying to say in the New Testament.
  • 00:16:51.280 --> 00:16:53.250
  • Seeing that connection, and it's a constant reminder
  • 00:16:53.260 --> 00:16:56.220
  • that whatever Jesus said will in fact happen.
  • 00:16:56.230 --> 00:17:00.150
  • 00:17:00.160 --> 00:17:06.150
  • 00:17:06.160 --> 00:17:12.160
  • (Jennifer) From a political standpoint, it's going to mean
  • 00:17:12.290 --> 00:17:15.220
  • my own footing to stand on and defend why support them,
  • 00:17:15.230 --> 00:17:20.110
  • and to know why I support them,
  • 00:17:20.120 --> 00:17:22.040
  • and why it's important for America
  • 00:17:22.050 --> 00:17:25.160
  • to continue to support them and be their allies.
  • 00:17:25.170 --> 00:17:28.080
  • There's so much going on in the world than just Israel,
  • 00:17:28.090 --> 00:17:30.280
  • but zoom out even more, and it's the whole world,
  • 00:17:30.290 --> 00:17:33.250
  • and there's so much that we could be putting our focus on.
  • 00:17:33.260 --> 00:17:37.080
  • And considering we have a voice that is inspired by God,
  • 00:17:37.090 --> 00:17:40.140
  • the creator of the universe, why are we not focusing on that?
  • 00:17:40.150 --> 00:17:43.170
  • It's also given me the opportunity,
  • 00:17:43.180 --> 00:17:45.030
  • I think, to do more research and better understand
  • 00:17:45.040 --> 00:17:48.020
  • how much of a bias there is in the media on both sides,
  • 00:17:48.030 --> 00:17:52.240
  • and to help filter that in such a way
  • 00:17:52.250 --> 00:17:55.090
  • where I can support policy accordingly,
  • 00:17:55.100 --> 00:17:59.020
  • from firsthand experience of what's going on over there.
  • 00:17:59.030 --> 00:18:01.140
  • 00:18:01.150 --> 00:18:07.140
  • 00:18:07.150 --> 00:18:10.150
  • (Mathew) When you're walking in a place
  • 00:18:10.160 --> 00:18:11.250
  • where the most important person in the world lived,
  • 00:18:11.260 --> 00:18:17.000
  • and you're right here, there's something different about this
  • 00:18:17.010 --> 00:18:21.140
  • that you can't get through modern technology.
  • 00:18:21.150 --> 00:18:26.280
  • There's something different about this place that you
  • 00:18:26.290 --> 00:18:30.050
  • can only experience it when you're here.
  • 00:18:30.060 --> 00:18:33.200
  • And every time I come here,
  • 00:18:33.210 --> 00:18:36.070
  • that experience even goes deeper.
  • 00:18:36.080 --> 00:18:39.170
  • You can read these stories from the age of childhood,
  • 00:18:39.180 --> 00:18:43.090
  • you can look at the maps, you can watch TV programs
  • 00:18:43.100 --> 00:18:46.240
  • about the life of Christ, but this place is unique
  • 00:18:46.250 --> 00:18:51.250
  • not just for 2.000 years, for several thousand years.
  • 00:18:51.260 --> 00:18:54.260
  • God chose this land, and it's in this land
  • 00:18:54.270 --> 00:18:58.100
  • where our faith is connected.
  • 00:18:58.110 --> 00:19:00.180
  • It's in this land of Israel where the prophets wrote,
  • 00:19:00.190 --> 00:19:04.250
  • the kings ruled, the Messiah was born,
  • 00:19:04.260 --> 00:19:07.230
  • and he suffered and died in this tiny spot on the planet
  • 00:19:07.240 --> 00:19:12.170
  • smaller than the state of New Jersey,
  • 00:19:12.180 --> 00:19:15.270
  • and yet it's the epicenter of all our existence.
  • 00:19:15.280 --> 00:19:19.200
  • Coming back from Israel and going to my school,
  • 00:19:19.210 --> 00:19:21.110
  • Southeastern University,
  • 00:19:21.120 --> 00:19:22.210
  • like a lot of American institutions,
  • 00:19:22.220 --> 00:19:24.260
  • it's caught up in its own bubble sometimes,
  • 00:19:24.270 --> 00:19:27.000
  • especially the student body.
  • 00:19:27.010 --> 00:19:28.120
  • And so, it was almost like I had this desire to burst that bubble
  • 00:19:28.130 --> 00:19:32.130
  • and expose them to what's going on in the world.
  • 00:19:32.140 --> 00:19:35.080
  • We were able to bring in Holocaust survivor Irving Roth,
  • 00:19:37.280 --> 00:19:40.180
  • and he did a speech right on campus.
  • 00:19:40.190 --> 00:19:42.080
  • And that was the most political, not even political,
  • 00:19:42.090 --> 00:19:45.130
  • the most worldwide issue
  • 00:19:45.140 --> 00:19:47.030
  • that has been brought right to Southeastern.
  • 00:19:47.040 --> 00:19:48.290
  • And since then, so many other issues
  • 00:19:49.000 --> 00:19:51.030
  • have been brought right to this school.
  • 00:19:51.040 --> 00:19:52.240
  • We had a representative come from DC,
  • 00:19:52.250 --> 00:19:55.030
  • and stuff that wasn't happening before.
  • 00:19:55.040 --> 00:19:57.140
  • (Jennifer) I was the youngest female
  • 00:19:58.160 --> 00:19:59.250
  • ever elected to the Florida legislature.
  • 00:19:59.260 --> 00:20:02.010
  • And the 2016 legislative session,
  • 00:20:02.020 --> 00:20:04.110
  • that started just 3 days after I got back from Israel.
  • 00:20:04.120 --> 00:20:07.040
  • The bill supporting Israel, saying that if there was
  • 00:20:07.050 --> 00:20:11.040
  • a company that was boycotting the country,
  • 00:20:11.050 --> 00:20:13.240
  • then as a state we would boycott them,
  • 00:20:13.250 --> 00:20:15.210
  • that we wouldn't partner with them,
  • 00:20:15.220 --> 00:20:17.060
  • we wouldn't contract out with them,
  • 00:20:17.070 --> 00:20:19.070
  • that was in the 2016 legislative session.
  • 00:20:19.080 --> 00:20:21.120
  • And it was such an honor to be able to help be
  • 00:20:21.130 --> 00:20:23.160
  • a part of getting that passed
  • 00:20:23.170 --> 00:20:25.210
  • and through the legislative process.
  • 00:20:25.220 --> 00:20:27.070
  • 00:20:27.080 --> 00:20:33.070
  • 00:20:33.080 --> 00:20:38.170
  • (Jennifer) I don't think that I ever realized
  • 00:20:38.180 --> 00:20:39.290
  • the economy that Israel has, the technology, ingenuity,
  • 00:20:40.000 --> 00:20:44.220
  • the creativity that comes out of Israel
  • 00:20:44.230 --> 00:20:47.040
  • that really has helped our American market grow.
  • 00:20:47.050 --> 00:20:49.240
  • My passion is let's talk about it, let's--
  • 00:20:49.250 --> 00:20:52.130
  • you can come up with your own opinion,
  • 00:20:52.140 --> 00:20:54.120
  • but at least talk about it, know what's going on.
  • 00:20:54.130 --> 00:20:56.100
  • So, that's been something that's been realized
  • 00:20:56.110 --> 00:20:57.200
  • over the past year,
  • 00:20:57.210 --> 00:20:59.000
  • and it really all points back to Covenant Journey
  • 00:20:59.010 --> 00:21:01.040
  • because that's what they did on their trip,
  • 00:21:01.050 --> 00:21:02.200
  • and that's the example I saw.
  • 00:21:02.210 --> 00:21:04.260
  • I think that there are a lot of people
  • 00:21:04.270 --> 00:21:06.070
  • who misunderstand Israel.
  • 00:21:06.080 --> 00:21:07.170
  • I think there are a lot of people
  • 00:21:07.180 --> 00:21:08.270
  • who don't take the time to understand the people,
  • 00:21:08.280 --> 00:21:11.210
  • to understand their culture, to understand their economy.
  • 00:21:11.220 --> 00:21:15.080
  • And the more that I've learned about Israel,
  • 00:21:15.090 --> 00:21:18.180
  • the more that I respect them.
  • 00:21:18.190 --> 00:21:20.080
  • I respect them as a country.
  • 00:21:20.090 --> 00:21:22.090
  • I respect the choices that they've made.
  • 00:21:22.100 --> 00:21:24.230
  • Now, certainly not all.
  • 00:21:24.240 --> 00:21:27.000
  • I don't agree with all the choices
  • 00:21:27.010 --> 00:21:28.150
  • we've made as a country,
  • 00:21:28.160 --> 00:21:30.160
  • but I think that what you see in their people
  • 00:21:30.170 --> 00:21:34.140
  • is a drive, of ingenuity,
  • 00:21:34.150 --> 00:21:37.200
  • and to protect and defend,
  • 00:21:37.210 --> 00:21:43.190
  • and a selflessness that I wish more of my own generation had.
  • 00:21:43.200 --> 00:21:48.140
  • 00:21:48.150 --> 00:21:54.140
  • 00:21:54.150 --> 00:22:00.110
  • 00:22:00.120 --> 00:22:01.210
  • (Mathew) Jesus chose the most unlikely persons
  • 00:22:01.220 --> 00:22:05.230
  • to come witness
  • 00:22:05.240 --> 00:22:07.030
  • the most important event in human history.
  • 00:22:07.040 --> 00:22:09.080
  • If you and I were writing the story,
  • 00:22:09.090 --> 00:22:10.200
  • we would have the most respectable rabbi,
  • 00:22:10.210 --> 00:22:13.010
  • so if you said his name, anyone would know and believe.
  • 00:22:13.020 --> 00:22:16.240
  • But Jesus chose women.
  • 00:22:16.250 --> 00:22:19.080
  • 00:22:19.090 --> 00:22:25.080
  • 00:22:25.090 --> 00:22:31.090
  • (Mathew) The grave is empty,
  • 00:22:31.130 --> 00:22:32.220
  • and the bones are no longer there.
  • 00:22:32.230 --> 00:22:34.150
  • The great thing about this when you bring people here is
  • 00:22:40.160 --> 00:22:44.110
  • the fact that we don't know exactly where Jesus
  • 00:22:44.120 --> 00:22:47.160
  • was crucified or where the actual tomb was,
  • 00:22:47.170 --> 00:22:51.000
  • but we know that wherever it was,
  • 00:22:51.010 --> 00:22:53.010
  • this brings us back 2.000 years ago,
  • 00:22:53.020 --> 00:22:56.050
  • and he is risen.
  • 00:22:56.060 --> 00:22:59.240
  • He is not here.
  • 00:22:59.250 --> 00:23:01.070
  • It's not the sacredness of the place,
  • 00:23:09.260 --> 00:23:11.230
  • it's the sacredness of the person
  • 00:23:11.240 --> 00:23:13.240
  • who made it significant.
  • 00:23:13.250 --> 00:23:15.070
  • 00:23:15.080 --> 00:23:21.070
  • 00:23:21.080 --> 00:23:25.000
  • (Mathew) This is spectacular, I've never been here before,
  • 00:23:25.010 --> 00:23:27.280
  • as many times as I've been here to Israel.
  • 00:23:27.290 --> 00:23:29.130
  • 00:23:29.140 --> 00:23:35.140
  • (Mathew) That's the amazing miracle of Israel,
  • 00:23:36.020 --> 00:23:39.110
  • connecting both the present with the past.
  • 00:23:39.120 --> 00:23:41.240
  • 00:23:41.250 --> 00:23:47.240
  • 00:23:47.250 --> 00:23:51.250
  • (Mathew) This is an incredible view.
  • 00:23:51.260 --> 00:23:53.210
  • Sheep, and goats, tombstones, and ancient burial places
  • 00:23:53.220 --> 00:23:59.010
  • that go back thousands of years.
  • 00:23:59.020 --> 00:24:02.110
  • And then there's the wall of the old city,
  • 00:24:02.120 --> 00:24:07.050
  • the bottom of which goes back all the way
  • 00:24:07.060 --> 00:24:08.160
  • to the time of Jesus.
  • 00:24:08.170 --> 00:24:09.260
  • 00:24:09.270 --> 00:24:14.150
  • (Mathew) There's nothing magical about this place.
  • 00:24:14.160 --> 00:24:16.290
  • It's not the stones, it's not the structure.
  • 00:24:17.000 --> 00:24:20.010
  • But it's being where Jesus was,
  • 00:24:20.020 --> 00:24:22.240
  • and it's Jesus that makes this place so special.
  • 00:24:22.250 --> 00:24:26.110
  • The reason why I do what I do in America
  • 00:24:31.020 --> 00:24:33.040
  • is because of what happened in this land,
  • 00:24:33.050 --> 00:24:35.210
  • and how my faith is connected to this land,
  • 00:24:35.220 --> 00:24:38.000
  • and to the history of this land.
  • 00:24:38.010 --> 00:24:40.060
  • And so, when I come here, it makes it even more meaningful
  • 00:24:40.070 --> 00:24:42.150
  • what I do in America.
  • 00:24:42.160 --> 00:24:43.290
  • It makes it more significant
  • 00:24:44.000 --> 00:24:45.090
  • to defend and advance religious freedom,
  • 00:24:45.100 --> 00:24:47.250
  • to allow people to be able to share the gospel
  • 00:24:47.260 --> 00:24:50.240
  • that ultimately began to shed the light of the gospel
  • 00:24:50.250 --> 00:24:54.160
  • here in this land, to Europe, to the United States,
  • 00:24:54.170 --> 00:24:58.220
  • to my own faith and history, to my own transformation.
  • 00:24:58.230 --> 00:25:02.240
  • I cannot help but come here.
  • 00:25:02.250 --> 00:25:05.110
  • Once I came here, I was hooked.
  • 00:25:05.120 --> 00:25:07.260
  • And I will always come back to this land.
  • 00:25:07.270 --> 00:25:13.080
  • And I'll always bring people here
  • 00:25:13.090 --> 00:25:16.000
  • because of that experience that I know it will have
  • 00:25:16.010 --> 00:25:19.070
  • on each person that visits Israel.
  • 00:25:19.080 --> 00:25:21.020
  • 00:25:21.030 --> 00:25:27.020
  • 00:25:27.030 --> 00:25:31.100
  • (Mathew) This is a magnet.
  • 00:25:31.110 --> 00:25:32.200
  • Once you come here, you're going to be coming back.
  • 00:25:32.210 --> 00:25:35.150
  • 00:25:35.160 --> 00:25:41.150
  • 00:25:41.160 --> 00:25:45.050
  • (narrator) We can learn a lot by retracing the footsteps of Jesus
  • 00:25:45.060 --> 00:25:47.110
  • in the Holy Land.
  • 00:25:47.120 --> 00:25:48.240
  • But true transformation happens when we retrace them
  • 00:25:48.250 --> 00:25:51.170
  • in our daily lives, that Jesus left us an example
  • 00:25:51.180 --> 00:25:55.200
  • so that we might follow in his steps.
  • 00:25:55.210 --> 00:25:58.120
  • Jesus showed us how to love our neighbors,
  • 00:25:58.130 --> 00:26:00.110
  • speak the truth,
  • 00:26:00.120 --> 00:26:01.210
  • and forgive others the way God forgives us.
  • 00:26:01.220 --> 00:26:06.070
  • When Jesus met people along the gospel trail,
  • 00:26:06.080 --> 00:26:08.210
  • he often gave them a simple invitation.
  • 00:26:08.220 --> 00:26:11.240
  • He said, "Follow me."
  • 00:26:11.250 --> 00:26:14.260
  • And thousands of years later, this invitation still stands.
  • 00:26:14.270 --> 00:26:18.110
  • I leave you with a psalm penned by King David,
  • 00:26:21.220 --> 00:26:23.190
  • a blessing over the city, and indeed a prayer for Israel.
  • 00:26:23.200 --> 00:26:27.040
  • "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
  • 00:26:29.200 --> 00:26:31.210
  • "May they prosper who love you.
  • 00:26:31.220 --> 00:26:33.150
  • "May peace be within your walls
  • 00:26:33.160 --> 00:26:35.100
  • "and prosperity within your palaces.
  • 00:26:35.110 --> 00:26:37.240
  • "For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will now say
  • 00:26:37.250 --> 00:26:40.100
  • "may peace be within you.
  • 00:26:40.110 --> 00:26:42.120
  • "For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
  • 00:26:42.130 --> 00:26:44.190
  • I will seek your good."
  • 00:26:44.200 --> 00:26:46.180
  • 00:26:46.190 --> 00:26:52.190
  • (female announcer) Thank you for watching "Why Israel Matters."
  • 00:26:54.290 --> 00:26:57.170
  • For more information about Israel
  • 00:26:57.180 --> 00:26:59.050
  • and why it matters to you and your family,
  • 00:26:59.060 --> 00:27:01.100
  • visit CIDIsrael.org/freegift
  • 00:27:01.110 --> 00:27:05.100
  • to receive this brand new book absolutely free.
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  • Deepen your faith and look past the news headlines to discover
  • 00:27:08.130 --> 00:27:11.200
  • the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob like never before.
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