Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DVD Review: Death and Resurrection of the Messiah

DVD cover

That the World May Know:
Faith Lessons on the Death and Resurrection of the Messiah

Length: 3 hours 14 minutes
Publisher: Zondervan
First Released: 2005

Source: Rented it from Netflix.

Back Cover Description:
Sail the stormy waters of the Sea of Galilee, and stand fast before the gates of hell at Decapolis. Travel the dusty road to Jerusalem, where Jesus made His triumphal entry. As you learn all about Jesus' death and resurrection through this fascinating program, you'll discover the power Christ has given to you to confront the evils of our day and change the world. This video is the fourth volume of the "That the World May Know" series.

Death and Resurrection of the Messiah is the fourth volume of the "That the World May Know" series. If you've never had a chance to travel in Israel and you can rent or borrow this series, then I'd highly recommend you do. It has nice footage of the Holy Land so that you can get a feel for what the land looks like now. It helps to bring the Bible alive.

Even though I've been to Israel and have read a lot of "cultural background to the Bible" books, then I enjoyed this disk as it gave information I hadn't heard before and allowed a closer look at the Jerusalem model than I could get in person.

The lessons were filmed like you were a part of a tour group, but with added graphics, pictures, and aerial shots when appropriate. The format was that at each new site the teacher would give us the history related to the site, describe what the site originally looked like (if it was now in ruins), and give a faith lesson based on what we learned at that site. Sometimes the faith lessons were only lightly related to the site and a couple seemed a bit off to me (though nothing serious). Most of the faith lessons were very nice, though.

Lesson One: Sea of Galilee - the group was on a boat in the Sea of Galilee. The leader read verses about things that happened on the Sea and drew faith lessons from them while we looked at shots of the sunrise and the shore from the boat. A man demonstrated the net casting form of fishing.

Lesson Two: Decapolis - the group sat in an unidentified ruins while verses having to do with Jesus visiting the Decapolis area where read, the history of the area explained, some interesting cultural points were drawn out, and faith lessons were given.

Lesson Three: Caesarea-Philippi area - the group stood near a pagan worship site as the leader discussed the history of this area and how that helped us understand a statement Jesus made while walking past this area. (I don't agree with his speculation that the foundational rock Jesus referred to was this pagan worship area, though.)

Lesson Four: Model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, the Hasmonean Tunnel, and the Beautiful Gate - Mainly discussed the model while giving nice close-ups of it, but connected that in to the other two locations. Gave history and related verses.

Lesson Five: Model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, ruins of a priest's mansion, and the Damascus Gate - Mainly discussed the temple, Herod's palace, and the Antonia Fortress on the model. Briefly looked at the ruins of a high-ranking priest's mansion near Herod's palace and gave a view from the top of the Damascus Gate on market day.

Lesson Six: The wilderness and Jerusalem - Footage of the wilderness canyon trail from Jericho to Jerusalem, then the group sat on the Mount of Olives overlooking modern Jerusalem. Discussed the cultural significance of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem that occurred shortly before his death. Very interesting information.

Lesson Seven: Capernaum - Discussed and viewed a demonstration on how olive presses used to work and discussed olive-tree related verses. Also, a briefly viewed a synagogue there.

Lesson Eight: The Garden Tomb - Viewed the outside of the Garden Tomb while discussing the symbolism involved in the timing of Jesus' death and in the Last Supper. Also, cultural information on related topics. Also very interesting.

Lesson Nine: Pentecost/Shavuot Feast - Sat on steps of the southern stairway to the Temple Mount and discussed the verses about God giving the holy spirit on Pentecost, the cultural significance, and the location it happened. Also very interesting.

Lesson Ten: Caesarea - Footage from around the city including a discussion about the pool, palace, baths, port, theater, amphitheater, and via Maris. Discussed the history and verses from Acts that refer to it.

If you've watched this DVD, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the DVD in the comments.

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