The High King Lives

My Family Rocks! Sunday: Archaeology and Our trip back to Bible Days (Green Smoothie recipe too!) May 6, 2012

Hi friends :). Recently my son and I took a trip back in time….to Antiquity. Our Homeschool group visited a replica of an ancient city. We learned about archaeology and how things would’ve been in the days of Jesus. I have some awesome pictures so make sure you can see them ๐Ÿ˜‰

First, lil man became a junior archaeologist. As much as I wanted to join in….well the adults sat this one out. Our guide broke the kids into teams of two and taught them how to properly dig for artifacts. This particular place actually let the kids dig for REAL artifacts too…many thousands of years old.

They were taught to carefully dig then sift the dirt to find things.

At the end of the dig our guide talked about what everyone found. She showed us how the artifacts let us know what was happening in that area. For instance, Michael found purple cloth in his area. Other kids found shells and pots. It turns out people were making a rare purple dye that was cooked out of a certain sea shell.

Also, there was a replica ofย  hidden treasure under the floor. Apparently, in real life the archaeologist that founded this place had indeed found a hidden money pot under a floor in the Holy Land. What a neat discovery!

After the dig, we all took a tour of the “city”. We were shown a replica of an ancient house in Israel. Everything was made of limestone and the houses were small because the beams used to support the roof were made of short trees.

We learned so much. It’s interesting. There were no actual inns/hotels in the days of Jesus. The word for “inn” was actually talking about a guest room. So when Joseph and Mary couldn’t find a place to stay it was because there were no available guest rooms. The guest room would’ve been in the dining area away from the main family.

This room is small but the upper room where Jesus had the last supper would’ve been a bit bigger. Also, notice how the table is on the floor. There were no chairs. Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting is inaccurate. Jesus and his disciples were sitting and reclining on the floor.

There was a gate and a tower where the kids pretended to protect the city.

We also learned the difference between a well and a cistern. A well is a spring of water from underground. A cistern collects rain water….so if there’s drought the cisterns will be dry.

Passage Mark 9:42:
42And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Below is a picture of the millstone Jesus was talking about…..intense huh?

Here is a grain silo.

It was so neat learning about the olive press. Olive’s were considered the most beautiful tree in Bible times. Eastern eyes see the beauty of the tree because of what it can produce not because of how it looks on the outside.

The olive press had several slits to hang heavy stones which would squash the olives and make the oil. The first batch of oil was used for the temple, the 2nd for cooking, the 3rd for lamps, and the 4th for soap. The olive pits were given to the animals. So every part was used.

Do you know why people squish grapes with their bare feet while making wine? I do now :). Grapes have bitter seeds and shoes would crush the seed and make the wine bitter. So they squish bare foot.

I was blown away at the crucifixion trees. It turns out the Romans nailed people to LIVE trees. So the cross Jesus carried would not have been the whole tree because usually the trees were living. He would have carried the cross bar. That makes sense considering Jesus was scourged to near death before he carried it.

we learned that the Israelites did not use wooden stables. The Manger Jesus stayed in as a baby would’ve probably been a cave. People kept their animals there and amazingly the caves stayed about 69 degrees all year. I’ve heard this before and also that Jesus could’ve been born in a sukkah (tent) because he was most likely born in the fall during the Feast of Tabernacles. Either way it’s the thought that counts ๐Ÿ™‚

My son’s favorite part was the tombs and learning about the bones. This was also very enlightening. We learned that the swaddling clothes Jesus was wrapped in as a baby would be similar to what he was wrapped in for burial. Swaddling clothes were strips of old clothing that were saved for birth and burial. So a person wore them twice in their lifetime.

You can see two “bodies” above. They’re not real. It’s illegal to display human bones. One has a full body and the other one is just burial clothes in the shape of a body. Why? Because Jesus rose and left his burial clothes in tact. The woman explained that in the Greek it says the head piece was in tact. So He literally rose out of his burial clothes….a very supernatural thing indeed.

Also as you can see from the entrance of the tomb there’s no way Lazarus could’ve bent down and climbed the steps in his burial clothes. He was wound up tight. Lazarus came through the walls and appeared before them. He couldn’t have walked out. So he was probably a scary sight coming back to life….even more so. This info just adds to the supernatural aspect of this miracle. Talk about breathing life into history….wow.

I was really intrigued but the Israelites’ ideas on mourning. They did not wipe away their tears when someone died. They actually kept the first tears of mourning in bottles. Also they would let bodies decay then collect the bones. When the Bible speaks of someone going to their father’s it’s talking about their bones. They would take a person’s bones and drop them in a pit with their family’s bones. Later, bone boxes were made for individuals.

Here is a picture of the catacombs where many Christians hid during intense persecution. One of the pictures shows a Christian “Agape” meal in the catacombs.How creepy to eat with skeletons nearby….. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

There’s also Christian symbols on the wall.

This was such a great trip and it was right up my ally. I love stuff like this. Michael had a blast and learned a lot. I encourage you to check out places in your area that may have this same type of hands on learning. It’s one thing to read about archaeology but it’s a whole ‘nother thing actually digging for artifacts yourself.

God bless you and Remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover

PS: I was super courageous and tried my first green smoothie. It was delicious! If I am brave enough to try it I know you can too. I found this recipe in Publix magazine:

In a blender blend:

6 ounces vanilla yogurt

1/4 to 1/3 cup skim milk (I used Almond milk)

1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

1/2 of a banana

1 handful of ice

2 tsp of lemon or lime juice

Be brave ๐Ÿ™‚ You can’t taste the spinach at all!


Inspirational Wednesday: The Day Hope Died April 4, 2012

The Jews were an oppressed people. They had endured years of captivity and war. They were slaughtered for their faith. It had been over 400 years since a true prophet had spoken in the land. It seemed God was silent. Had He turned away from His people? Now the Jews were being persecuted by Rome. When would their suffering end? The prophets had spoke of a messiah….a King that would bring Peace. God had promised to restore the promised land to His people. Where was this messiah? Whispers are in the marketplace…….the stars mark the birth of a King…..years pass…there’s talk of a prophet baptizing in the river Jordan. And then the Messiah appears…..there is a man healing the sick & feeding the hungry. This man Jesus speaks as if He’s from another world. People are moved by His words. They flock by the thousands to hear Jesus speak. Has the Messiah really come?

The disciples laid down their lives to follow Christ. They left their nets to follow this teacher…this prophet. Jesus’ miracles stirred the crowd. Did Moses perform greater miracles than these? Did King David raise the dead? Surely this man Jesus was the awaited messiah? He was the answer to all their problems. Surely Jesus would deliver them from Rome? Surely Jesus would be the Jew’s king?

The disciples didn’t understand. What could Jesus mean? He was going to die? He was going where they couldn’t go? Why did Jesus say such strange things? The Jewish people praised Jesus as their king but many turned away when Jesus claimed to be the Son of God….when Jesus said He is the bread of life. His teachings were hard to understand. What did seeds and the harvest have to do with defeating Rome? Why did Jesus spend His time with tax collectors & prostitutes?

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The disciples didn’t understand…but still they followed. A few began to see the light. It became clear that Jesus was & is the son of God….but who could grasp that? They walked with Him daily……Why would God take on flesh? Despite their confusion the disciples knew Jesus would save them. But all the talk of death & persecution made them nervous.

Then it happened… of their own betrayed Jesus. The awaited Messiah….the King who would save the Jews was taken to be killed! This man who claimed to be God…..this man who healed people and raised the dead allowed Roman soldiers to take Him….to beat Him. This Godman told Peter to put away his sword….to stop fighting…to LET the soldiers take Him. He said He was giving his life freely. Why would he say that? Why didn’t Jesus fight?

The night was terrifying. Everyone was running. The disciples were afraid for their lives. They scattered like sheep without a shepherd. A few followed the soldiers and they watched as Jesus was beaten and the next day nailed to a tree. Their messiah…..their King was a mess of bloody flesh. He was naked for the whole world to see. Jesus was marred beyond recognition. He bore the mark of shame………to die the death of a criminal. What had Jesus done to deserve this? The people who shouted Jesus’ praises were now shouting “crucify!” Hadn’t the Lord healed these people……He had fed them as well…and now they rejoiced in His death.

This was not what should happen to the Messiah. As Jesus began to die, so did every hope the disciples had. There would be no deliverance from Rome. Evil had won again. It seemed God had abandoned them. Even Jesus cried “Why have you forsaken me?!” “It is Finished.” Jesus died. Those words stung….hope was finished. The dream the disciples had pursued was shattered. Everything died when Jesus died. What was left for His followers? They were nothing special. Most of them had denied Jesus somehow. They were scared. They went into hiding. Would the soldiers come for them next?

It seemed death had won…..even the Messiah was bound by the curse. Two days is a long time to live in complete depression and fear. When hope has died there is no reason to live.ย  But…….

Early Sunday morning the women went to the tomb where Jesus was buried…and HE WAS NOT THERE! The angel said the Lord had risen! The disciples could not believe their ears. Surely the women were delusional…..they had seen Jesus’ flesh torn to pieces…….they saw the nails pierce his wrists. But some spark of hope filled Peter and John. They ran to the tomb. It was empty! The grave clothes were sitting there but no Jesus. Had someone stolen the body?

Thomas couldn’t believe it. It sounded too good to be true. The others claimed to have seen Jesus…..alive. Thomas remembered how the Lord had died. No…he could not believe it. He would have to touch the nail prints….put his hand in Jesus’ pierced side to believe it. Who could believe in Resurrection? Surely it was vain hope……blind faith.

And then Christ appeared and Thomas believed. Not only did Jesus Christ appear to His disciples, He also appeared before 500 witnesses. They watched as He rose into the sky and the angels foretold his second coming. Not only did Christ rise…He also remained on the earth for forty days. He even ate with people. Jesus was not a ghost. He was and is fully alive. It was during this time Jesus again made it clear why He had come. Jesus had come to save people from the inside out. It wasn’t about setting up an earthly kingdom but rather setting up a Kingdom within the hearts of men.

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Jesus came to break the curse. He took the punishment for sin. He bridged the gap between Holy God and sinful people. He offered forgiveness to those who would accept it. He came to save us eternally. Had Christ destroyed Rome, sin and death would still rule the world. Christ came to crush death….to defeat sin……to offer eternal life and freedom from sin. It made sense now. Jesus came to be King over all…..He came to save Gentiles as well as Jews. He came to save the world. The disciples were forever changed. Once they had denied Christ……they had been cowards. Now the disciples were bearers of light and truth. Now the disciples would proclaim Jesus all over the known world even though most of them would be killed for it. They were no longer afraid. The resurrection changed everything.


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May you remember in this world of darkness that there is ONE true light……ONE hope for the world…..and that is Jesus Christ. You will find lasting hope only in Him. The resurrection changed EVERYTHING. Let it Change YOU ๐Ÿ™‚

God bless and remember THE HIGH KING LIVES! ~Amber Dover

PS: May these videos inspire you as you remember Christ’ death and resurrection:

The Skit Guys (Passover)

“This Blood” by Carman (video from The Passion)

WARNING: not for children. I can’t watch the Passion because it is way too gory and traumatic. I believe we can feel the impact of the cross without seeing what happened in detail. I think if we watch it too much we become desensitized. But I could not find any other quality videos for this song….they all had clips from The Passion. So you may have to turn your head a few times or just listen to the song and not watch the video. This song gives me chills but I couldn’t watch the video. I thought I was going to have a panic attack after the whip struck Jesus.

Carman “Sunday’s on the Way” ( I love this song)