As soon as Shabbat ended at 4:26 PM in Jerusalem, we said the havdalah blessings and immediately jumped into the car and drove to the Bram Center to set up for a very exciting lecture starting at 7 PM. This was to be our biggest event yet, and we had no idea how many people would be coming.
As I write this blog, the FFOZ Historical Geography tour is here in Israel, and our educational director, Daniel Lancaster, is here with them. We had scheduled Daniel to give a lecture based on his new book From Sabbath to Sabbath, and we spent a few weeks promoting it to the larger Israeli community here in Jerusalem. The lecture had a provocative title—“Yeshua the Sabbath-Breaker”—and we hoped it would attract many curious students. It certainly did just that.
We had standing room only. In our lecture hall, that comfortably seats sixty people, we had to fit nearly eighty. We were extremely happy with the turnout, and Daniel did a magnificent job filling his two-hour window with thought-provoking material, plenty of laughs, and clear, concise explanation about Yeshua upholding the Sabbath, as well as the rabbinic interpretation of the Sabbath of his day. About one third of the room was comprised of Israelis below the age of thirty-five. All of them were engaged and attentively taking notes and asking poignant questions.
At the end of the lecture, other Bram Center staff and I gathered up the young Israelis and went to a nice restaurant off Jerusalem’s famous Ben Yehuda Street in order to continue the discussion in a fun and lively atmosphere. Shayna and I barely had to guide the conversation, for the lecture was fresh on everyone’s minds and they wanted to pick it apart and tell us all the things they learned, all the points that were clarified for them, and just how important it was to them that Yeshua does not gain the reputation of being a Sabbath-breaker.
The discussion was so encouraging. People my age were saying, “This is what I have been waiting for! Learning on a higher academic level yet being able to implement the things I’m learning not only into my theology, but into my practice.” People left feeling as if they knew just a little more about Yeshua’s character, grace, and his priority of easing human suffering over all else.
We love to host these types of events at the Bram Center. This is where we shine—when we can provide teaching, enable discussion, and provide excellent teachers with a platform to speak. We have so much occurring at the Bram Center every day, and this is just one of our many functions.
If you are a supporter of First Fruits of Zion, you are contributing to our crucial work here in Israel and enabling us to do these wonderful things on a frequent basis. Please continue to pray for us in Israel, and pray that we will see the fruit of labors continue to multiply thousands of times over.