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Have you ever gone through a Bible study that just blew you away?  You came out with such a changed perspective, more love for God and his amazing gift, and a realization that God is just more awesome than you could have ever imagined?

Ray Vander Laan’s series of studies That the World May Know is like this for me!  Several years ago, our associate minister introduced us to this amazing video series and I highly recommend it.

As a historian and Bible teacher who studied in Jerusalem, Ray Vander Laan helps us connect the Biblical principles of each Bible story to the cultural context by showing us the places where the Biblical events happened and explaining their significance.

It’s so much more than a Bible study

There are many great Bible studies out there, so what makes this study different?

What sets Ray Vander Laan’s series apart is that you don’t just pop the DVD in and watch him talk.  You pop the DVD in and then you set out on a Biblical adventure of exploring the text while exploring the Bible lands.

What’s the Significance?

Have you ever read a Bible story and thought, “Why did they do that?” or “Why is that detail included?”  I have many times.

This is where Ray Vander Laan takes time to not only physically show you what these details would have looked like at the time but what they represented and what their significance in the Bible stories was. Understanding these details help us have a better understanding of how to apply these truths to our lives.

For example, understanding “the cup” that Jesus picked up and said, “Take this in remembrance of me” takes on a whole new meaning when you understand that that particular cup has a symbolic meaning too!  Jesus didn’t just pick up any cup.  You see every single cup taken during the Passover Seder signifies something.

In one of his Bible Studies, “Path to the Cross: The Fifth Cup: Our Way of Hope,” he explains the significance of each Passover cup and how the promises declared with each cup impacts us as Christians taking communion today, as well as how they impacted the Israelites when God brought them out of Egypt.  Christ fulfilled these promises, and they are something we can cherish and remember now for encouragement until He returns!

The Path to the Cross

Last year as Easter approached, as many Christians do, I dug deeper into the Scriptures.  I wanted to understand more than I ever have before. Truly, all we need to understand is that we are all sinful and that Jesus sacrificed himself, taking all our sins upon him so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.  It’s really that simple.

What am I missing?

But so many times, I look at the days leading up to the Last Supper and think, “What am I not getting?  What would someone from the first century have noticed that I just can’t comprehend?”  Did the disciples sitting around that table, walking day in and day out with our Savior understand more of what was meant, even after the fact?  Jesus said they wouldn’t understand it all at the moment but later it would become clear.

We have the fortunate ability to look back and understand a little more than they did in the moment, but we miss what their cultural context made evident to them because that is not how we live.

As an answer to prayer, I stumbled across Ray Vander Laan’s video lessons called “The Path to the Cross,” which is volume eleven in the series called So That the World May Know. (It was on Amazon Prime!)

This five-video lesson set blew my mind.  I look at the Last Supper in an entirely different way now.

Not only did he discuss the last supper but the Mount of Olives, which is very different than how I pictured it, and brought to life the absolute understanding and anguish that those hours and days before the crucifixion held.  Not only that but because Ray Vander Laan teaches these studies in the places or as close to the places where the stories actually took place, the visuals bring the Bible truths to life in ways I’d never experienced before.

These are perfect to watch as you prepare your family’s heart to celebrate and be even more in awe of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection this weekend!

The best part is they are FREE on Amazon prime!

Watch the first in this volume by click on the graphic below.


Win the “Path to the Cross” DVD study and the Discovery Guide

Thanks to a donation by Zondervan you can enter to win this study as well as another!

Path to the Cross Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win “A Path to the Cross”

The Death and Resurrection of the Messiah

I purchased this “Death and Resurrection of the Messiah” DVD and Discovery Guide from Zondervan a few weeks ago and have been excited to go through it.  It contains ten lessons and can be used for groups or individuals.  We enjoy watching them as a family.  I love how my kids can see where these stories happened and understand that these places still exist today!

Previously, I’ve only watched the DVDs and had short discussions with our bible class or our small group.  This time I’m actually going through the discovery guide as well, and let me tell you, it is great!  I’m loving digging deeper with the discovery guide…taking time to soak in the lesson, chew on it a bit, and then enjoy it more.

When Storms Come

The first video lesson in this volume, “When Storms Come,” is only about sixteen minutes long.  Enjoy it and be encouraged by seeing this story we’ve heard so often in a new way.  Then enter to win it as well!

Win Ray Vander Laan’s “Death and Resurrection of the Messiah” DVD study and the Discovery Guide

Enter for your chance to win “Death and Resurrection of the Messiah” DVD study and the Discovery Guide
Messiah and the Resurrection

Have you seen any Ray Vander Laan lessons before?

 What are your favorites?  

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