Christy

An Animated Explanation of Holy Spirit by The Bible Project

The “Holy Spirit” is a phrase in the Bible used to describe the mystery and power of God’s personal presence. In this video we explore the original Hebrew meaning of the word “spirit/breath,” and how understanding this can help you see the storyline of the entire Bible in a whole new way. This video by The Bible Project explains more.

 

 

 

 

Video Transcript

0:01
If you have ever heard the phrase “the Holy Spirit”
0:04
and you want to know what it means,
0:05
where do you start?
0:06
Well, you have to start on page one of the Bible.
0:08
Where the uncreated world is depicted as this
0:11
dark chaotic place. But then, above the chaos
0:13
God’s Spirit is there, hovering, ready to bring about life and order and beauty.
0:18
Okay, but what is God’s Spirit?
0:20
Yeah, so the Spirit is the way the Biblical authors
0:23
talk about God’s personal presence.
0:25
The Hebrew word is Ruakh.
0:27
Ruu-a-achh? Yeah, you’ve gotta clear your throat at the end.
0:30
So, what is it?
0:31
Ruakh can refer to a number of different things,
0:34
but what they all have in common is energy.
0:36
Energy? How so?
0:38
So, there’s an invisible energy,
0:40
that makes the clouds move or the tree branches sway.
0:42
Right, wind. So in Hebrew,
0:44
that’s Ruakh. Okay!
0:46
Now, take a big breath, uwwshh!
0:48
So you feel that, inside you.
0:49
Yeah, the air?
0:50
Well, specifically the energy,
0:52
right, the vitality in your body that you get from
0:54
breathing, deeply,
0:56
that too is, Ruakh.
0:58
And this is the same word
1:00
used in the Bible, to describe God’s
1:02
personal presence.
1:03
Just like wind and breath are invisible,
1:05
God’s spirit, is invisible.
1:07
Wind is powerful, and so God’s spirit is powerful.
1:11
And just as breath keeps us alive
1:13
so God’s spirit sustains all of life.
1:16
Yeah! Ruakh.
1:17
Now,
1:18
as we continue on in the story of the Bible
1:20
We see God’s ruakh giving special empowerment to people for specific tasks.
1:25
The first person in the Bible that happens to
1:27
is Joseph
1:27
1:28
God’s spirit enables him to understand and interpret dreams.
1:31
And then it happens to this guy named “Betsaleel” and he’s an artist!
1:34
God’s spirit empowers him with wisdom and skills.
1:37
He’s given creative genius to make beautiful things in the tabernacle.
1:41
And we also see God’s ruakh empower a group of people called “the prophets”.
1:46
They’re able to see what’s happening in history from God’s point of view.
1:49
That’s exactly right!
1:50
And here’s the problem as the prophet saw it.
1:53
While God’s ruakh had created a really good world
1:57
humans have given in to evil.
1:59
They’ve unleashed chaos into it through their injustice.
2:02
A new type of disorder.
2:03
Yes.
2:04
And the prophet said the spirit would come,
2:06
just like in Genesis 1,
2:08
but now, to transform the human heart,
2:10
to empower people to truly love God and others.
2:14
How will this new active God spirit happen?
2:16
Well, centuries past and we’re introduced to Jesus.
2:20
And at the beginning of his mission,
2:21
there’s a beautiful scene where Jesus is being baptized in the waters of the Jordan river.
2:26
Yeah, the sky opens up and God’s spirit comes and rests on him like a bird.
2:31
The story sang that God’s spirit is empowering Jesus to begin the new creation.
2:36
And we see this happening when he heals people or forgives their sins.
2:40
He’s creating life where there once was death.
2:44
Now, Israel’s religious leaders oppose Jesus and they eventually have him killed.
2:48
But even here, God’s spirit is at work.
2:51
The earliest disciples of Jesus who saw him alive from the dead
2:54
said it was God’s energizing spirit that raised Jesus.
2:59
This is the beginning of new creation.
3:01
Yes, and it is still going.
3:03
When Jesus appeared to his closest followers,
3:05
he breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
3:09
And soon after that, the Spirit powerfully comes on all of his disciples.
3:13
So that they can become a part of this new creation
3:17
and share the good news and learn how to live by the energy and influence of God’s spirit.
3:23
And so today, the spirit is still hovering in dark places.
3:27
Yes, pointing people to Jesus,
3:29
transforming and empowering them so they can love God and others.
3:34
And the Christian hope is that the Spirit is going to finish the job.
3:37
The story of the Bible ends with a vision of a new humanity
3:41
living in a new world that’s permeated with God’s love and life-giving spirit.
Christy

The Book of Genesis Ch. 12-50 Explained with Illustrations by The Bible Project

In part 2 of the illustrated explanation of Genesis, we will get an overview of the key people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. God promises to bless Abraham’s family line, so the rest of Genesis explores the events of Abraham’s family. Genesis doesn’t gloss over things, either. It portrays flawed, sinful people, but it also depicts how God works in and among them, even at their worst.

This ought to be a great comfort to us because we know ourselves to be flawed, sinful people. There is hope for us, too, because just as God worked through Abraham’s family, He will work through us despite our weaknesses.

 

 

 

 

Download a Free Digital Copy of the Poster from the Video

These illustrated charts are so helpful, I encourage you to download a copy for personal study. It’s free! Courtesy of The Bible Project.

[button link=”https://thebibleproject.com/product/genesis-poster/” color=”purple” newwindow=”yes”] Genesis Poster[/button]

 

 

Video Transcript

0:04
The book of Genesis. In the first video we saw how chapters 1 through 11 set up
0:08
the basic storyline of the Bible. God has created all things and he makes humans
0:13
in His image to rule the world on his behalf. The humans choose sin and
0:18
rebellion and so the world spins out of control into violence and death all
0:22
leading up to the rebellion and scattering of the people in Babylon.
0:26
And so the big question is what is God going to do to rescue and redeem his world?
0:31
Well out of that scattering at Babylon, the author traces the genealogy of just one
0:36
family that leads eventually to a man named Abram, later known as Abraham.
0:42
And God’s promise to Abraham at the beginning of chapter 12 opens up a whole
0:46
new movement in the story. God calls Abraham to leave his home and go to the
0:49
land of Canaan which God says will become his one day. And in that land, God
0:54
promises to make Abraham into a great nation, to make his name great and bless him.
0:59
Now these promises are connected back to earlier parts of the book.
1:03
So Babylon had arrogantly tried to make a great name for itself and that didn’t go
1:09
very well. But God in his generosity is going to bestow a great name on this
1:14
no-name guy, Abraham, and God’s blessing of Abraham echoes all the way back to
1:20
that original blessing God gave humanity in the beginning. So the question is: “Why
1:24
is God going to blessed Abraham and his family?” And the last line of God’s
1:29
promise makes this clear: “So that all the families of the earth will find God’s
1:34
blessing in you.” Now this is key for understanding the whole rest of the
1:38
biblical story. God’s plan is to rescue and bless his rebellious world through
1:43
Abraham’s family and this is why the whole rest of the Old Testament story is
1:48
just going to focus on this one family,
1:50
eventually called the people of Israel. This is also why Israel will
1:54
later be called a kingdom of priests at Mount Sinai. God wants to use them to
1:58
show all of the other nations what he’s like and ultimately this is the promise
2:03
that gets picked up by the later biblical prophets and poets who say that
2:07
its fulfillment will come through Israel’s messianic king,
2:10
whose reign will bring justice and peace to all of the nations. Now at this
2:15
point of the story, none of that is clear.
2:18
You just have to keep reading and watch the promise develop.
2:21
And so the rest of the book focuses on Abraham and his family. First Abraham
2:25
himself, then his son Isaac and then his son Jacob and then Jacob’s twelve sons.
2:31
And the stories about each generation, they’re united by two main themes.
2:35
So first, each generation of Abraham’s family is marked by repeated failure.
2:40
They just keep making really bad decisions that mess up their lives and
2:44
put God’s promise in jeopardy.
2:46
However God remains faithful to them. He keeps rescuing them from themselves and
2:52
reaffirming his commitment to bless them and bless the nations through them
2:56
despite their failings. So the Abraham stories – God had promised Abraham huge
3:01
family – but on two different occasions he’s afraid for his life because other
3:05
men are attracted to his wife and so he denies that he’s even married to her,
3:09
which creates, of course, all of these problems. And not only that, Abraham and
3:14
his wife Sarah they can’t have children and so Sarah arranges for Abraham to
3:18
sleep with one of their servant girls, which also creates all of these problems
3:22
in the family. But each time God bales Abraham out and in chapters 15 and 17 God
3:28
even formalizes his promise to Abraham with an official commitment called
3:32
a covenant. This is a classic scene. God invites Abraham to look up at the night
3:37
stars and to count them and he says that’s how numerous your family’s going to be.
3:42
And despite all of the odds – having no kids and no way to have any at the
3:46
moment, Abraham looks up in the sky and simply trusts God’s promise. And God
3:52
responds by entering into a covenant with Abraham, promising that he will
3:57
become a father of many nations, that God’s blessing may come to the whole world.
4:02
And then God asked Abraham to mark his family with a sign of the covenant:
4:06
circumcision of all the male boys in the family. This is a symbol to remind them
4:11
that the fruitfulness of their family is a gift from God. And so Abraham has lots
4:17
of kids eventually and he dies at a good old age.
4:20
Now the Jacob stories play out these themes even more dramatically. From birth,
4:24
Jacob lives up to the meaning of his name, which is “deceiver”. He cheats his
4:28
brother Esau out of his inheritance and blessing and he does it by deceiving his old
4:33
blind father no less, and then he just takes off. He goes on to take four
4:38
wives even though he really only loves one, Rachel and this creates all of these
4:43
rivalries in the family.
4:45
The only thing that humbles Jacob is being deceived by his uncle Laban, who
4:51
cheats him out of years of his life.
4:53
The tables have finally turned. And so it’s a humbled Jacob that returns to his homeland.
4:58
In a very strange story Jacob ends up wrestling with God as he demands that
5:05
God bless him. Some things never really change, do they? However, God honors his
5:10
determination and he passes Abraham’s blessing on to him and he renamed Jacob
5:15
as Israel, which means “wrestles with God.” Now it’s this last part of the book the
5:21
story of Jacob sons where all the themes come to a head. Jacob loves his second to
5:26
youngest son Joseph more than any of the others and he gives him a special jacket.
5:30
And the 10 older sons come to hate Joseph and so they kidnap him and
5:34
they plan to kill him, but instead they decide to just sell him into slavery in
5:39
Egypt where he ends up in prison. Talk about family failure. But God is with
5:45
Joseph and He orchestrates Joseph’s release from prison and Pharaoh ends up
5:50
elevating Joseph to second in command over all of Egypt. And so Joseph saves
5:55
the nation of Egypt during a famine and he also ends up saving his brothers and
5:59
his family from starving to death. And so once again we can see the folly and the
6:04
sin of Abraham’s family is met with God’s faithfulness, who subverts even the
6:10
evil of the brothers into an occasion to save life. And this is actually what
6:15
Joseph says right near the end of the book. He says to his brother’s, “You planned
6:19
this for evil but God planned it for good, to save many lives.” Now these words
6:26
are strategically placed at the end of the book because they summarize not only
6:30
the story of Joseph and his brothers, but the book as a whole.
6:33
From Genesis 3 onward, humans keep acting selfishly and doing evil but
6:39
this God does not going to leave his world to its own devices. He remains
6:43
faithful and determined to bless people despite their failures. You can see this
6:48
especially in how that mysterious promise about the descendant of the
6:51
woman gets developed throughout the book. So remember Genesis 3? God promised
6:56
that this wounded Victor would come and crush the snake and defeat evil at its source.
7:01
And the author then connects this promise directly to the line of Abraham.
7:06
This is a part of how God’s gonna bring his blessing to the nations. Now from
7:11
Abraham this promise gets connected to Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. And this is how.
7:16
In an extremely important poem in chapter 49, an aging Jacob, he’s on his
7:22
deathbed, he wants to bless his twelve sons and when he comes to Judah, Jacob
7:27
predicts that Judah will become the tribe of Israel’s royal leaders and that
7:31
one day a king will come who will command the obedience of all the nations
7:36
and fulfill God’s promise to restore the garden blessing to all of the world.
7:41
And then after this Jacob dies and later Joseph dies too. So the growing family
7:47
remains in Egypt and so the book of Genesis ends with all of these future
7:53
hopes and promises left hanging and undeveloped. And it forces you to turn
7:57
the page to see how it’s all going to turn out. But for now that’s the book of Genesis.
Christy

The Book of Genesis Ch. 1-11 Explained with Illustrations by The Bible Project

You’re probably familiar with at least some of the contents of the Book of Genesis, but do you know how each of the parts relate to the overall scheme of what God is doing in the world? Most of us have a difficult time seeing the big picture of things happening in the Bible.

Fortunately, the guys at The Bible Project have put together a great explanation of Genesis. And it includes an illustrated chart!

 

 

 

Download a Free Digital Copy of the Poster from the Video

These illustrated charts are so helpful, I encourage you to download a copy for personal study. It’s free! Courtesy of The Bible Project.

[button link=”https://thebibleproject.com/product/genesis-poster/” color=”purple” newwindow=”yes”] Genesis Poster[/button]

 

Video Transcript

0:03
The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible and it’s storyline divides into two main parts
0:09
There’s chapters 1-11, which tell the story of God and the whole world, and then there’s chapters 12-50
0:15
which zoom in and tell the story of God and just one man, Abraham, and then his family.
0:20
And these two parts are connected by a hinge story at the beginning of chapter 12.
0:25
And this design, it gives us a clue as to how to understand the message of the book as a whole and how it
0:30
introduces the story of the whole Bible. So the book begins with God taking the disorder and the
0:36
darkness described in the second sentence of the Bible and God brings out of it order and beauty and
0:42
goodness and he makes out of it a world where life can flourish. And God makes these creatures called humans
0:48
or “adam,” in Hebrew. He makes them in his image, which has to do with their role and purpose in God’s world.
0:56
So humans are made to be reflections of God’s character out into the world.
1:01
And they’re appointed as God’s representatives to rule his world on his behalf, which in context
1:07
means to harness all its potential, to care for it, and make it where even more life can flourish.
1:14
God blesses the humans. It’s a key word in this book. And he gives them a garden, a place from which they
1:20
begin starting to build this new world. Now the key is that the humans have a choice about how they’re
1:26
going to go about building this world and that’s represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
1:31
Up till now, God has provided and defined what is good and what is not good. But now God is giving humans the
1:38
dignity and the freedom of a choice: Are they going to trust God’s definition of good and evil or are they
1:44
going to seize autonomy and define good and evil for themselves? And the stakes are really high.
1:49
To rebel against God is to embrace death because you’re turning away from the giver of life himself.
1:56
This is represented by the Tree of Life. And so in chapter 3, a mysterious figure, a snake, enters into the story.
2:03
The snake’s given no introduction other than it’s a creature that God made.
2:08
And it becomes clear that it’s a creature in rebellion against God and it wants to lead the humans into rebellion and their death.
2:15
The snake tells a different story about the tree and the choice.
2:19
It says that seizing the knowledge of good and evil are not going to bring death and that it’s actually the
2:25
way to life and becoming like God themselves. Now the irony of this is tragic because we know the humans
2:31
are already like God–they were made to reflect God’s image. But instead of trusting God, the humans seize autonomy,
2:38
they take the knowledge of good and evil for themselves, and in an instant the whole story
2:44
spirals out of control. The first casualty is human relationships. The man and the woman
2:49
they suddenly realize how vulnerable they are. Now they can’t even trust each other. And so they make clothes
2:54
and they hide their bodies from one another. The second casualty is that intimacy between God and humans is
3:01
lost. So they go, run, and hide from God. And then when God finds them, they start this game of
3:07
blame-shifting about who rebelled first. Now right here this story stops and there’s a series of short poems
3:13
where God declares to the snake, and then to the humans, the tragic consequences of their actions.
3:19
God first tells the snake that despite it’s apparent victory, it is destined for defeat, to eat dust.
3:26
God promises that one day a seed, or a descendant, will come from the woman, who’s going to deliver a lethal strike to the snakes head.
3:35
Which sounds like great news, but this victory is going to come with a cost because the snake, too,
3:40
will deliver a lethal strike to the descendant’s heal as it’s being crushed.
3:45
It’s a very mysterious promise of this wounded victor. But in the flow of the story so far, you see that
3:52
this is an act of God’s grace. The humans, they’ve just rebelled. And what does God do?
3:56
He promises to rescue them. But this doesn’t erase the consequences of the humans’ decision.
4:02
So God informs them that now every aspect of their life together–at home, in the field–it’s going to be
4:09
fraught with grief and pain because of the rebellion, all leading to their death.
4:15
From here, the story then spirals downward. Chapters 3-11, they trace the widening ripple effect
4:21
of the rebellion and of human relationships fracturing at every level.
4:26
So there’s the story of two brothers, Cain and Abel. Cain is so jealous of his brother that he wants to murder him.
4:32
And God warns him not to give in to the temptation but he does anyway. He murders him in the field.
4:37
So Cain then goes on to build a city where violence and oppression reign. And this is all epitomized in this story
4:44
of Lamech. He’s the first man in the Bible to have more than one wife. He’s accumulating them like property.
4:50
And then he goes on to sing a short song about how he’s more violent and vengeful than Cain ever was.
4:57
After this we get an odd story about the “sons of God, ” which could refer to evil, angelic beings,
5:04
or it could refer to ancient kings who claimed that they descended from the gods.
5:10
And like Lamech, they acquired as many wives as they wanted and they produced the Nephilim, these great warriors of old.
5:17
Whichever view is right, the point is that humans are building kingdoms that fill God’s world with violence and even more corruption.
5:25
In response, we are told that God is broken with grief, humanity is ruining his good world and they’re ruining each other.
5:32
And so out of a passion to protect the goodness of his world, he washes it clean of humanity’s evil with a great flood.
5:39
But he protects one blameless human–Noah, and his family. And he commissions him as a new Adam.
5:46
He repeats the divine blessing and commissions him to go out into the world. And so our hopes are really high
5:52
but then Noah fails too. and also in a garden. He goes and he plants a vineyard and he gets drunk out of his mind.
5:59
And then one of his sons, Ham, does something shameful to his father in the tent. And so, here we have our new “adam,” naked and ashamed,
6:08
just like the first. And the downward spiral begins again. It all leads to the foundation of the city of Babylon.
6:15
The people of ancient Mesopotamia, they come together around this new technology they have–the brick.
6:21
And they can make cities and towers bigger and faster than anybody’s ever done before. And they want to build
6:26
a new kind of tower that will reach up to the gods and they will make a great name for themselves.
6:32
It’s an image of human rebellion and arrogance. It’s the garden rebellion now writ large.
6:39
And so God humbles their pride and scatters them. Now this is a diverse group of stories but you can see
6:47
they’re all exploring the same basic point: God keeps giving humans the chance to do the right thing
6:54
with his world and humans keep ruining it. These stories are making a claim that we live in a good world that we have turned bad–
7:03
that we’ve all chosen to define good and evil for ourselves and so we all contribute
7:08
to this world of broken relationships, leading to conflict, and violence, and ultimately death.
7:15
But there’s hope. God promised that one day a descendant would come–
7:20
the wounded victor who will defeat evil at its source. And so despite humanity’s evil, God is determined to bless and rescue his world.
7:29
And so the big question is, of course, “What is God going to do?” And the next story, the hinge, offers the answer.
7:36
But for now, that’s what Genesis 1-11 is all about.
Christy

Animated Explanation of ‘Heaven & Earth’ by The Bible Project

This video made me laugh out loud in a couple spots. Perhaps you will, too. Besides being funny, it’s a very helpful explanation of the concept of heaven and earth in the Bible. The great folks at The Bible Project merge great theology (Bible teaching about God) with fantastic graphics to create fun and educational videos. Enjoy! Learn! Grow!

 

 

 

 

Video Transcript

0:01
>> Tim:: So, in the bible the ideas of Heaven and Earth are ways of talking about God’s
0:06
space and our space.
0:06
>> Jon: So I understand our space really well. We live here. There are trees, rivers, mountains.
0:11
But my understanding of God’s space gets a little fuzzy.
0:14
>> Tim:: And what we do get in the bible are images, trying to help us grasp God’s space,
0:20
which is basically inconceivable to us.
0:22
>> Jon: So these are two very different types of spaces.
0:25
>> Tim: Yes, they’re different in their nature, but here’s what is really interesting.
0:29
It’s that in the Bible these are not always separate spaces.
0:33
So think of Heaven and Earth as different dimensions that can overlap in the same exact
0:38
space.
0:38
>> Jon: So we talk a lot about going to heaven after we die,
0:43
but this idea of Heaven and Earth overlapping, we don’t talk a lot about that.
0:47
>> Tim: Which is kinda crazy because the union of Heaven and Earth is what the story of the
0:52
Bible is all about, how they were once fully united, and then
0:56
driven apart, and about how God is bringing them back together again.
1:00
>> Jon: So let’s go back to the beginning. Where Heaven and Earth there completely overlapping?
1:04
>> Tim: Yeah, this is what the Bible’s description of the Garden of Eden is all about.
1:09
It’s a place where God and Humanity dwelt together perfectly, no separation, and humans
1:15
then partner with God in building a flourishing beautiful world and so on.
1:20
>> Jon: But as humans we wanted to do things a different way.
1:24
We wanted God out and we wanted to create a world apart from Him
1:28
>> Tim: Yeah so we have these two spaces now and the Bible actually uses lots of different
1:33
kinds of words and phrases to refer to these two spaces to make a clear distinction.
1:38
>> Jon: So you’ve said that these spaces can overlap though, so explain how that works.
1:44
>> Tim: This is where we have to start talking about temples, because in the biblical world
1:49
you experience God’s presence by going to a temple.
1:53
That’s where Heaven and Earth overlap.
1:55
>> Jon: Now there’s two types of temples described in the Bible. One is a tabernacle,
2:00
basically a tent that was built by Moses. And the other was this massive building made
2:05
by Solomon.
2:06
>> Tim: And these temples were decorated with fruit trees and flowers and images of angels
2:11
and all kinds of gold and jewels and so on. And these are designed to make you feel like
2:16
you’re going back to the garden. And at the center of the temple was a place
2:20
called the holy of holies, which was like the hotspot of God’s presence.
2:24
>> Jon: Now we can go and be with God again.
2:27
>> Tim: But not so fast, because the temple also creates a problem.
2:31
So God’s space is full of His presence and goodness and justice and beauty,
2:36
but human’s space is full of sin and injustice and ugliness that results.
2:42
>> Jon: So how do these spaces overlap if they’re so different and they’re in conflict
2:45
with each other?
2:46
>> Tim: This was resolved through animal sacrifice.
2:49
>> Jon: Yeah that’s kinda weird. What do animal sacrifices have to do with this?
2:54
>> Tim: Yeah the idea is this: animal sacrifices, somehow they absorb the sin when the animal
3:01
dies in your place and it creates a clean space, so to speak, where you are now free
3:07
to enter into the temple and be in God’s presence.
3:10
>> Jon: Ok so if I’m an Israelite and I live in Jerusalem, I might be able to be in
3:15
God’s presence, but you said the story of the Bible is all of Heaven and Earth reuniting?
3:20
>> Tim: Right, so we have to keep going in the story where we come to Jesus in the New
3:24
Testament. And in the Gospel of John, we hear this claim that God became human in Jesus
3:31
and made his dwelling among us. The word “dwelling” is really curious. It literally means he set
3:39
up a tabernacle among us. So what John is claiming right here is that Jesus is a temple.
3:45
He is now the place where Heaven and Earth overlap.
3:48
>> Jon: What’s interesting about Jesus is that He isn’t staying this safe, clean space.
3:53
He’s running around hanging out with sinners. He’s healing people of their sicknesses,
3:57
and forgiving people of their sins.
3:59
>> Tim: He’s basically creating little pockets of Heaven where people can be in God’s presence,
4:04
but He’s doing it out there in the middle of the world of sin and death.
4:08
>> Jon: And He keeps telling everyone that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
4:11
>> Tim: And He even told his followers to pray regularly that God’s kingdom come and
4:17
His will be done here on Earth just as it is in Heaven.
4:21
>> Jon: But a lot of people are threatened by Jesus and they kill Him, which seems to
4:27
spoil this whole plan to reunite Heaven and Earth.
4:30
>> Tim: But, we have to go back to a scene earlier in Jesus’ story where John the Baptist
4:35
saw Jesus and said, “Behold this is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the
4:41
world!”
4:42
>> Jon: So Jesus isn’t just talked about as being a temple, He’s also talked about
4:46
as being the temple sacrifice.
4:48
>> Tim: Yeah so the cross is now the place where Jesus absorbs sin to create a clean
4:55
space that is not limited like animal sacrifices. Jesus’ sacrifice has the power to keep spreading
5:02
and spreading and reuniting more and more of Heaven and Earth.
5:05
>> Jon: This is all really great but it leaves one big question in my mind, which is what
5:10
happens when I die? Don’t I just fly over to God’s space and be with Jesus?
5:15
>> Tim: Yeah so a few times in the New Testament we learn that Christians will be with Jesus
5:20
in Heaven after they die,  but that is not the focus of the Bible’s story. The focus
5:25
is on how Heaven and Earth are being reunited through Jesus and will be completely brought
5:31
together one day when He returns. In the book of Revelation we get this beautiful image
5:36
of the garden of Eden, now in the form of a city, coming to end the age of sin and death
5:43
by redeeming all of human history in a renewed creation and God’s space and Human’s space
5:49
completely overlap once again.
Christy

Animated Explanation of Sacrifice and Atonement by The Bible Project

Sacrifice and atonement. These aren’t things we talk about much, but they are important concepts in the Bible. For us to understand our salvation in Christ, we must understand the meaning of sacrifice and atonement. So let’s do this the fun way and enjoy this animated short video produced by the guys at The Bible Project.

 

 

 

 

Video Transcript

0:00
we all long for the world to be good for people to live in peace
0:04
act with love and justice but there’s a problem
0:08
something compels us humans to constantly wreak havoc and destruction
0:12
instead and we call this evil and from the Bible’s point of view, evil ruins
0:17
things in at least two ways. There’s a direct effect of our evil like when someone
0:22
steals from another person they’ve created injustice therefore they owe something
0:28
to make it right but there’s another indirect effect of evil because
0:31
they’ve also ruined the environment of the relationship creating a lack of
0:36
trust there’s emotional damage it’s like vandalism and they need to make that
0:41
right too. Now many people believe ‘Hey God is good
0:45
he should be the one to just get rid of all the evil in the world.’ But let’s be honest I mean
0:49
the evil that I see everywhere
0:51
out there it’s the same evil that’s inside of me. We have all contributed and
0:56
we keep doing it. So this kind of puts us in a bind if God’s going to rid the
1:00
world of evil, he’ll have to get rid of us. And this is what’s so remarkable about the story
1:05
of the Bible. This God is so good
1:07
that not only is he going to rid the world of evil he’s going to do it
1:11
without destroying humanity. So how is he going to do that? Well early in the story
1:16
of the Bible we’re introduced to this practice of animal sacrifice which I
1:21
know seems weird to us but for the Israelites it was a very powerful symbol
1:26
of God’s justice and of His grace. So remember I’m a contributor to the evil
1:31
that’s in the world I should be removed. But God is allowing this animal’s life
1:36
to be a substitute. It symbolically dying in my place. And the biblical word for this is atonement,
1:43
which means to cover over someone’s death. But there’s a second part to this ritual
1:48
remember evil also causes this relational vandalism and in the Bible this
1:53
idea is described as polluting or defiling the land and making it unclean
1:58
so the priest would symbolically wash away the vandalism by sprinkling the
2:03
animal’s blood in different parts of the temple. So the animal’s blood is
2:06
cleaning things? Well, remember this is a symbol and it’s a symbol that we’re not
2:10
used to. The blood represents life and the sprinkling of the blood is this
2:16
representation of how God is cleaning away these indirect consequences of
2:21
evil in their community. In the Bible this process is called purification and
2:26
so the temple in the land now become a clean space where God and His people can
2:30
live together in peace
2:32
So this ritual makes things right between Israel and God? And more than
2:36
that! The Israelites experience God’s love and His grace through these symbols and by
2:41
being forgiven ideally this would compel them to become people of love and grace
2:46
that’s the ideal but
2:48
it wasn’t always happening right so the prophet Isaiah for example he talks a
2:53
lot about this he opens his book by saying that the continual sacrifices of
2:57
the Israelites had become meaningless because they were also allowing great
3:02
evil in their midst. Ignoring the poor and the oppressed even the Israelite
3:06
kings were distorting justice. But Isaiah looked forward to a day when a new king from
3:11
the line of David would come and deal with evil but in a surprising way the
3:17
King would become a servant and not just serve but also suffer and die for the
3:22
evil committed by his own people and his life would be offered as a sacrifice
3:27
this is the promise of Jesus believed he was fulfilling he’s the king of Israel
3:33
suffering and dying on the cross. In fact, Jesus himself used Isaiah’s words when he said
3:38
that he came to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. And that word ransom
3:43
refers to the sacrifice of atonement and so all over the New Testament we hear
3:48
about how Jesus’ death was an atoning sacrifice for us. It covered the debt that
3:54
humans owe God for contributing to all of the evil and death in His world but the
3:59
new testament authors also talk about Jesus death as providing purification
4:02
and so we hear about Jesus’ blood as a symbol of his life having this ability
4:07
to wash away the vandalism that evil has caused in and around us so we can
4:13
now live at peace with God so that’s the meaning behind Jesus’ death but there’s
4:19
more to the story. Yeah, the New Testament makes this powerful claim that Jesus’s
4:23
death was not final
4:25
he rose from the dead
4:27
and so he’s the sacrifice who broke the power of death and evil which means that
4:33
he lives on to offer his life to anyone who will accept it he is the perfect sacrifice
4:37
to it which all the previous sacrifices were pointing all along. So because of Jesus
4:42
the early Christians stopped participating in the ritual animal
4:46
sacrifice. But they were given new rituals there are two that Jesus taught his
4:50
followers to perform the first is called baptism. Just as Jesus died so going
4:57
into the water becomes this personal connection you now have to his death and
5:02
in coming out of the water you so to speak
5:05
come back to life with Jesus baptism is the sacred ritual that joins your story
5:10
to Jesus’s death and resurrection the second rituals called the Lord’s Supper
5:15
which is a reenactment of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and he use bread
5:20
and wine to portray his coming death as a sacrifice and so now followers of
5:26
Jesus they take the bread and the cup regularly to remember and to participate
5:31
in the power of Jesus’ death and in his life so these rituals they remind us of
5:37
God’s love and encourage us to live a life love and grace but they do more
5:42
than that they connect us to a new life source the very power that brought Jesus
5:47
back from the dead is the same power that can deal with the evil in our own
5:52
lives and transform us into people who lead lives of love and peace.
5:57
Hi this is Tim! And this is Jon! And we believe the Bible is telling one overall
6:04
story from beginning to end and so we’re making videos about each individual book
6:09
of the Bible its unique design and message and then how it fits into that
6:12
overall storyline we also make videos we take one biblical theme we trace it from
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at www.jointhebibleproject.com
Christy

An Animated Explanation of The Law by The Bible Project

There are 613 Laws in the Old Testament. Yikes! That’s a lot to remember and obey. Thankfully, in Jesus, we don’t have to obey “The Law” but only the law of love. If the 613 laws did anything, they demonstrated that no amount of rules will change our behavior. Only a changed heart can do that. The folks at The Bible Project visualize the story of the Law and how it is fulfilled in Jesus.

 

 

 

Video Transcript

0:00
You’re most likely familiar with the Ten Commandments in the Bible stuff we
0:03
generally take as good advice don’t murder, don’t steal, honor your parents the list
0:08
goes on and those are just the first 10 they’re actually a total of six hundred
0:11
and thirteen commands all given to ancient Israel found in the first five
0:15
books of the Bible which in hebrew are called the torah now the word Torah is
0:19
usually translated in english as the law because it has all of these laws in it
0:24
as you read through them you wonder am I supposed to obey some of these all of these
0:29
and what’s the purpose of the law well that translation is kind of confusing
0:33
because while the torah has laws in it the book itself is fundamentally a story
0:39
about how God is creating new kinds of people who are fully able to love God
0:43
and love others and when Jesus taught about the torah he said he was bringing that
0:48
story to its fulfillment. So walk me through the story and how it’s fulfilled. So the
0:54
story begins with God creating humanity who rebels and God chooses Abraham to bless
1:00
all of the nations through his family who end up in slavery down in Egypt and so
1:05
Guard rescues them then at Mount Sinai God makes a covenant with Israel like an
1:10
agreement
1:11
and all the laws that Moses gives to Israel are the terms of that agreement
1:15
they’re like a constitution. So some of the laws they are about rituals and customs
1:19
that set Israel apart from the nation other laws are about social justice or
1:24
morality and by following these Israel would show the other nations what God is
1:28
like. Okay so the rest of the Torah is just the complete list of laws that Moses
1:33
gives Israel? No, the rest of the Torah just continues the story and the six
1:38
hundred and thirteen commands are only a selection from that original
1:41
Constitution and even these have been broken up and placed at strategic points
1:46
within the story now pay attention because you’ll see a really clear
1:50
pattern Moses gives the first laws to Israel. Don’t worship other gods and don’t make idols and
1:55
then right after that there’s a story of Israel breaking those very laws they
1:59
worship the golden calf and so Moses gives some more laws and then you get
2:03
more stories of rebellion. Some more laws, rebellion again, more laws more
2:08
rebellion and you start to see the point right no matter how many laws they’re
2:12
just gonna continue to rebel. So at the conclusion of the torah’s story of
2:16
Moses gives this final speech to Israel as they prepared to go into their new
2:20
home and he tells them you guys I know that you’re not going to follow all of
2:24
God’s laws you’ve proven to me that you’re incapable and Moses says the
2:29
problem is that the hearts are hard and that they’re going to need new
2:32
transformed hearts if they’re ever going to truly follow God’s law and he was
2:37
right to me the story goes on to recount Israel’s total failure. They go into the
2:41
land they break all the laws. Right now the next section of books in the Jewish
2:45
tradition are the fifteen books of the Prophets and they reflect back on the
2:49
story for example Ezekiel he said that if Israel is ever going to obey the law
2:54
God’s Spirit would have to transform their hard hearts into soft hearts and
2:59
Jeremiah said that’s when obedience to God’s commands
3:02
wouldn’t feel like a duty that they would be written deep in their hearts
3:06
and Isaiah he promised a future leader Israel’s Messiah who will lead all of
3:11
the people in obedience to the law. Now in Jewish tradition all of these books
3:16
together are called the prophets even historical books because they’re
3:19
continuing the story told from the perspective of the profits ok so we have
3:24
the law and the prophets and they’re telling one connected story about God’s desire to
3:29
bless the whole world through a people Israel who it turns out needs a new
3:33
heart yes and Jesus saw himself as continuing that story so he agreed with
3:39
the law and the prophets when he taught that it’s out of the human heart that
3:43
come the most ugly parts of human nature is like the default setting of our
3:47
hearts is opposed to God’s law but Jesus also said that he came to solve that problem
3:52
and in his words to fulfill the law. So what does he mean there to fulfill the law? Well, first he said
3:58
that the demand of all of the laws in the Torah could be fulfilled by what he
4:02
called the great command, that we are to love God and love others. So that seems pretty easy
4:08
I mean we all want to love. Well, we think we want to love, but Jesus showed how love this far more
4:14
demanding than we realize.
4:16
So he quotes the law do not murder and he says yes not killing someone is very
4:20
loving thing to do, but then he also says that when you treat someone with
4:24
disrespect or when you nurse resentment against them you’re also violating God’s
4:28
moral ideal because you’re not treating that person with love. So Jesus said true love
4:33
ought to extend even to our own enemies so even though this command seems very
4:37
simple Jesus showed how our hearts are not currently equipped to fulfill even this
4:42
basic command of God to love others. And that’s kind of a downer. But where Israel
4:48
failed Jesus brought the story to it’s fulfillment as Israel’s Messiah he fully loved
4:54
God and others and he showed all of the nation’s what God is truly like. He did
4:58
this through his acts of compassion and mercy and ultimately by loving his
5:02
enemies even unto death and after his resurrection he told his followers that
5:07
he would send God’s Spirit to transform their hearts so that they could follow
5:11
him and fulfill the purpose of the law to love God and to love their neighbor. So
5:17
this fulfills the story of the law and the prophets. Or, in the words of the
5:21
Apostle Paul the one who loves fulfills the law. This video was made possible by
5:29
over 1,300 people who chipped in and most of those are monthly givers to the
5:34
Bible project thank you guys so much! We make a lot of videos like this one the trace
5:39
a biblical theme from the beginning to the end of Scripture we’re also making
5:43
videos about every book of the Bible helping you learn about its design and
5:47
overall message we’re committed to keeping these videos free and we’re able
5:52
to do that because of your support if you want to see more videos and other
5:55
resources we have good to www.jointhebibleproject.com
Christy

The Book of Deuteronomy Overview by The Bible Project

As Israel reached the border of the Promised Land, Moses gathered the people and gave them one last speech. Deuteronomy records the contents of that speech.

By this time, the original generation who left Egypt has died in the wilderness so Moses is speaking to their children, a second generation who has never known anything but the wilderness experience. God has told Moses he cannot enter the Promised Land so Moses reviews the history of Israel and the laws of God for them. In fact, Deuteronomy means “Second Law” because it was the second time Moses told them the Law. Finally, Moses encourages them to choose life by listening to God and obeying Him as they enter the Promised Land.

The guys at The Bible Project have produced a short video explaining the contents of Deuteronomy.

 

 

 

 

This video briefly mentioned the Shema. For a more detailed explanation, watch this short video by The Bible Project on Shema – “Listen.”

 

Deuteronomy Outline

Chapters 1-11  Moses Reviews the Rebellion and Resistance of Israel

Chapters 12-26  Moses Explains and Clarifies Laws

Chapters 27-34  Moses Urges the New Generation to Listen and Love God

 

Video Transcript

0:00
the book of Deuteronomy the epic conclusion to the Torah and…Spoiler
0:04
Alert: “Moses is going to die!” Now in order to understand this book we need to
0:10
remember the story so far so Israel has escaped from slavery in Egypt then
0:14
they spend one year at Mount Sinai this is where they made the covenant
0:18
with God to obey all of these laws and then they wander around the desert for 40 years
0:22
before they make it to the Jordan River which is right across from the land God
0:26
promised them. They are ready to go in this is where the book of Deuteronomy begins and
0:30
what this book is really is a speech Moses gives these final words like a pep
0:35
talk to the new generation of Israel that’s about to go into the land and the
0:40
speech, it’s broken up into three large sections. So Moses begins the first part of
0:45
the speech with somber tone because he’s highlighting Israel’s rebellion and
0:49
resistance which has been going on for the last forty years and that sets up
0:53
the rest of the opening section which is Moses challenge to this new generation
0:57
to be different from their parents and to respond to God’s grace with love and
1:02
obedience
1:03
so he reminds them of the ten commandments like the basics of the covenant and then
1:08
he gives them this very famous line listen oh Israel the Lord is our God
1:12
the Lord alone love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul
1:18
and with all your strength. Now in Jewish tradition this is called the Shema
1:22
because the first Hebrew word in this line is Shema Israel and this became a
1:28
very important prayer in judaism said twice a day
1:32
and it emphasizes the Israelite’s exclusive commitment to their God the
1:36
one true God who loved them who rescued them from slavery because they’re about
1:40
to go into a land where people are worshipping many other gods and Moses
1:45
thinks that loyalty to the Lord their God is the only way to life now notice,
1:50
these keywords in the Shema: listen and love you are going to find these words all
1:55
over this opening section of the speech the word ‘listen’ in hebrew means more
1:59
than just let sound waves come into your ears it includes the idea of responding
2:04
to what you hear so for Israel this means responding to God’s grace by
2:08
obeying the laws of the covenant and then listen as always followed by love
2:12
ya so love is the true motivation for obeying the laws. Israel won’t obey
2:18
without love and they don’t truly love if they don’t obey. So there’s this tight
2:23
connection between loving and listening their runs through the entire book so
2:28
Moses tells them that if they do listen and love they will fulfill their
2:32
original calling as the family at Abraham to show all of the nation’s the wisdom
2:37
and justice of God and so become a blessing to them. The second big section
2:41
in Deuteronomy is a large block of laws and commands and this is where the
2:45
book gets its name
2:47
Deuteronomy means a second law and it’s because many of these laws we’ve heard
2:51
before in fact in the first line of the book we’re told that Moses is here
2:55
explaining clarifying the laws so he’s repeating an expanding on the laws
3:00
making them relevant to this new generation there’s laws about how
3:04
israel’s to worship God, laws about their leadership structure, laws about social justice
3:09
and then some more laws about their worship
3:12
now after all of the laws of Moses warns Israel of the consequences of their
3:16
obedience or disobedience or in his words the blessing for the curse if they
3:22
listen and love they will experience blessing and abundance in the land and if
3:27
they don’t there’s going to be famine plagues and they’ll be forced off their
3:31
land into exile and that brings us to the final section of his speech. Here
3:35
Moses says I set before you today
3:38
life or death blessing or curse so choose life but then things get really
3:44
interesting because after forty years with these people, Moses knows they’re not
3:49
going to obey and so he predicts their failure and even their future exile from
3:54
the promised land and he focuses on what he thinks is the true source of the
3:58
problem that they have hired and selfish hearts it’s as if israel is incapable of
4:03
truly loving God in a way that brings about obedience, but this problem isn’t
4:08
unique to Israel. Yeah, in fact
4:10
Moses when he’s using this language about blessing and curse he’s tying
4:14
Israel’s story all the way back to all humanity’s story from Genesis 1 through 3 so Adam
4:20
and Eve they were blessed by God just like Israel and given a choice to trust
4:24
and obey God like Israel and then they rebelled and brought a curse on the land
4:29
like Moses knows israel is going to do. And so these stories there about Israel’s hard
4:35
heart but they’re actually a window into the universal human condition. But Moses
4:40
doesn’t give up hope entirely that’s right he says that somehow on the other
4:45
side israel’s exile God promises to transform their heart so that one day
4:51
they truly can listen
4:52
and love. In the final chapters joshua has appointed as the new leader of
4:57
israel and then Moses takes the entire law code, the one he just predicted Israel
5:02
would break. Thats right and he put it into the ark of the covenant and then Moses
5:06
hikes up to the top of a mountain so we can see the promised land from afar
5:10
and then he dies and that’s how the torah ends which is a strange place to
5:15
end a story and it’s right there at the climax will they obey the laws and live
5:20
faithfully in the land or not. Well the story does continue right into Joshua the next
5:25
book of the Bible but this is the end of the Torah and it’s been ended here for a
5:30
reason
5:31
the Torah is written for people who are either outside of the land or who are
5:35
still waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise to bless the whole world
5:38
and so now as each generation reads the torah they find themselves called to
5:44
hope in what Moses hoped for: a new and transformed heart that one day can truly
5:50
listen and love.
5:55
Guys with this video the Torah series is complete it was two years in the making
5:59
we’re super happy with how they turned out and that because of you all they are
6:04
available to anybody. Here is why we’re doing this: We believe the Bible is one unified
6:08
story it leads to Jesus and it has profound wisdom for the world we hope that the
6:13
videos have been helpful for you and making sense and reading the Torah maybe
6:17
by yourself or with the small group or class we’ve been thrilled to see how
6:21
people been using this in their homes with their kids in schools, at churches all
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over the world you can download full resolution versions of all these videos
6:30
at jointheBibleproject.com and all kinds of other resources there to
6:35
all of this is for free because of a growing number of monthly supporters who
6:39
are you sharing this vision and helping us move forward so thanks a lot
Christy

The Book of Numbers Overview by The Bible Project

The Book of Numbers is Israel’s epic road trip through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. It’s like a 40-year long camping trip, filled with adventures. So the Book of Numbers is like an exciting travel log where things start out well and go terribly wrong along the way. In fact, the Hebrew title for Numbers means “In the Wilderness” so it’s less about the numbers and more about God leading His people through the wilderness.

Here, watch the guys from The Bible Project explain it with flair in this video.

 

 

 

 

Numbers Outline

Chapters 1-10  Wilderness Location: Mount Sinai

Chapters 10-12  Travel

Chapters 13-19  Wilderness Location: Paran

Chapters 20-21  Travel

Chapters 22-36  Wilderness Location: Moab

 

Video Transcript

0:00
Jon: The book of Numbers gets overlooked, partly because it has a really boring name…
0:04
Tim: which is a shame, in Hebrew tradition the book’s name is “bamidbar” ( במדבר)
0:08
which means, “in the wilderness”. Numbers is an epic travel log of Israel’s journey
0:12
through the desert on their way to the land promised to Abraham.
0:15
Jon: Now, this pilgrimage should only have taken about 2 weeks on foot.
0:19
Tim: But instead it takes them forty years.
0:21
Jon: That’s crazy. practically half of someone’s lifetime.
0:25
Tim: Yeah, it’s a very long camping trip with lots of interesting stories, BUT, lets remember,
0:30
it’s most helpful to start with how the book is designed.
0:33
Jon: Right.
0:34
Tim: So, the book is broken up into five sections. There are three different wilderness locations,
0:39
broken up by two road trips that link it all together.
0:43
Jon: OK, so the story starts in the wilderness at Mt Sinai, right here on the map.
0:47
Tim: Then in the second section they travel towards a region called Paran.
0:50
Jon: and then a whole bunch of things happen there, in the wilderness of Paran.
0:52
Tim: Then, in this fourth section, Israel’s road trip to Moab.
0:56
Jon: The book ends with a large section in the wilderness of Moab, right across the Jordan
1:00
river from the promised land.
1:02
Tim Now, through all these sections, the storyline flows like gripping, dramatic movie:
1:07
everything starts great, then the trip goes horribly wrong. But it ends with a final redemptive
1:13
moment, a surprising act of God’s grace.
1:15
Jon: So lets begin with the first act, Israel is at the wilderness at Mt. Sinai. We’ve
1:21
become really familiar with this Mt.
1:23
Tim: Yeah, if you remember Israel came here after Egypt, they formed a Covenant with God
1:27
here, got the 10 commandments here, built the tabernacle here,
1:30
they’ve been here for one full year.
1:33
Jon: and now they take a census to number the people as they prepare to leave.
1:37
Tim: right, and then they’re are given instructions for how organize themselves in the camp: God’s
1:41
presence in the tabernacle, then the tribe of Levi and the priests around it, then the
1:46
rest of the tribes around them. This pattern is a visual symbol of how God’s holiness
1:52
is at the center of their existence as a people.
1:53
Jon: And they are told that when the cloud of God’s presence moves on they are to pack
1:58
up and travel with it.
1:59
Tim: The ark of the covenant carried by the Levites is in front, then the tribe of Judah
2:03
and on and on. This order also a symbol how God’s holy presence is their leader and
2:10
guide.
2:10
Jon: So we begin the second section of this book with enthusiasm as they leave the Sinai
2:15
wilderness and travel up to Paran- God’s with them, everything is organized, everything
2:19
is going to be great!…
2:20
Tim: …but it’s not great. After just three days on the road they start to complaining
2:25
about their hunger and thirst, and even Moses’ brother and sister start badmouthing him in
2:30
front of everyone…
2:31
Jon: Not a great start. But now we’re in the 3rd section – the wilderness of Paran
2:37
– this is where they send 12 spies to scout out the promised land, two of the spies come
2:40
back really optimistic..
2:42
Tim: but the other ten are freaked out, they don’t trust God and say “we’re gonna
2:47
get annihilated” So they start a mutiny, and they try to appoint a new leader who will
2:52
take them back to Egypt. Basically, they are refusing to go into the promised land and
2:58
so God honors their choice and says that this generation of people will wander for 40 years
3:03
and die in the wilderness, and only their kids will get to enter the promised land.
3:07
Jon: You know, this story gets brought many times in the Bible
3:11
by different authors…
3:12
Tim: and always a reminder that while God remains faithful to his people, he will honor their
3:18
choices and let them waste their whole lives if they choose to live in rebellion.
3:23
Jon: OK, so this trip’s been a disaster so far.
3:27
Tim: it gets worse in this fourth section as they travel to Moab – even Moses has a
3:32
moment of rebellion, and is disqualified from entering the promised land. There’s another
3:36
rebellion among the people, the results in a snake attack
3:39
And what makes all these rebellions even worse, is that every step of the way,
3:45
God’s been providing, he offers forgiveness, he provides them food, water,
3:49
and this crazy stuff called ‘manna’…
3:51
Jon: What is that stuff?
3:52
Tim: No idea! But in spite of this they they complain and say they wish they had died
3:57
in Egypt.
3:58
Jon: If I was God I would give up on these guys
4:01
Tim: You would think, and that is what makes this story in the final section so surprising.
4:07
Israel just arrived in Moab. The King of Moab is freaked out that this huge of people traveling
4:12
through his land, so he hires this pagan sorcerer named Balaam to pronounce curses on them.
4:18
Jon: This dude means business.
4:19
Tim: yah, and Balaam says, “I’ll pray to the Hebrew God and we’ll see what happens”.
4:25
And three different times he attempts to curse them, but each time he finds he can only utter
4:31
blessing. Most surprising is the last blessing in which
4:34
he prophesies that out of Israel will arise a victorious king, and this King is somehow
4:39
connected to God’s promise to Abraham to bless all nations thru this family.
4:44
So, here is Israel rebelling down in the camp,
4:48
totally unaware that up in the hills God is protecting and blessing them.
4:53
Jon: So, the book ends here in Moab. They are ready to go into the promised land.
4:58
They count everyone up, again like at the beginning, as they leave behind the
5:01
old generation including Moses
5:03
Tim: But before they leave Moses, he leaves them his last words of warning and wisdom
5:07
and that speech is what the next book, Deuteronomy is all about.
6:01
the next book, Deuteronomy, is all about.
Christy

The Book of Leviticus Overview by The Bible Project

Leviticus is difficult to read, but its core message is amazing: God graciously provides a way for sinful, broken people to live near his holy presence so they can find wholeness and life.

In this video, the guys at The Bible Project introduce the idea of holiness, but if you’d like a fuller explanation of holiness, take time to watch An Animated Explanation of God’s Holiness.

 

 

 

 

Leviticus Outline

Chapters 1-7  Rituals (Sacrifices)

Chapters 8-10  Priesthood (Ordination)

Chapters 11-15  Purity Laws (Ritual Purity)

Chapters 16-17  Day of Atonement

Chapters 18-20  Purity Laws (Moral Purity)

Chapters 21-22  Priesthood (Higher Standards)

Chapters 23-27  Rituals (Sacred Days and Festivals)

 

Video Transcript

0:00
The book of Leviticus. We know you’ve been avoiding it cause it’s weird. So let’s fix that.
0:07
Now remember the story of the Bible began with humans in God’s presence,
0:11
but they were banished because of their rebellion.
0:13
However, God wants to be in relationship with us, so
0:17
He chooses one family that he will use to restore the world back into His presence.
0:22
Tim: And so God’s presence comes to dwell in a tent right in the middle of Israel…
0:26
Jon … and that’s great!
0:27
But it creates a problem: because it’s so intense that Moses can’t go in
0:31
and other priests who enter inappropriately… they die.
0:35
Well, wait, if God’s presence is good, how is it all of a sudden dangerous for people?
0:40
So think of it this way: God’s presence is like the sun –
0:43
it’s pure power and goodness.
0:45
And when something mortal and corruptible gets close to such pure power it’s destroyed.
0:51
And so the word “holiness” is used in Leviticus to describe God’s pure and powerful presence,
0:56
which like the sun is both good and dangerous.
1:00
So the point of Leviticus is to show how corrupt Israelites can live near God’s goodness
1:05
without being destroyed.
1:06
Now in the book there are three ways for how this is all going to work out
1:12
and these are gonna seem strange to you but just hang in there with us.
1:15
Jon: The first one is rituals,
1:17
the second is this idea of the priesthood,
1:19
and the third is a bunch of purity laws.
1:22
Tim: Now, the book is broken up into seven sections
1:25
each solution is explored in two sections of the book.
1:28
The Rituals are here. The Priests are here. And the Purity Laws go here.
1:33
Jon: Now the first solution, rituals, involves a lot of animal sacrifices.
1:38
And so Leviticus begins with detailed instructions for how to make these sacrifices.
1:43
Some are ways of saying “Thank You” to God
1:45
and others are simply ways of saying “I’m Sorry.”
1:48
Tim: And here at the end of the book there are some more rituals and these are about observing sacred days and festivals;
1:54
they are all celebrations that retell some part of the story of how God rescued Israel
1:59
and set them apart from the nations.
2:01
Jon: The second solution to the holiness problem has to do with priests.
2:06
You see, being directly in God’s presence is really dangerous,
2:09
so He appoints priests as special representatives who can go into His presence on behalf of others.
2:15
Tim: So in this section we have a story about how the priests are ordained into the priesthood.
2:20
And then this other section explains this set of higher standards the priests have to live by,
2:25
because they work so closely to God’s presence.
2:29
Jon: The third solution in this book is all about Purity Laws,
2:32
and this is by far the hardest thing to understand for example in this section
2:36
we’re really concerned with knowing whether you’re “clean” or “unclean”.
2:40
Tim: Or another way of saying that is being “pure” and “impure”.
2:44
Here’s what we need to know to understand this:
2:46
when you’re in a pure state you can be near God’s presence,
2:50
when you’re in an impure state you can’t.
2:53
And so it was really important for Israelites to know what state they’re in at any given moment.
2:58
Jon: So the first thing we have is a list of pure and impure animals.
3:02
Tim: Yah, this list of animals is divided up by where they live:
3:05
so, on the land
3:06
in the sea, in the air.
3:08
And the text is just not clear about why certain animals are impure
3:13
or why touching or eating them makes you impure.
3:15
What is clear, however, is that avoiding these creatures will set Israel apart,
3:19
and it will remind them that God’s own holiness should affect every part of their lives
3:25
including what they eat.
3:26
Jon: After the food laws we get a lot of random rules
3:28
about things like skin disease, touching dead bodies, what to do with bodily fluids…
3:33
Tim: …But they’re not random.
3:34
All of these are things that the Israelite’s associated with life and death,
3:39
which are sacred things because God is the author of life.
3:43
Jon: OK. But simply coming in contact with these things makes you impure?
3:48
Tim: They do, but we have to keep in mind that it’s not wrong or sinful to be ritually impure
3:54
– you just wait a few days, take a bath, offer a sacrifice, and you’re pure again.
3:58
What is inappropriate is entering into God’s presence when you’re in an impure state.
4:03
Jon: Now there’s more purity laws over here in this section.
4:06
Tim: Yah, these focus on Israel’s moral behavior.
4:09
So these are laws about social justice,
4:11
healthy relationships, having sexual integrity.
4:14
Living by these laws will make Israel into a morally pure people
4:19
who can live near God’s presence.
4:21
Jon: Those are the three solutions.
4:23
Now you’ve probably noticed that they surround the very center of this book,
4:27
and it’s here that we find a really important ritual called The Day of Atonement.
4:32
Tim: Yah, so Israel’s a big tribe now,
4:34
and odds are there’s a lot of sin happening that goes unnoticed that people are not deal with.
4:39
And so one time a year the priests would take two goats,
4:42
and one of those goats is killed
4:45
and its blood is carried right into God’s presence
4:48
where it symbolically covers, or atones for, Israel’s sin.
4:52
Jon: Yah, that’s kinda weird…
4:53
Tim: Well, the meaning of this sacrifice is explained in the next chapter
4:56
where God says that the blood of a creature is its life,
5:00
and so the goat’s life is offered as a substitute
5:04
– it’s receiving God’s punishment for Israel’s sin so that the people don’t have to.
5:09
Jon: That leaves the second goat.
5:11
Tim: Yeah, the priest puts his hands on it,
5:13
and then he confesses all the sins of Israel –
5:16
it’s like he’s placing the sins on the goat.
5:17
And then that goat gets cast out forever into the wilderness.
5:21
It’s called The Scapegoat.
5:22
Jon: Yeah, I’ve heard that word before.
5:24
Tim: Yeah, it’s this very powerful image of how God is graciously removing Israel’s sin.
5:30
Jon: But lets be honest, sacrifices in general it seem so barbaric.
5:34
Tim: Well, you have to remember that in the ancient world
5:37
sacrifices were the main way of buying favor from the gods.
5:41
But the problem was that those same gods they’re unpredictable,
5:45
they’re fickle, you never know if they’re gonna ignore you,
5:47
or are they going to turn on you.
5:48
So it’s in this cultural setting that we see Israel’s God as totally different.
5:54
He does get angry about human corruption but it is never arbitrary.
5:58
And He loves people,
6:00
so He provides this clear way for Israel to know with confidence that they are forgiven,
6:06
and that despite their corruption they are safe to live near His presence.
6:11
And so that makes the book of Leviticus actually
6:14
a revolutionary statement in its day.
6:16
Jon: So that’s Leviticus.
6:18
But Israel is still at Mt. Sinai in the middle of the wilderness,
6:22
they need a place to live.
6:24
Tim: Yes, the land God promised to Abraham,
6:26
and so the journey to that land is what the next book of the Bible is all about.
Christy

The Book of Exodus Overview – Part 2 of 2 by The Bible Project

In the second half of Exodus Israel meets God at Mt. Sinai. They make a covenant with him, receive rules by which to live, build a tabernacle where God will dwell with them, but things go terribly wrong.

This video talks about God’s covenant with the people of Israel. If you’d like to learn more about God’s covenants (like a business contract), take a few minutes to watch An Animated Explanation of ‘The Covenants.’

 

 

 

 

Outline of Exodus

Exodus 1-18     Moses Leads the People out of Egypt

Exodus 19     Mount Sinai

Exodus 20-40     God’s Instructions

 

Video Transcript

0:02
Jon: The first half of the book of Exodus tells the story of ancient Israel
0:05
being rescued from slavery.
0:06
And when people say ‘the Exodus story’ those are the chapters they’re referring to.
0:10
Tim: But the book has a second half where Moses gives the Ten Commandments to Israel
0:15
along with these instructions about building a sacred tent.
0:17
Jon: And what links these two halves together is this crucial story:
0:21
the people of Israel, they’re out in the middle of nowhere,
0:24
they find themselves at the foot of this mountain called Sinai.
0:26
And here God’s presence comes dramatically down the form of a violent storm cloud.
0:31
Tim: Now let’s stop a second and talk about this concept of God’s presence
0:35
because it is really important for the rest of the book.
0:36
At the beginning of the Bible, in the Garden of Eden, humanity was in God’s presence
0:41
they had this close relationship with Him and it was good.
0:44
But humanity rebels and the relationship is fractured and access to God’s presence is lost.
0:50
But God promised Abraham that he would restore His blessing to all of the nations
0:55
and that includes this restoration of relationship
0:58
and access to God’s presence.
1:01
Jon: So here at Sinai, God’s presence is now right here in front of them
1:05
and it’s actually quite frightening.
1:07
And He’s here to invite Israel into this unique and close relationship with Him.
1:12
Tim: The word used to describe this relationship is ‘Covenant’.
1:15
It’s like a legal agreement between God and Israel.
1:17
And it’s unique because up till now God hasn’t asked Israel to do anything in return. ..
1:23
… just to trust Him.
1:24
But here on this mountain God is going to ask Israel to do something…
1:29
… a lot of things actually. He gives them a whole set of laws
1:32
it includes the Ten Commandments, and if they obey these commandments
1:36
they will become the people who will represent God to the nations of the world.
1:41
Jon: Like a priest would…
1:42
Tim: Yeah, in fact that is what God calls them to become, ‘A kingdom of priests.’
1:45
And this is all connected back to the promise to Abraham
1:48
that his family would become a blessing to the nations.
1:51
Jon: Okay, but obeying these laws is going to be difficult
1:54
because there’s a lot of them and they set really high standard.
1:58
Tim: Though if you think about it, I mean of anybody in the world who should be able to do it,
2:02
it is these people
2:03
who experienced first-hand God’s grace and his power when He rescued them from slavery.
2:08
Jon: And they agree to obey the terms
2:11
but then they refuse to go into God’s presence because it’s still a bit frightening.
2:16
Tim: And since the people won’t go up, Moses goes up to the mountain by himself to meet with God.
2:22
But God still wants to be with all of His people, and so he says…
2:26
Okay if the people won’t come up here to me I’ll come down off this mountain to be with you all.
2:30
And that’s why he orders Moses to build this elaborate tent
2:33
as a place where God’s presence can be among his people.
2:36
Jon: And that’s why the next thing we get is
2:38
seven chapters of extremely detailed architectural blueprints for this tent.
2:42
It’s really, really … really long
2:45
Tim: But every details important and has some kinda symbolic value.
2:49
For example there is all this garden of Eden imagery inside the tent
2:53
And it is to remind you that when you’re in the tent you are in God’s presence.
2:58
Jon: Then we get another six chapters describing how they built the tent
3:01
which is really just repeating the same blueprints word-for-word.
3:04
Tim: Now, let’s back up because before the tent is finished there’s this super important story.
3:08
Moses is coming off the mountain with the Ten Commandments and the blueprints in his hands.
3:13
and he finds Israel breaking the first two commands of the Covenant.
3:17
Jon: (1) Don’t have any other gods before me
3:18
and (2) Don’t worship idol statues.
3:21
Tim: Right. And so here we are immediately after agreeing to the Covenant
3:24
they’re throwing this ritual party. They’re worshipping an idol.
3:27
And so God says to Moses, you know what, this is not going to work.
3:31
I should just wipe these people out and start over with you.
3:33
Jon: But Moses reminds God of his promise to Abraham
3:37
and he pleads with God to spare them,
3:39
which is a really weird conversation,
3:42
why would God need to be reminded of something?
3:44
Tim: Yeah it does seem odd. But this dialogue is inviting us into God’s experience of grief and pain
3:50
due to Israel’s actions.
3:52
And he really could walk away.
3:54
But instead this God chooses faithfulness to His own promises
3:58
Even though He knows it’s going to cost Him.
4:01
Jon: So we come to the end of the book.
4:02
The tabernacle is built. God’s presence comes down off the mountain to fill it.
4:07
And in the final scene Moses goes to enter the tabernacle to be in God’s presence…
4:11
Tim: But he can’t. He is actually not able to go inside
4:15
and that’s how the book ends.
4:16
Jon: Why can’t he go in? That was the whole point.
4:18
Jon: So when Israel worshiped the golden calf it was like a slap in the face to God’s faithfulness.
4:24
And so Moses can’t just waltz into the tent like everything’s just fine.
4:28
There’s a deeper problem still in this relationship.
4:31
Jon: Will they ever be able to fix the relationship and go into God’s presence?
4:35
Tim: Well that is what the next book, Leviticus, is all about.