The other week we were visiting the city of Denver, Colorado. Much to my surprise, their city was hosting a display of the Dead Sea Scrolls on loan from the nation of Israel.
What a wonderful presentation. Tons of ancient coins, pottery, and scrolls…enough for a history nerd like me to want to bring my sleeping bag and stay there for days! And there they were…a few of the real Dead Sea Scrolls!
Some were in Hebrew, some in Greek. Some of the manuscripts were passages from the Psalms, Job, and the Prophets. Others were of non-biblical writings valued by the scribes of the first century. I was surprised by how tiny their handwriting was…but I was still able to read some of them.
Then I rounded a corner…And there in the dim light was a very large stone. It was a “brick”, about three feet high, three feet wide, and may be five feet long.
It was a stone from the Temple. The second Temple built by Zerubbabel and renovated by Herod. It was there when Jesus was dedicated there as an infant, when as a child he surprised the elders, when he taught there as a man, and when he prophesied in Matthew 24 that “not one stone will be left standing upon another”.
Those manuscripts, coins, clay jars, and that stone tell me that the story of the Bible is not fiction. It is not the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings. It is founded upon actual, factual history.
And if the story is true, maybe we should pay special attention to its message.