|From Holy Land|
After seeing several ruins of old cities, it got kinda old seeing old stuff. On our way out of Galilee to Jerusalem we stopped at Beit Shean. There we saw the ruins of an old (12th Century BC) Roman and Egyptian city. As was the case at all the other ruins we’d seen, there were bath houses, a main road, living quarters, and a theater. It was big. It told a story. I wasn’t interested.
There was one minor reference to this town in the Bible. 1 Sam 31 where the Philistines took the heads of Saul and his sons and placed them on the wall of this town. So I did get the Biblical image of a decapitated King’s head rotting for everyone to see. Not necessarily a Holy place if you ask me.
I didn’t complain and tried to make the best of it when God gave me the opportunity. I kept noticing everyone looking and pointing to the top of a hill where a tree fragment was. Out of curiosity I asked, “What’s up with the tree skeleton?” That’s when I was told that Jesus Christ Superstar (the cheesy 1973 movie) was filmed there.
Suddenly Beit Shean became a new world to me. I remembered that tree and once more remembered every line from every song in that movie. Those songs taught me the gospel in ways that my church never did. Who would have thought that the site that tied my past and my faith together would be a former movie set?
So for the rest of the journey through these ruins, I sang to myself (and sometimes out loud) the soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar. I danced down the main road, twirled through the bathhouse, and ran up the steps to the naked tree that I now hold a special place in my heart for.
And I wondered, just as Andrew Lloyd Webber did, “if you’d come today you would have faced the whole nation, Israel in 4 bc had no mass communication” and yet the message made it to today. Only the most powerful of messages can withstand that test of time.
May you hear the message clearly and spread it grandly.
Until Everyone Hears,