DALLAS (BP) – For Tony Evans and his daughter Priscilla Shirer, each trip to the Holy Land opens new layers in the story of God.
When Shirer visited a living village museum that demonstrates ancient life in Nazareth, she saw artisans dying wool scarlet and gained nuanced understanding of Isaiah 1:18, when God promises to wash our sins white as snow.
“One of the colors that (wool) could be dyed was scarlet. And of all of the colors that could be dyed, this was the one that was permanent. So it couldn’t dull. It couldn’t be changed into another color, and if you added another color in, it would stay the scarlet color,” Shirer said in an interview with Baptist Press. “And that’s the only one that was permanent. So it just brings new life and appreciation to that Scripture that says though our sins be as scarlet – even scarlet, that permanent stain – He can wash even that white as snow.”
The Evans family gives viewers an up-close look at their latest journey to the Holy Land in the new documentary film “Journey With Jesus,” in select theaters three nights only Monday through Wednesday (Nov. 15-17).
The trip, conducted through Evans’ Urban Alternative ministry, was the last trip to Israel the family took before Evans’ wife and Shirer’s mother Lois Evans died in December 2019. Other family members were also among the 700 on the trip, including the Evans’ daughter and best-selling author Chrystal Evans Hurst.
Evans, a widely sought-after author, influencer and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, said the family dynamic was extremely rewarding. Lois Evans is included in the film.
“It gives it legacy and longevity and a deeper meaning,” he said, “because it allows us to have something that we can all memorialize in our hearts and minds, as well as share with others, particularly those who knew her and were blessed by her and benefitted from her.”
Shirer, an expository Bible teacher who leads Going Beyond Ministries with her husband Jerry, shares one of her mother’s precious moments on the trip, enjoyed as the 700 travelers were gathered in several boats converging on the Sea of Galilee.
“One boat would start a hymn, and the other boat would hear, and they’d start singing along with them and then another one, ‘til all of us, all 700 of us are in the middle of the Sea of Galilee singing different hymns and worship songs,” Shirer said. “Just remembering my mother’s voice and singing alongside, and her facial expressions, and just her heart being warmed as these many individuals from different walks of life, different denominations, different racial backgrounds, different geographical points over the globe, all came together under one banner, the name of Jesus Christ and the place where He lived, and worshiping Him together at this monumental place, the Sea of Galilee.
“That moment is one that I know she enjoyed, and that I will never forget watching her experience that joy.”
Those who have never traveled to the Holy Land, as well as those who have visited time and again, can gain meaning and depth from the film, Evans said.
“For both groups, I would hope that there’s a new freshness of faith and an igniting of fire for their life for the Lord and for their desire to represent Him in all that they do,” he said, “so that Jesus Christ is supreme in their affections and in their relationships. So it’s all designed to create a next level of passion for the Christ.”
It was Evans’ fifth journey to Israel.
“Each time there’s a new layer of depth, of understanding, of seeing the Scriptures deeper,” he said, “of seeing some of the backstory that’s not as evident without going there and being in the environment that makes the Bible even come more alive.”
In the walking tour of Israel led by Evans, Shirer and Hurst, viewers see the historical places of Jesus’ life from birth to resurrection, are privy to personal insights and lessons, and hear the biblical contexts of key locations.
“It adds a layer of dimension to your understanding of Scripture. There were so many details that were specifically related to the first century time period,” Shirer said. “There are realities about grapes and soil and wheat and sheep that unless you understand it within the context and see it within the dynamic that is relative to that particular place, you really aren’t able to draw a full picture and meaning out of your understanding of Scripture.”
Hurst is a Bible teacher, the best-selling author of “She’s Still There” and co-author of “Kingdom Woman” with her father.
Tickets and theater information for the Fathom Event release are available here.