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February 9, 2010February 9, 2010  1 comments  Historical Sites

On January 24, 1986, two fishermen in the Sea of Galilee made a fascinating discovery. Today, their discovery-the Jesus Boat Revealed-is an inspirational experience, a historic artifact, a meticulous reproduction, a national museum of antiquities, a book, and a fascinating DVD. Most importantly, it's a phenomenon with the power to unite a nation.

When Yuval Lufan and his brother, Moishale, uncovered a boat, which-against all odds-had survived for nearly two millennia submerged in mud, they triggered an avalanche of miraculous events. The subsequent excavation, recovery, and scientific analysis of the vessel confirmed it had been constructed during the time of Christ, and possibly, even, belonged to the Messiah Himself.

"The boat changed everything in my life," says Yuval Lufan, a lifelong fishermen from the Galilee seaside village of Kibbutz Ginosar. "The boat gave my life new meaning and purpose. It helped me to find my faith, to find God. This discovery is the greatest thing I could have dreamed of."

In-depth analysis carbon-dated the boat to the time of Christ. But more exciting clues about the Jesus Boat's origins were also revealed; the vessel had been constructed from twelve different types of wood.

"Normally, a boat of this style from this time period would have been built from two or three types of wood at the most," says Alon Kossonogi, CEO of the Jesus Boat Museum Foundation. "Twelve types of wood was unheard of until the Lufan brothers' discovery."

Considering the biblical significance of the number twelve, and the numerous miraculous events connected to The Jesus Boat's discovery and excavation, is it possible all these happenings were merely coincidental?

"Good things happen to people who spend time with the boat; it may take time, but it happens," says Lufan. "We have to have faith in doing the impossible. Science is a great thing, but there are things science cannot explain, and only people of faith can understand that faith is a greater power than science."

During the Jesus Boat's discovery and excavation, people from the Kibbutz Ginosar village witnessed many miracles: one in a million odds of finding a boat in the Galilee were beaten; a rare, brilliant double rainbow crowned their skies; a four-year drought suddenly ended; a rival village volunteered to help; a moonbeam revealed itself; the ninety-five percent odds against a successful excavation were overcome; and a life-long atheist welcomed Christ into his life.

"When people see the boat, they say it makes them think that ‘someone' is behind its discovery," says Kossonogi. "And they truly believe that the ‘someone' is Jesus, showing us he is here and watching...that he brought us this boat as a sign from above."

According to Kossonogi, this is the first time ordinary people have ever found anything historically significant in the Galilee area. Experts in marine archeology had spent decades searching, but gave up, claiming it would be next to impossible to find anything ancient there. But the Jesus Boat is not only ancient, it carbon-dates back over 2000 years to the specific thirty-year time period that Jesus spent in Galilee.

So why is it that the world is just beginning to hear about this twenty-something-year-old historically significant find? Being submerged in water for 2000 years made the Jesus Boat extremely fragile, so it had to be immersed in a special liquid for fourteen years to properly restore and preserve it. And - more recently - with the world becoming a global community, the Jesus Boat Museum Foundation board members began to realize that the boat is an international treasure to be shared with people around the world.

"It's only been during the last few years - with the making of The Jesus Boat Revealed DVD - that the people of Israel have begun to realize how special the Jesus Boat really is," says Kossonogi.

A one-hour documentary movie, The Jesus Boat Revealed chronicles the numerous stories surrounding the boat's discovery and excavation through interviews with the people who were there. The movie illustrates how the vessel is a one-of-a-kind, physical touch-point to the exact time and place of Jesus Christ, and relays the exciting miracles experienced by the people involved.

Weaving two vital, parallel stories, The Jesus Boat Revealed also profiles key people including commanders from the independent war and those instrumental in the establishment of the State of Israel such as Zvi Zamer, former director of Israel's national intelligence agency, the Mossad.

There are also many appearances by noteworthy people such asEhud Barak, Israel's defense minister and labor party leader, and former prime minister of Israel; Skip Heitzig, documentary host and founder and senior pastor of Calvary of Albuquerque; Chuck Smith, Cavalry Chapel founder; Pat Robertson, founder of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), and the Christian Coalition; Jay Seklow, American attorney and radio talk show host; Franklin Graham, Christian evangelist and missionary; Tim Lahey, American evangelical Christian minister, author, and speaker; and Joel Rosenberg, American communications strategist, author of The Last Jihadseries, and founder of The Joshua Fund.

"It's more than just a boat," says Dr. Kurt Raveh, the marine archeologist who organized The Jesus Boat's excavation. "It's really a story of God's promises ... a boat that wouldn't stay buried in a nation that wouldn't stay buried."

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