They say the best actors don't act. They are simply absorbed into the character they portray. I had a taste of that during a recent tour of the Herod exhibit at Jerusalem's Israel Museum.
For years, I've had a fascination with Herod the Great. Many know him only as the king in the Christmas story who executed Bethlehem's baby boys. And make no mistake—Herod was ruthless, even vicious, toward any perceived threat.
But Herod the Great, for all his evil, was also a great architect, a great builder, a great visionary. He loved color, beauty and luxury.
All these qualities are in abundance at the Israel Museum's Herod exhibit. As you wind through the maze of amazing displays, you see wall frescoes, elaborate window frames, intricate tile work.
On one wall, we marveled at the exquisite detail in a colorful painting depicting a naval battle. At our feet, the black and white checkerboard pattern of a tile floor in mint condition. There were artistically shaped clay jars still labeled with their exotic contents. We are now fully absorbed—almost lost--in Herod's lavish lifestyle.
Finally, there's the dark rotunda containing the stone sarcophagus of Herod the Great. It's made of a reddish limestone that shines like marble (I actually touched the engraved floral pattern).
But peering at the box that held Herod's body, I was immediately blasted with a recollection of Hebrews 9:27: “It is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment.”
In life, he was Herod the Great. But as for eternity, barring a death bed conversion, he will be Herod-The-Late. Too late to receive the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The question is—what about YOU?
All the wealth and wonder of this world will be of no consequence when we stand at last before God Almighty. All that will matter is our relationship with the Jesus Herod tried to kill as an infant. Do you know that Jesus as your Savior?