n October 15, 1967, I arrived in Israel for a two-week visit with my parents. In 1967 I decided to produce a 30 minute documentary on the establishment of the new state of Israel and the recent return of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. I spent almost three years working on this film which I called “Dry Bones.” I was introduced to Yossi Yadin, a famous actor in Israeli theater, and brother of the celebrated archeologist, Yigael Yadin, who excavated Masada and Megiddo, and who later became Deputy Prime Minister. Yossi agreed to narrate the film.
Yossi also talked to Golda Meir, then Prime Minister of Israel, about “Dry Bones.” She told him she wanted to see the film herself. Knowing how busy she was, I wrote her, offering to bring the film to her home. She invited me to show her the film on Aug 10, 1971. With great anticipation, this opportunity brought me to much prayer!
As I prayed, I seemed to see Golda Meir on her bed at night, looking up and asking, “Is there really a God?” I also felt that there was going to be some type of spiritual opposition to this invitation, and prayed that the Lord would allow me to show the film without interruption.
The day came for me to take the film and I entered with a large bouquet of flowers. I remember the security people looking carefully through it to make sure there was no bomb planted among the stems. Several aides and family members were also there.
After small talk, the film began. Its theme portrayed Israel in the late sixties as a nation raised out of the ashes just as the prophets had prophesied would come to pass in the latter days. There was also a section where the narrator read Isaiah 53, about the suffering Messiah who would die for the sins of His people. The images portrayed a Messiah-like figure falling among his sheep in a black and white, heavily overexposed film, giving it a mystical appearance. That scene was interwoven with a sheep being slaughtered on an altar. It ended with the prophets’ call to repentance, and God’s promise in Ezekiel to redeem his sheep from the wolves among the nations.
When the film was finished, there was silence. Then Golda asked, “What part of the film was Old Testament and what part was New?” I answered, “The entire narration was only Old Testament.” She sat thoughtfully, and then said, “But why the blood? What significance does it have?” Of course, that opened up the theme of the priestly office of the Levitical tribe which was commanded to shed the blood of animals in order to pay the price for the sins of the Israelites. I stressed that only after the shedding of blood, could the Cohanim (priests) enter into the presence of God to make petition for the people.
“That,” I explained, “is why Jesus had to die and offer his life so we might live. He is the Lamb of God. He is the way to permanent forgiveness of sin for the Jewish people – and, in fact, all who want it. He is the gateway to the presence of the God of Israel.”
Golda again brought up the scene of Isaiah 53, and said softly, “That was Jesus.” I was amazed at how open her heart seemed to be as she spoke.