(Jesus said) "For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished." Matthew 5:18
* Forty-five years ago, on the shore of the Dead Sea, an ark -- a storage box -- was found.
* Inside that box a charred scroll was discovered.
* Both the box and the scroll were located in a Jewish synagogue, which dated to the sixth century.
The sad part about the find was the scroll was so burned it was absolutely impossible for anybody to unroll it without destroying it. That's why, in the 1970s, the scroll was placed into storage where both temperatures and humidity could be controlled.
For almost 50 years that scroll stayed in storage.
It stayed there until recently. That's when the Israel Antiquities Authority wondered if advancements in technology might be able to read the mysteries the scroll contained. To find an answer, they sent the scroll to the University of Kentucky. Using 3-D imaging technology, the scientists were able to "unwrap" the scroll without actually doing so.
For the first time in 1,500 years, someone was able to read 18 lines of text which some forgotten hand had written so many centuries ago.
Scholars in America and Israel were overjoyed to find they were reading the first eight verses of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. Then, with the verses in hand, investigators started doing some comparisons.
Those scientists wanted to know just "how many changes and errors had crept in between our time and the day that Scripture had been penned?" What they discovered was shocking! What they found was this: there wasn't a single change between that ancient document and our contemporary Scriptures.
Not one. Zero. Zip. Nada.
The manuscript may have been copied hundreds of times, but so great was the ancient's desire for accuracy and accountability, the verses remained unchanged. Not a single jot or tittle had been removed, replaced or relocated.
Did I say it was the copiers' desire to keep the text accurate? So it was. But it was also the will and direction of the Holy Spirit that kept those ancient eyes focused, those hands steady and faithful.
This He did so that you, living far removed in time and distance from that ancient synagogue, might be sure: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the discovery of this small manuscript is a little thing, but it is a little thing You have used to assure me of a big truth: Your Holy Scriptures are able to point me unerringly toward heaven. For this I offer my thanks in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries