When asked “What was the highlight of your trip to Israel?” I am at a loss for words. It’s like asking which color frosting tastes the best: it’s all frosting! Every moment, every location, every lecture was just more frosting on the cake of getting to walk in Israel.
As a student, I learned so much and there were times I couldn’t write fast enough. But, I wasn’t just an observer – God pulled me in as a participant.
Here are a few of the highlights of the trip…
In Caesarea, (on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea) I got to stand on the floor of the palace where Herod died and where Paul appeared before Festus.
“Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
Paul replied, “Short time or long – I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” — (Acts 26:27-29) NIV
Then on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah defeated the gods of Baal and asked the people:
“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” – 1 Kings 18:21
This is the view from Mt. Carmel, looking down on the Jezreel Valley/Megiddo.
“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. He got up, rebuked the wind and the said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” – Mark 4:35-41 NIV
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the last stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18 – NIV
Finally, we came to Jerusalem!
Our visit in Jerusalem included stops at the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb (where we celebrated a Communion service), and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Via Dolorosa, King David’s Ancient City, the Wailing Wall, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the Pool of Siloam, and an hour with the acclaimed archaeologist, Gabi Barkay.
In Jerusalem, I had the opportunity to stand on the steps where Jesus stood. What a moment for a “Bible teacher” to get to stand where Jesus stood when He taught in Jerusalem – and quite possibly the place recorded in Luke 2:
After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” – Luke 2:46-47 – NIV
We wrapped up our trip to Israel with a visit to Timna, the location of King Solomon’s copper mines. At Timna, we toured a model of the Tabernacle. In this photo you can see the Altar, the Basin and the covering of the Tabernacle. We got to walk right into the Most Holy Place!
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being” – Hebrews 8:1-2 NIV
What an amazing trip! I wish you all could have been there. Thank you for praying for our safety, health, and open hearts and minds to absorb all that God had for us. There are areas where my perspective changed, my heart swelled, and my mind was transformed. I hope that you will get to reap the benefits of all that God did for, and within, me.
To God be the glory!