Home in Israel!
Just two of us journeyed to The Land this time. We arrived early enough on that first day to make a few stops on the way to the Sea of Galilee.
A First Stop At Caesarea & Mount Carmel
We first stopped at Caesarea, the city Herod the Great built on the sea in honor of Caesar Augustus, which served as the capital of the Roman Judean province in Jesus’ time.
A stone inscribed with Pontius Pilate’s name had been found there, which was one of the earliest archaeological findings confirming who he was. Caesarea is also known as the city of the Gentiles as it is the place in Scripture where Cornelius the centurion was stationed when in answer to his prayer, he was instructed by an angel to send for Peter.
Next stop was Mount Carmel, the place where Elijah confronted the 400 false prophets of Baal and where the plateau named Meggido lies below.
Nazareth & Tiberius
We then stopped in Nazareth at the place where Mary heard the announcement from the angel that she was to conceive Jesus. And then headed to go through Tiberius, passing Cana, to reach Nof Ginosar, the kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee, one of my favorite spots.
Around the Sea of Galilee
Our time there included a walk over to the Jesus Boat Museum, a boat ride on the Sea, visits to Tagbha, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes and this time Bethsaida. And, of course, we enjoyed a St. Peter’s Fish lunch along the way.
Beit Shean, Jordan River & Judean Hills
On our journey towards Jerusalem, we toured Beit Shean, the ancient city that is like a window to the past; we went down to the Jordan River at the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ where white butterflies and white doves were flying all around; and we stopped at one of the Judean Hills’ observation points for a spectacular view of the wilderness and a brief exchange with the Bedouin who live there.
Up to Jerusalem!
It is really exhilarating to cross over into Jerusalem and to catch those first glimpses of the city. This is the place of the Lord’s glory – past, present and future.
We were awestruck at how people were casually going about their day – walking the streets, waiting at bus stops, greeting friends – despite all of the news reports to the contrary. And it was truly wonderful to be a sign to our guide and others we met that all of the world was not against God’s covenant people. There is still a remnant who believes the Lord’s declarations to Abraham.
Needless to say, our time in Jerusalem was glorious with views of the Old City from our hotel and with being just a short cab ride away from the places where Jesus walked, prayed, died and rose again!
A Fun Night Out
And it was so fun to be within walking distance to the outdoor Jerusalem Railway Station where restaurants, vendors and even live entertainment are located – as well as some of the best Italian coffee ever. Our hearts were filled with joy as we watched people of all ages dance and sing along to the ring dance songs played by a contemporary band as the Israeli flag flew high.
Yad Vashem and the Israeli Museum
During our stay, we rounded out our trip for Loretta , a first time pilgrim, with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust Museum (which is always difficult yet most necessary as we must NEVER let it happen again) and to the Israeli Museum with the Second Temple Model.
Masada and the Dea Sea
Then finally on our last day, we visited more of the places that have touched me most – the Garden of Gethsemane, Caiaphas’ House and the Garden Tomb!
HALLELUJAH! Christ is risen indeed!
Come with us!
So consider coming with us whether you have never been or you have been many times. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, He made us ONE (Eph. 2:15). And if you can begin to comprehend the covenant our God made with the blood of bulls and goats, you would be overwhelmed with the surety of the promises He made through the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus.
Ephesians 2:15 (VOICE)
15 He offered His body on the sacrificial altar to bring an end to the law’s ordinances and dictations that separated Jews from the outside nations. His desire was to create in His body one new humanity from the two opposing groups, thus creating peace.
May His shalom be magnified to you more and more each day!