Israel Study Tour with Grace Central Coast

October 11-23, 2015

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Grand Finale

Today we entered Jerusalem through the Lions Gate on the northeast and made our way up to St. Anne Cathedral and sung I Love You, Lord and the Doxology that echoed beautifully off the 3rd century church. Afterward we went to a garden area just adjacent to the Pool of Bethesda. We opened up the Word to John 5:2 and read about the healing of the paralytic. It was amazing to read this miracle next to the ancient ruins where it occurred. The paralytic was waiting for the waters to stir and be healed-but Jesus healed him on the spot with only words. Get up and take your mat. Jeremy taught how the religious leaders of the time were upset about the miracle and that the man had carried his mat on the Sabbath. We need to focus on big picture that Jesus is King versus the minor details.

It was surreal to be at the location near the Roman Court where Jesus was tried, beaten, and condemned to death. We walked on the streets toward Golgotha, the site of His crucifixion. The humiliation and pain that Jesus took on the way to Golgotha was easy to imagine as we walked down the busy, bustling streets (the pushing, heckling, spitting in His face). We visited the church of the Sepulchre where Jesus’ crucifixion, anointing, and burial are memorialized. I am so thankful that Jesus came to earth in the flesh and made the final sacrifice for our sins: past, present, and future.

Afterward we spent some time and had lunch just outside the Jaffa gate. We also spent several hours at the Israel Museum where we saw a replica of the Old City of Jerusalem during the time of Christ. It was amazing to see it, especially the temple. Ronen, our fantastic tour guide, quizzed us on the various locations that we learned over the last several days, and I was amazed at how much I knew and retained.

I hope to pass this privilege, experience (Bethlehem; the areas where Jesus called His disciples, taught, fed, performed miracles; was crucified, and where He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection), knowledge, and spiritual applications with my family, friends, and acquaintances. It has been an amazing trip and today was the finale.

Michael Van Doren (edited by Grace)

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