Walking the path of Jesus
Day nine and what a packed day it was!
We started this morning on top of the Mount of Olives, where Jesus took his disciples to camp the last week of his life. The birds were singing as we gazed over the Kidron Valley. It was such a clear day, Ronen was able to point out a number of landmarks such as the Temple Mount, the old city walls and Mount Zion to name a few.
From there we walked down to the garden of Gethsemane. This was the place I've been looking forward to visiting the most. We read through Mark 14 and Michael taught about how in those times of our lives where we feel the Lord doesn't understand the heartache and trials we go through, He really does.
Going a little farther He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father" he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." What an incredible prayer for our lives "yet not what I will, but what you will." We worshiped together in the garden and had some time to hear from God. The word He has continued to give me this trip has been the word "Brave." To be brave in Him for in Him I find my strength.
We then found ourselves walking through the Lions Gate and into St. Anne's Church. The acoustics in that place are incredible. We sang Amazing Grace as a group and filled the church with praise to our King.
Just a short walk and a staircase away we visited the pool of Bethesda. This is where Jesus went straight into the danger and healed on the sabbath!
As we walked through a portion of the Via Dolorosa we came to The Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It is believed that this church holds the location of the crucifixion and the tomb in which Christ was buried. It was interesting how close those two locations are to one another.
We wound our way through the small streets of the Via Dolorosa once again and enjoyed haggling our way through a unique shopping experience. It was much like an open air bazaar. I had quite a bit of fun myself.
After lunch we walked through the Ramparts and we read through some of the Psalms that speak of the ascents into the city.
From there we hopped on the bus and went to the Israel museum. We saw a detailed model of what the city of Jerusalem would have looked like in the first century. It has been updated hundreds of times as archeologists discover new evidence.
It was exciting to get a better picture of what the city looked like when Jesus walked the streets. Ronen was impressed with the retention of the group's knowledge from what he's taught us. The Shrine of the Book/ Dead Sea Scrolls happen to be housed in the museum so we were able to see those. A great follow up from what we learned about them last week.
On to the holocaust museum we went. Not a biblical sight but definitely a very important part of Jewish history. We stood in the shade of the Righteous Among Nations trees as Ronen told us the story of a women who survived the holocaust. That woman is his mother in law. Such a big part of history broken down into detail by those who lived it.
Our final stop of the day was Dolphin Yam for our farewell dinner. We feasted on pita, pasta, shrimp, fish, chicken, and ice cream for dessert. Such a great evening together! A few of us shared some of how the Lord has worked in our lives over the last nine days. It was bittersweet as we expressed our gratitude to the best tour guide and driver anyone could ask for.
To my fellow travelers, we did it!! I praise God for the opportunity to share these wonderful experiences with you all.