Israel Study Tour with The Friends of Israel

October 16-26, 2015

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Hallelujah What a Savior!

Another fun filled day with lots of emotions or as I like to call it, just another day in Jerusalem. We started the morning out at Mount Scopus overlooking Old City Jerusalem. Tours usually do this lookout time at the Mount of Olives but because of the unrest, Miriam, our tour guide wanted to play it safe. Thank you Miriam! We're all about playing it safe here. We had a great view of the Mount of Olives so I count that just as good.

From there we headed to the Garden of Gethsemane. We spent some time there reflecting. I have to admit, I lost it. My emotions were very high. Looking at what Jesus looked at as he was praying. I though of how Jesus must've felt being at the garden. He fully knew what would take place and He probably was full of emotions. The physical pain he would feel would be substantial and unbearable but the pain of being separated from the Father for the first and only time in eternity must've been overwhelming. In our human minds we have a hard time relating. The closest we have may be the death of a child. A part of you is gone. But Christ did this for us. His purpose on earth was to be fulfilled in a few short hours. Something that the trinity decided before time began. They (people) will reject us. They (people) will want something else that they think is better. But We will send a Hero. Someone to save them from their unrighteousness. What a story! What a climax! What a Savior!

And today on this busy Israeli Arab street, the once quiet garden sits. Where the story is still true. For all the people walking and driving past and for you and me. Hallelujah what Savior!

Afterwards we were able to attend a church in Jerusalem that The Friends of Israel planted. A church in Jerusalem! It's almost too much. About 200-300 people go every Saturday for service.

We had lunch at a Kibbutz that overlooked Bethlehem. Then we took a stroll through the Old City looking at the vendors and shops and stopping at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

We then went to the Garden Tomb just outside the city walls. The Garden Tomb is believed by many to be the garden and burial spot for Joseph of Arimathea, which means it’s possible this was Jesus’s tomb. They are run by a non-denominational charitable trust out of the United Kingdom. They showed us where they believe Golgotha, the place of the skull is right outside of the property. It was beautiful to see and gave a practical look into what a garden would have been back in Jesus’ days. Gardens were working gardens. They said that they found a wine press as they were excavating. This is probably how Joseph made his extra income. We closed with a communion service and hymns. It was beautiful!

We got back to the hotel EARLY and had almost an hour before dinner. Afterwards, some of the group went walking down to some shops but many of us stayed back and got some much-needed rest and relaxation.

We get an extra hour of sleep because of the Daylight Savings Time ending. That means we get an extra hour tonight and next Saturday when the U.S. does the same thing! (It’s the little things.)

Tomorrow we head to the (used-to-be) secret ammunition factory and then on to the Valley of Elah where David defeated the Goliath. It will be our last full day in Israel then it’s home for us!

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