The ancient path meets modern day
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Day 8 provided our first full day in Jerusalem. It was certainly different hiking in an urban setting where the hills are paved and the paths are full of people going from one place to another. Nevertheless, the truths and pictures that we gained through the Scriptures were invaluable.
We began our day on the Temple Mount. Though the Temple Mount is now controlled by Muslims it still contains an enormous amount of historical significance for the Christian faith today. The Temple Mount sits on mount Moriah. This is the place Abraham came to in obedience to the Lord to sacrifice his son Isaac. It is also the place that both temples are constructed, which provided the place for God to dwell among His people. It was a great reminder that through Christ we no longer need a physical temple, we have been given access to the very presence of God.
Our next stop was in the city of David. Here we gained a better understanding of the account of David and Bathsheba, walked through tunnels of Hezekiah, which contain the spring water from Gihon, and we ended at the pool of Siloam. This sight is mentioned in John 9. We were challenged to tell our story and be sure that we nail our pool of Siloam moment. How has Jesus transformed you?
We then traveled to Bethlehem and climbed up to the Herodium. This was the sight of one of King Herod the Great’s palaces. This one in particular was made as a fortress. Herod went so far as to build this palace on a mountain that he had made. This palace was magnificent. It was ornate. It was the height of extravagance, and yet it now lies in ruin overlooking the city of Bethlehem. King Herod did everything He could so that the whole world would know about the kingdom of Herod. It is ironic or even better, sovereign, that just a few miles away in the shadow of Herod’s palace King Jesus is born in the most humble of ways and His Kingdom has not and will not be forgotten.
Herodium is 3 miles southeast of Bethlehem and 8 miles south of Jerusalem. Its summit is 2,460 feet above sea level.
Herod built or re-built eleven fortresses. This one he constructed on the location of his victory over Antigonus in 40 BC.
We ended our day at the Church of the Nativity. This is popularly recognized as the church that sits on the location of Jesus’ birth. Whether it is exact location is neither here nor their. Instead, the focus is on the reality that Christ did come just as it was promised providing hope for the world.
Tomorrow is our last full day in Israel. It is unbelievable to think that our time is already coming to an end. Would you pray for us, fatigued as we may be, that we would have ears to hear, eyes to see, and feet for the path?
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