The Temple Mount
There’s something really special when you wake up for the first time in Jerusalem. The place you’ve read about for many years in the Bible and watched on television in the news. Now we’re here in our spiritual homeland. An amazing feeling of familiarity while at the same time strangely different because you are in a modern world in a new culture.
We left the Jerusalem Dan Hotel on Mt Scopus at the northern most point of the Mt of Olives and headed down toward the Old City. On our left is the Kidron valley, the Garden of Gethsemane, and to our right eastern gate of the Temple Mount. Surreal! We drive around to the southern entrance at the Dung gate and enter toward the Western Wall (Wailing wall or Kotel) as our goal is to get to the Temple Mt.
We go through security and go up the wooden walkway and we’re there. Our guide Ronen walks us around and gives us a series of lessons recounting Jewish, Christian, and then Islamic history. The Golden Dome of the Rock is the iconic symbol. Built in the 7th century by Muslims who control the activities at the sight today. This is truly the spiritual epicenter of the world the future sight of the return of our Lord Jesus. An incredible, educational, and spiritual experience. We are so glad to have made it their place.
We came down from the Temple Mt and made our way down below the surface of the Western wall and walked most of the length of it.
The Western Wall is the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people because of Muslim control of the Temple Mount. Known in recent centuries as the “Wailing Wall,” this was built by Herod the Great as the retaining wall of the Temple Mount complex. The plaza was created as an area for prayer when Israel captured the Old City in 1967. At times tens of thousands of people gather here for prayer.
Archeologist are doing amazing work here! We went to the section of the Western Wall where Jews and all people are invited to come to pray, longing for the day when the God of Israel will rule and reign.
Now off to Bethlehem just six miles south of Jerusalem. The Herodian Palace of Herod was our first stop. At the time of Jesus birth this palace down inside a mountain towered over Bethlehem. A reminder of the might of Rome. Then we moved one to the Church of the Nativity that stands over the traditional sight of where Jesus was born. A moving experience as you might imagine.
One last stop before a relaxing evening back at our hotel in Jerusalem as Johnny’s Souvenir Shop. A Palestinian Christian family owns this place. It was our opportunity to bless them and pick gifts and keepsakes for home. There is no end to our experiences. We are a good tired as we soak up every opportunity on this tour.
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GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
Septemer 5-17, 2020
Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.
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