Our final day in Israel proved to be extra special as we visited very significant holy sites and had a wonderful time at our farewell meeting/dinner.
Our day began on the Mount of Olives, where we got a view of Temple Mount. Imagining Jesus on that very mount, discussing end times with His disciples (Matthew 24) was very meaningful. We also studied Luke 19:28-44 focusing on Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem, as the Jewish people had missed the day of His visitation. Ultimately, scripture (Matthew 23:39) tells us they will not see Him again until they say, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” We’re praying for that day!
Also on the Mount of Olives is the Garden of Geshtemane, where Jesus sweat drops of blood as He prayed for His Father to remove the cup. There in that garden are several olive trees likely dating to the time of Jesus.
We made a stop at Caiaphas’ house, the location in which Jesus was imprisoned and endured one of the darkest days of history. Alone and rejected, Jesus prepared to go to the cross for you and me. Read Psalm 88 for a glimpse of the agony Jesus must have endured.
This is also the place Peter denied Jesus three times. (At Tabgha, where we visited previously, Jesus restored Peter by asking Him three times if he loved Him.)
The pathway above is likely the path Jesus was led away toward further trial and crucifixion.
After lunch and a time of prayer at the Western Wall, we traversed the Muslim Quarter, out the Damascus Gate, toward the Garden Tomb.
We had an extremely special time at the Garden Tomb as Pastor John shared so warmly, and we shared communion together.
We all took a look…..the tomb is still empty!
I’m going to leave you with that thought, as we board our aircraft for the trip home. But contemplate for yourself all that Jesus did! He died for your sins and mine, He was buried, but the tomb couldn’t hold Him! Death was defeated and you and I have eternal life if only our trust is in Him!
I’ll continue once we arrive back home. Meanwhile, our group is enjoying a few final moments together, and a long flight home.