It's our final day of touring here in Israel. It's hard to believe that our time has gone by so quickly and that we will be heading to the airport soon. Our day began by going somewhere that almost all religious Jews have have never gone in their lives – up on the Temple Mount. There is so much Biblical history here – for this is Mount Moriah, the place where Abraham bound his son (Genesis 22:2) and the spot of David's threshing floor (2 Samuel 24:18-25). This is also the place where Solomon's Temple was built some 3000 years ago (1 Chronicles 22:6). During the life of Jesus, it contained Herod's Temple that he expanded for the Jewish people. In the 7th century the Muslims took control of this area and it is still in Muslim hands today. Here is the mosque which the Muslims erected in 691:
Our next stop was to the Pool of Bethesda. Jesus healed a paralytic man by telling him to "take up your mat and walk" right here on this spot (John 5).
Our final stop for the day was to visit the Garden Tomb. Though this is not likely the actual place where Jesus died, was buried, and rose again it does provide an iconic setting to reflect upon these most significant events. We enjoyed a moving time of worship as we read Scripture and shared the Lord's Supper together. We made sure to get some great footage of this moment because we are looking to share it with you all in the coming days!
Over the history of the world the city of Jerusalem has been a hotly contested place, but the Bible predicts a coming day when all conflict will be over and when a new Jerusalem will appear. The people of Israel, along with all who trust in the Messiah Jesus, will once again worship God in this place. But this city will have no temple for God himself will be its temple! (Revelation 21:2,22)
In the afternoon, about half the group went to the Holocaust Museum and the other half went to walk around the Old City more.
Our touring in Israel has come to an end, but we won't quickly forget the lessons we've learned and the experiences we've shared!
This is the photo I took as they were getting off the bus at the airport. Nate, Brad and I are staying one more day to get final videos finished for the sermon series.