Friday, April 17, 2020

Israel Day 8

We ascended the Temple Mount today. Our group joined another group that ascended before us. We were a group of Christians and Jews walking on the site where both ancient Jewish temples stood. A place full of holy implications. Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims are allowed to visit, but prayer or a demonstration of worship is forbidden. Due to it being one of the most contested religious sites there is a presence of both Israeli police and the Islamic waqf. The police ensure your safe, following the rules, and not standing around in one place too long. It was amazing to walk on such deep history.


We glanced at a synagogue as we walked to our next site.

The next site was the Davidson Center. It is near the Western Wall. This area is incredible because of it's beauty and it's history. The point where Jesus was tempted is visible here. You can see a 1st century road and some of the rocks from the 2nd temple. You can climb the southern steps and place your hand on the southern wall of what was the temple. You can behold the place where Acts 2:41 took place. It is like the Temple Mount, a place of great holy implications for both Jews and Christians.

Our next stop was the Knesset, the parliament building for Israel. We heard the Hatikvah, Israel's national anthem and we were blessed to study the Bible with Jewish leaders. We had the opportunity to see a brand new Bible, hot off the press, edited by Rabbi Tuly Weisz, called The Israel Bible. It is incredible. I may or may not have cried as I carefully open the book and took in the pages before me.

Next, was the Garden Tomb. He is not here, He is risen! We could see Golgotha, the place Jesus was crucified, as we listened to biblical teaching from Trey. After the teaching we saw the tomb and walked around the area.

Then we walked to the Garden of Gethsemane. It was beautiful. I could have stayed there praying, reading, and worshipping all day. I pondered what occurred here. I was filled with gratitude for that and for the time of connecting with Jesus. One of the comments pastor Trey shared with us before we had time alone was, "The compassion Jesus shows never stops. The power of the garden tomb starts right here. He quoted John 3:16 and had us fill in our name, "For G-d so loved _________, He gave His one and only Son." As I sat alone I made a note that said, when I have felt so completely disconnected, Jesus gave me connections with Him. It really is amazing grace.

The last event took us to a neat train area, called First Station. It was renovated to include restaurants, cafes, and other activities. We had dinner here and participated in a Memorial Day ceremony, which I will tell you more about tomorrow for Israel Day 9.

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