In March of 2017 a group of 38 travelers traveled with Pastor Bill to the Holy Land. Here are some of the photos from their journey
Day 1 - March 7
Day 2 - March 8
Arrival Israel, Jaffa
Day 3 - March 9
Caesarea, Megiddo & Nazareth
Our first full day of the tour was incredible! The pictures We started in Caesarea. The ruins our which are still being excavated to this day. We saw the remains of an ancient aqueduct on the sea. These were two stop on our way to see mount Carmel and the Valley of Megiddo (or the Valley of Armageddon) This has been an important place in the history of this area, but it's even more important to the end... this is where the last battle will be fought. We were able to venture into a man-made tunnel to the ancient city's water spice underground. From here we visit Nazareth, Jesus' home town. We toured a replica city of what Nazareth would have looked like when Jesus was here. We watched the sun set over the Sea of Galilee, and we will rest for another day of touring tomorrow.
Day 4 - March 10
Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi & Mount of Beatitudes
Mount of Beatitudes
Our 1st stop today was the Mount of Beatitudes. We were able to read the words of Jesus as a group in a. beautiful garden, and then speaks some personal time with God in His word.
Next we visited Tel Dan. Here we saw the remnants of the ancient city of Dan and the temple of Jeroboam. We also caught a glimpse of the Syrian and Lebanon borders.
Jesus Boat on the Sea of Galilee
We ended our day with a beautiful boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We sand some worship songs and just enjoyed the view. The crew took some time to demonstrate how a fishing net is thrown, and taught us a traditional Israeli dance.
Day 5 - March 11
Jordan River Baptism Sites, Beth Shean, Bethany & Dead Sea
Our first stop was the place where Jesus dwelt. We were able to see the remains of Peter's home and a synagog. You can also see the towns port, a place that Jesus launched of many times in His lifetime.
Our next stop was the Gadarenes. Here we hear scripture while sitting in Byzantine chapel from around the fourth century. This is also the location of the cliff that a heard of demon possesed pigs plunged to their death after jesus cast the legion of demons from a possessed man to the pigs.
Baptisms in the Jordan
There are 38 people in our group and 30 decided to get baptized. What an amazing opportunity to follow Jesus in baptism in the same river He was baptized in.
This is the remains of several cities including the Roman and Byzantin eras. In the Old testament this is the place where the bodies of Saul and his three sons were hung on the city wal
Day 6 - March 12
Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls
We started our morning by floating in the dead sea. No need to swim. 33% as lifts you right up.
After som much needed rest, we made our way to Ein Gedi. This is the location where David hid from Saul in the Old Testament. Pastor Ben gave us a lesson and we hiked to the spring.
Next we took a gondola ride to the top of Masada. Masada is an ancient fortification on top of plateau. Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain. It is also the location where a siege by troops of the Roman Empire at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of 960 people, the Sicarii rebels and their families hiding there.
Dead Sea Scrolls
Our last stop on the way to Jerusalem, was the location where the Dead sea scrolls were found.
We Made it to Jerusalem!
It was much colder than the Dead Sea and a little cloudy., but we took the time to see the city from a very nice view
Day 7 - March 13
Jerusalem, Bible Times, City of David, Hezekiah's Tunnel
Mount of Olives
The mount of olives is where we started out day. This is an Important place! Jesus ascended to heaven from here and someday He's touching down there again. We met in a Catholic Chapel called the "Tear Drop Church" (Dominus Flevit - The Lord Wept).
Palm Sunday Pass
After seeing the Mount of Olives, We travel the road that is traditional road that Jesus walking for his triumphal entry.
The Garden of Gethsemane
At the end of the pass, we came to the garden where our Savior prayed just before His trial and resurection. The olive trees in this garden are thousands of years old. The Catholic Church built in this location was having mass and we were able to listen for a bit.
The Shiloach Pool
From the garden, we made our way to a pool that could possibly be the location where Jesus healed the blind man.
The City of David
The original city of Jerusalem (the city of David) is full of history and things to see. We watched a 3D movie and looked at active archalogical digs. We learned how the city has changed over thousands of years.
one of our stops was one of the few places where you can say Jesus "actually was here. The Practorium is the courtyard where Jesus was beaten. The stones of that courtyard are beneath a Catholic Church in Jerusalem.
The Western Wall
we ended our day at the Western Wall. Here we took the time to pray.
Day 8 - March 14
Jesus' Steps, the Last Days, Abraham's Tent
Western Wall Tunnel
Our first stop today was a tunnel along the bottom of the western wall. This is an active archeological dig, and it's the foundation of the Temple Mount.
we traveled a little bit out of the city (and back in time about 4,000 years) to visit Abraham. He was very hospitable. We rode his camels to his tent where he fed us lunch.
The House of Caiphas
After our visit to the Old Testiment we journeyed back to the time of Jesus. The House of Caiphas is where Jesus was taken after being arrested on the Mount of Olives. Under this Catholic Church is a pit that very likely could have been where Jesus stayed his first night in prison
The Upper Room
we walked to a place that would have beeen near where the Upper Room would have been and stood in an second story of a building that was similar to where Jesus had the last supper.
after the upper room we made our way though the streets to a gate that is riddled with bullet holes from war-time in 1967.
Walking the Streets/Menorah
as we walked along the Armenian & Jewish quarters we stoped at a Menorah ready to be placed in the 3rd temple.
Day 9 - March 15
Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb, Pentecost, Bethlehem
The Temple Mount
Today we got to visit the most controversial piece of real-estate in the world. It's the site where God's Temple was built, destroyed, built again and destroyed again. Another temple will be built here and when that happens we'll know we'll see Jesus soon. The Muslims control the mount today, and we weren't allowed to take Bibles, crosses or anything that represents Christianity. We weren't allowed to pray and the ladies had to have their knees and shoulders covered. What a blessing to be given the opportunity to see where the Holy of Holies once was, and the gate that jesus will walk through after he touches down on the Mount of Olives.
Yad Hashem (Holocaust Museum)
This museum was an amazing timeline of the Holocaust. We weren't allowed to take photos, but the trees on the outside of the museum made the "Path of the Righteous Gentiles." Each tree is in remembrance of Gentiles that help Jews during the Holocaust.
Our next stop was the Israel Museum. Our main focus here was an amazing .25:12inch scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. Our tour guide, Hela, was able to point out many to the sites we visited, and it helped us to put the whole trip into prospective.
The Garden Tomb
Our final "Official" stop of the tour was the most important of the trip. It was most important for what was NOT there. The Garden Tomb in EMPTY!