Israel Day 10

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. This was the theme of the day:)  We started off the day by seeing the pool of Bethesda.  Something interesting about the geography here is that every time I see water here, its much smaller than I would imagine.  Seas are like small lakes you might see in Muskoka.  Pools are these little places close to springs.  Its amazing how much more rare water is in this part of the world than it is in Canada!  Our swimming pond at camp is bigger than the pool of Bethesda!




We then did the 14 stations of the cross on the Via Dolorosa.  It was interesting to see all the sites around Old Jerusalem.  We ended up at what is considered the holiest site in the Christian world, the Church of the Holy Sepluchre.  This was the traditional site of the death and burial of Jesus.  There are differing opinions on where it is and it seems as though Biblically this traditional site is not it.  Although no one can be sure.  But our tour organizers and tour guide seem to think that it is not here.  It was quite an interesting church, split up into different sections so that each denomination can have a part of it.  It was a very dark place and a little depressing because it seemed to focus on the death of Jesus, instead of the resurrection.  But it was a beautiful building.

After lunch, and more shopping since the people on this tour are shopping fiends!, we visited the Israeli museum.  That was an amazing experience.  First we looked at a to scale, outdoor model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ.  It really helped to put everything together that we've been learning about for the last 10 days.  Visuals always help!  It kind of cemented it into my mind.


We went into the Shrine of the book to see some of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  That was awesome, but you're not allowed to take pictures in there because it may damage the scrolls.  I left Michael in charge of the camera today and I was laughing as I looked through the pictures from the museum as they were mostly pictures of old weapons:)  Pretty cool, I admit, but I chose this beautiful pottery to show you instead:)


This one I included because I thought it was so interesting, and pertinent to our day today.  They actually found a heel bone with a nail through it in the manner that Jesus was crucified in!


After the museum, which I didn't get to spend nearly enough time in!, we went to the Garden Tomb.  This is the other site that is a possibility for the crucifixion and burial.  The guide first took us up to a lookout where you see the rock that they say is Golgotha.  It does look like a scull when they point it out, but some of it has been covered by pavement so it will be hard for me to show you here.  But this is the hill!


Next was the empty tomb!!!

IMG_7509 IMG_7511

That was an awesome experience!  Whichever one is right, it doesn't really matter - they're both empty:)  The difference at this place is that it was filled with peace.  I didn't cry when I went into the tomb, just smiled.  There's no sadness there, just joy and peace.  I did shed some tears of joy at the service that we had right there in the garden!  Pastor Pennell preached and sang for us and it was a beautiful climax to our trip.

We ended the day eating supper at a restaurant made to look like a Bedouin tent with traditional Palestinian food.  It was a happy celebration of a wonderful trip.  I'm now sitting in an airport, waiting for my flight to Turkey!  We're part of a small group that did an add-on, so we went from 59 to 17.  Sad to say goodbye, but exciting things still ahead!  I just want to end this portion of the trip with  these words from a song someone quoted this week.

I walked today where Jesus walked,  In days of long ago.

I wandered down each path He knew,  With reverent step and slow.

Those little lanes, they have not changed,  A sweet peace fills the air.

I walked today where Jesus walked,  And felt Him close to me.

My pathway led through Bethlehem,  A memory's ever sweet.

The little hills of Galilee,  That knew His childish feet.

The Mount of Olives, hallowed scenes,  That Jesus knew before

I saw the mighty Jordan row,  As in the days of yore.

I knelt today where Jesus knelt,  Where all alone he prayed.

The Garden of Gethsemane, My heart felt unafraid.

I picked my heavy burden up,  And with Him at my side,

I climbed the Hill of Calvary,  I climbed the Hill of Calvary,

I climbed the Hill of Calvary, Where on the Cross He died!

I walked today where Jesus walked,  And felt Him close to me.