ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –TH -01/06/11
Thursday is our next to last day. We had much to do today and most of it involved walking uphill or down at an outrageous slant where it feels like you are going to fall off.
Dr. Dukes led in our devotional at Haas Promenade. The Bible Study and the view of the Old City were stirring! It was a good start of our day.
Our next stop was the Aroma Coffee on Mt. Scopus. Great coffee and great stop. It only took a few minutes and we were off to the Mt. of Olives Overlook. Many of our group immediately went to the camel ride. Others of us were busy taking pictures. I never tire of taking pictures of Jerusalem.
We staggered down the hillside of the Mount of Olives to the Dominus Flavit Church. Dr. Lan Leavell led our devotional at this site. We were challenged to have seeing eyes, hearing hearts and questing spirit. Excellent!
We completed our walk down the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. Rev. Jason Dukes led our devotional. His focus was on the reality of our faith.
We visited the Church of All Nations and the ancient Olive trees in their garden. It is an amazing experience to see these two thousand year old trees.
The view of the Old City and the Temple Mount is stunning as we walked down the Mount of Olives. You can think about the thousands of years of activity that has been in this area. It began for us with Abraham at the foundation stone on Mt. Moriah (Temple Mount.) It continues to this very day with the Moslem control of the Temple Mount. The thing we can count on is that one day all things will be summed up by the Lord, Jesus the Messiah will return in the twinkling of an eye and everyone will experience the knowledge of Him. His children will be with Him and those who are not in God’s family will be judged. The early church was empowered with this knowledge that Jesus is coming back. I submit to you that Jesus is coming back!
Avner picked us up in front of the Church of Mary, which is a traditional location for the grave of the Mother of Jesus. Avner drove us up the hill, we were grateful and let us out at the northeast corner of the Old City of Jerusalem. We walked through the area that for many hundreds of years was the location of the sheep market and into the Old City at the Lion or Sheep Gate. Just a few steps and we turned into the Church of St. Anne. Dr. Jimmy Dukes led in our devotional at Bethesda that is alongside of the Church of St. Anne. After the devotional we went into the Church and sang. Gilla led in discussing the Pool of Bethesda and its historical layout.
We were now on the Via Dolorosa. Gilla identified the Stations of the Cross as we continued along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our first stop was the Lithostratos at the Sisters of Zion. We talked about the Via Dolorosa, the Madaba map, the cistern that is the cistern that we saw in the Kotel walk and the game of the King scratched out on the pavement below from the time of Jesus. Dr. Warren led in our devotional on the actual pavement from the time of Jesus. We had a prayer and a time of contemplation then we walked back up to the current street level and continued our journey on the Via Dolorosa. The Russian Church that houses the Judgment Gate was our next stop. Then we walked around to the Holy Sepulcher. Our group spent time in the Holy Sepulcher visiting Calvary and the tomb of Jesus.
We walked across the Christian Quarter to the Jewish Quarter about 1:45pm where we had lunch. There was a lot of ice cream eaten at lunch.
The Upper Room was our next stop. This is a particularly encouraging site as it is probably the location where the Last Supper took place. Whether it is or isn’t it is a very good location for the commemoration of the event. Rev. Rob Wilton led in our devotional. We sang a hymn after the devotional and went out. We visited King David’s Tomb downstairs next. It is a memorial to King David.
Down the hill of Mt. Zion Avner was waiting for us and took us on down to St. Peter in Gallicantu that is the location of Caiaphas’ House and the place where Peter denied the Lord three times. Rev. Mel Jones shared some of his personal testimony and led in our devotional. We had our devotional next to the Roman Stepped Way that at some time Jesus would have walked on as he walked from the Mount of Olives to Mount Zion.
We were all tired and we ended our touring day at about 5:00pm today. Bible Study was at 6:00pm as Dr. Warren continued our Bible Study in Acts.