Our Visit to the Holy Land

June 30, 2009 by Paul Chappell

xx2My wife and I returned last week from one of the most incredible vacations we’ve ever been privileged to take—a trip to the Holy Land. These days were a time of spiritual growth and renewal, even beyond my expectations. I felt like a race horse pausing for a long, refreshing drink.

Our schedule was packed from early morning to late night as we tried to fill every minute and absorb every bit of what the Lord might teach us through this trip. Below is a partial list of the many sights we were privileged to visit:

Ceserea

Caesarea

  • Saw amphitheater where Paul confronted Agrippa
  • Saw the emperor’s seat where Agrippa said to Paul, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian”
  • Saw recently excavated ruins of the city
  • Saw where Paul set sail for his missionary journeys

Mount Carmel

  • Stood on the mountain where Elijah had his showdown with the prophets of Baal
  • Viewed the Valley of Armageddon

Megiddo

  • Saw one of Solomon’s chariot cities
  • Saw a great view of the Valley of Armageddon

Nazareth

  • Visited the boyhood town of Jesus

Cana

  • Visited the village where Jesus attended a marriage feast and turned water into wine

Sea of Galilee

Sea of Galilee

  • Took boat across and docked at Ein Gev and visit Kursi, located in the land of the Gadarenes

Caperneum

Capernaum

  • Visited a synagogue built in the area where Jesus taught

Mount of Beatitudes

  • Traveled to the top of the mountain where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount

Spring of Gideon

  • Saw where God chose Gideon’s army of 300 men

Bet She’an

  • Saw where the Philistines hung the bodies of Saul and Jonathan

Masada

  • Visited the fortress where Jewish zealots made the last stand of the Judean revolt against Rome

Qumran

  • Saw the caves where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found

Bethlehem

  • Saw the Church of Nativity, the traditional site of the birth of Jesus
  • Visited the Plains of Boaz and Shepherd’s Field

Eastern Gate

Temple Mount

  • Saw where Abraham offered up Isaac
  • Walked behind the Eastern Gate
  • Saw the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the man who had been infirmed for 38 years

South Wall Excavations

  • Walked up the steps Jesus would have climbed when He entered the Temple
  • Saw a great view of the Mount of Olives

Western Wall (Wailing Wall)

  • Saw portions of the wall that were built by Harod the Great
  • Toured the Western Wall tunnel and saw excavations underneath the Temple Mount area

Garden of Gethsemane

  • Prayed among the olive trees in the garden where Jesus was arrested

Garden Tomb

Calvary and the Garden Tomb

  • Viewed the sight where many believe Jesus was crucified
  • Toured the garden holding Jesus’ tomb
  • Entered the tomb where Jesus was buried and found it empty!

Throughout the trip, the Lord opened some unique witnessing opportunities, one just outside of the Garden Tomb. What a joy to stand outside the empty tomb and tell of a risen Saviour! I was able to pass out over five hundred tracts, and the Lord allowed me to lead one person to Him.

Returning from a vacation is always a reminder of how thankful I am for my family, the Lancaster Baptist Church family, and the USA!


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