Today has been another amazing day here in Israel! Keep praying for us, that we would learn all we can and continue to take it to heart. I think I can say for all that it has already been a life changing experience.
Today was our first full day in Jerusalem. We will be in Jerusalem for the next two days and then we will be heading south to the desert.
After a buffet breakfast, we headed out to the bus which took us up to the the Mt. of Olives. From there we could look over Jerusalem. It was probably somewhere close to where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Is Jesus weeping with us or over us? It’s two very different things!
We spent some time in Gethsemane letting our minds wander back 2,000 years. Jesus drank the cup of the wrath of God so that you and I could go free and have rest for our souls. Are we experiencing that rest?
From there we went to the place of the skull. It was good to stop and imagine for a moment what it would have been like if we had lived in Jesus’ time. We also saw the tomb that may have been Jesus’. Nobody really knows for sure, but it was at least like the one that he would have been buried in. Praise God the tomb is empty!
The rest of our day we spent walking through the old city. We saw the Pool of Bethesda, and right beside it is St. Anne’s Cathedral where we were able to sing two songs. It sounded heavenly.
We were also able to sit on the southern steps where everyone entered the temple. It was an awesome thought to think Jesus would have taken these very steps up to the temple.
Since today is Friday, Sabbath started at sundown. It was fascinating to watch everything shut down in the Jewish section as they prepared for the Sabbath. It was interesting and thought provoking as we visited the Western Wall where all the Jews go to pray. We were allowed to stick a prayer in the wall if we wanted to as well.
It was sobering to see how much passion and energy they put into the Sabbath. They close everything down early Friday afternoon so they are ready to worship when the Sabbath starts at sundown. What a challenge to all of us! Do we have that kind of excitement to worship?
We gathered in the middle of the public plaza and sang some songs in Hebrew that Ohri taught us. Some other people joined us from the crowd. I don’t have a picture of that because once Sabbath starts, you aren’t suppose to take pictures.
We ended our day as a group just sharing and praying together. It was a powerful time. Shabbat Shalom!