Via Dolorosa, Jesus healed a man in the Pool of Bethesda

Holy Land Trip Day 3

Day 1

Day 2- Part 1

Day 2- Part 2

Here is the continuation of our recent Holy Land trip. Please see the above links for Days 1 and 2.  We apologize that it’s taking long to get these organized.

On Day 3  (Saturday is Sabbath Day)

Today we started the day going to the Old City (Walled city of Jerusalem). There were city gates, thick stone walled city gates.

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One of the city gates of the Old City, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…may they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls.” Psalm 122

Jerusalem (From NTS Travel Holy Land Guide) is located in the Judean Mountains about 2500 ft above sea level. It is also called the “City of David” ( 2 Samuel 5:6-7).

We also went to the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic. It was interesting to see the actual pool. Before coming, we imagined it to be like a regular oval shaped, Olympic size swimming pool. But it looked very different. It is a deep and large, look like a water cistern with tall marble columns, with steps to go down.

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Pool of Bethesda

 

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, [a]Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, [b]paralyzed, [c]waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.

John 5: 1-8

Then we walked to the “Via Dolorosa”, or the Road to Suffering. There are stations of the cross in the Old City. This was the supposed to be the road that the Lord Jesus went through as he suffered, bruised, beaten and carried a cross from the Judgement seat of Pontius Pilate to the place of crucifixion.

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There were 13 stations telling the story of Jesus journey from the time He was condemned from the judgment seat of Pontius Pilate.
 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus [d]and led Him away.And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

John 19

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One of the stations of the cross.

We walked on a narrow street of the Old City, where we saw many shops.

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Some shops and stores were selling wares, souvenirs, scarves, etc, Some vehicles, cars and even small trucks drive that long and narrow alleys, unbelievable!

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One of the shops in the Old City.

Then after walking along the narrow alleys, with twist and turns, the alley wound up in  a corner through a narrow passage that led to a small square with an old cathedral built by Queen Helena.

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The Church of Holy Sepulcher

The site where Catholics believe Jesus was buried.

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I was surprised to see many people, tourists and pilgrims from different countries-Africa, India, Europe, South America, North America, etc. Inside the old cathedral was dark, there were some old paintings, murals, icon, images of Bible characters- Mary, etc. It was literally dark inside, crowded, long lines of people waiting to touch a huge rock on an altar. And other religious relics, believed to be connected to the death and burial of Jesus.

After this, Jesus, [e]knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit –

John 19: 29-30

Then we went to another site called the Garden Tomb. Other Christian groups preferred this site as the burial site of Jesus. It was a nice open air garden, peaceful, calm, much nicer place.

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The empty tomb at the Garden Tomb
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

John 19: 38-42

 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

John 20

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At the end of the tour, our tour group had a special communion ceremony.

Rejoice! He is Risen!

At the breaking of the dawn

 

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At the breaking of the dawn

Are Your new mercies;

At the breaking of the dawn

Your love is new again;

At the breaking of the dawn,

Your faithfulness has come again;

As Your Word says,

Your mercies are new every morning.

At the breaking of the dawn,

Darkness flees away

And fears are gone

My strength is renewed

At the breaking of the dawn

Fears fly away

At the breaking of the dawn.

Thank You Lord Jesus that Your love is here

At the breaking of the dawn;

I praise You Lord Jesus that You are here with me

Always at the breaking of the dawn.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Rejoice!

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The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem

 

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice!

For the Lord is risen

He is risen indeed!

Death has no more dominion

Death and sin have lost its power

Because the Lord has overcome.

Rejoice!

People of God rejoice!

The battle has been won!

Christ has won the victor’s crown

Rejoice for the Lord Jesus has overcome!

Rejoice for the Lord is risen

He has risen indeed!

Rejoice!

For the battle has been won

Rejoice!

For Christ is coming back soon!

Rejoice,

For the Lord will be here soon!

– Matthew 28:9

Victory in the Garden -Good Friday

Victory in the Garden

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The Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem

 

There in the Garden

My Savior plead,

There in the Garden

My Savior knelt down and prayed,
“Father, not my will

But Your will be done”

There in the garden

My Lord surrendered

To His Father’s plan

Yet He had won

The Victor’s crown

There in the garden

My Savior wept

He cried bloody tears of surrender;

There in the garden

My Savior won over sin and temptation

Death and evil no more have dominion

There in the garden my Savior won the Victor’s Crown.

(Bible Reference :Matthew 26: 36 – 46)

Why the Western Wall?

“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place”.

Day 1

Day 2 Part 1

Day 2- Part 2

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper who love you. Psalm 122:6
On Day 2, after visiting the Garden of Gethsemane, we drove a couple of miles or so to the Western Wall.
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Peace be within your walls- Psalm 122:7

I saw a lot people- Israelis and people from other countries walking on the square outside the part of the ruins of the Old Temple. A portion of the wall, on the right side of the square is called the “Western Wall”. According to our tour guide and the tradition, the wall is part of the original temple built by King Herod 2000 years ago. It is the most holy site or sacred place for the Jews.

Why the Western Wall and Temple are significant?

The first Temple was built during the reign of King Solomon in Israel about 3,000 years ago. In 2 Chronicles 7 it says;

“Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”  The Bible Gateway
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David visited the men’s prayer section of the Western wall.

 

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Vicki visited the women’s prayer section of the Wall.

We wrote prayers on small pieces of papers, and stuck them in the crevices of the Wall. Many people who come to the site do the same thing.  So I wrote on my a piece of paper my prayers – salvation of the Jews, revival in the church, and my family.  This is the most awesome spiritual experience I had so far. I was also surprised to see some young Jewish women- maybe 16 or 18 years old who were praying and doing the religious rituals, holding their small book, reciting prayers, at the Western Wall. What an awesome place!

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*According to the Western Wall Heritage Foundations,” the Western Wall has been the center of Jewish yearning and memory for more than 2,000 years. The only fragment of the Great Temple to survive the Roman destruction, the Divine presence has never departed from the Western Wall.” visit The Western Wall Foundation
Isaiah 56:7 “these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

In afternoon, we visited the Holocaust Memorial museum, outside the Old city in the business district. There were many overwhelming artifacts – names, photos, etc. of many Jewish people who perished during the holocaust in Europe from the 1930’s- 40’s.

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Holocaust Memorial Musuem

We also went to another part of the city, where a chapel is built to remember home of John the Baptist’s parents –  Zacharias and Elizabeth.  (Story in Luke 1: 57 – 66).

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St.John the Baptist Church

We saw frames where the prayer of Zacharias in Luke 1 was written in different languages.

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The prayer of Zacharias, (English version) John the Baptist Father. Luke 1:67-79

Then we went to another site in connection to the birth of Jesus and John the baptist. It is a chapel to remember the story when Mary visited Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-56

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The Church of Visitation

More stories later…

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Land Journey

Holy Land Journey – Part 2

Day 1- Holy Land trip

On Day 2 Tour –

On day two of the tour, still in Jerusalem, our bus drove up to a road that leads to Mt. Olives.  We all got off the bus, and stop at a place which has a breathtaking view overlooking the city of Jerusalem. The tour guide gave us a brief geographical sketch/background of Jerusalem city- the city gates, etc. The old temple wall, the old city wall, from Herod’s time to the Byzantine era. Some parts of the wall are still there from about 2,000 years ago.

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Still in Jerusalem city.

 

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A breathtaking view of the city on a hill, the city of King David.

Then we drove down the road, three miles or so,  to  to the church that preserved the “Garden of Gethsemane”.

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The Church of All Nations

It was the place where Jesus spent late night prayer before His arrest.

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The Garden of Gethsemane

Gethsemane means Olive orchard.

As soon as we entered the Garden area, and saw the rows of ancient Olive trees, I felt the strong presence of the Lord. It was an awesome presence, I almost cry in tears. I almost felt the agony of the Lord Jesus when He wrestled and prayed, “God’s will not my will..”

A time of surrender to God’s perfect will for Him, and for the salvation of many. The Spirit of revelation came to me, Jesus had actually won the battle, not at the cross, but in the Garden of Gethsemane- The prayer of surrender, absolute surrender to His loving Father, trusting Him, His Father for the best outcome. So, it was Jesus’ battle against human flesh and against Satan’s final temptation, He had overcome the battle, a complete surrender to the Father. Thus, the Father made Jesus triumphant or the Winner!

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Some of the oldest olive trees, about 2,000 years old.

Poem Inspiration from the Lord:

The Garden

There in the Garden

My Savior plead,

There in the Garden

My Savior knelt down and prayed,

“Father, not my will

But Your will be done”

There in the garden

My Lord surrendered

To His Father’s plan

Yet He had won

The Victor’s crown

There in the garden

My Savior wept

He cried bloody tears of surrender

There in the garden

My Savior won over sin and temptation;

Death and evil no more have dominion

There in the garden my Savior won the victor’s crown.

The Gethsemane garden is managed by the “Church of all nations”. Many churches from different countries contributed to the preservation of the site and built a beautiful and magnificent chapel/cathedral. In the middle of the chapel’s altar, was a rock that many believe was the rock where Jesus knelt and prayed in the garden.

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Inside the Church of All Nations, a painting of Jesus praying in the Garden.

 

Readings:

John 18:1-2

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciple over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered… Jesus often met there with His disciples.”

Luke 22 :39-44

 “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[c]

More stories and photos later from the trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Land Trip 01.2020

Part 1

From January 7-16th, 2020, the Lord has blessed us with a trip to the Holy Land. It was the most wonderful and awesome place we had been because of the presence of our Holy God.  There is so much to share. We have more than a thousand photos between two cameras! Since the Bible is so much part of our spiritual lives, it was amazing and fascinating to see actual places and sites that we have been reading about for many years.  We were with a tour group of 50 people from different parts of the USA. We praise and thank the Lord Jesus for blessing with this wonderful trip. And here to share some of the highlights.

Day 1-

We started in the city of Jerusalem.

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“Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! – Psalm 122:1-2

The Upper Room in Mount Zion-  located outside the southwest corner of the Old City wall. It is believed to be the room where Jesus and His disciples had the Last Supper. (Matthew 26:26-30; John 13)

 

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Our group at the Upper Room (inside a chapel)

South of the Old City wall, on the eastern slope of a hill that overlooks the area of Old City of Jerusalem, is the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. The church was built in 1931, and is the traditional site of the Palace of Caiaphas, who was the high priest during the arrest of Jesus.  It was the place where Peter denied Jesus three times before a rooster crowed. (Matthew 26:57-75)

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The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu
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St. Peter’s Church (Gallicantu)

Our group then drove a few miles, south of the city, to Bethlehem.

The Shepherd’s field –

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. … (Luke 2:8-20).

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A young shepherd boy allowed Vicki to carry his little lamb.

Then our group went to the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem . A cathedral was built around the 3rd century on the site believed to be where Jesus was born.

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The Church of Nativity

 

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The rock, inside a cave, the stable where tradition says where Jesus was born.

“And she brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, (feed trough), because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:1-7

More to share later.