Experience Israel and the Passion Play 2020
Today as we begin our Israel and Passion Play 2020 tour, our journey will include many biblical sites along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and in the Upper Jordan Valley: e.g. Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Church of Peter of Primacy, Magdala , view Mt. Hermon, Tiberias. Optional: Baptism in the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight in Tiberia. We start the next morning on our way up to Jerusalem. Along the way we will stop at many of the following biblical sites: Cana, Nazareth, Megiddo, Caesarea, and on to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. We begin our explorations with a drive to the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breath-taking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage will proceed to the Church of Ascension, descend to Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and there visit the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. These sites will come to life as you later experience the Passion Play 2020. We will enter Jerusalem through the Dung Gate, and walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35 acre temple area purchased by King David. On this site now stands the magnificent Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El-Aksa Mosque. From the temple area, we make our way to St. Stephen’s Gate, St. Anne’s Crusader Church, and then onto the Pools of Bethesda. This afternoon we will pass by Rachel’s Tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem, and visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field. Time permitting, we’ll view Israel’s Knesset, the huge bronze Menorah, and make a short visit to Yad Vashem Children’s Holocaust Memorial.
Wonders of the Dead Sea
This morning we depart Jerusalem via motorcoach and we will descend down to the Dead Sea and the wilderness of Judah. Our first stop will be Qumran and the possible settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following the road south along the western shore of the Dead Sea, we will stop at Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul, and everyone will have an opportunity to put her/his foot in the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on the earth. Continuing south, the next stop is Masada, where we will ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of the cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogues, temples and palaces. From here we continue into Jericho for a short visit, conditions permitting. Before returning to our hotel, we’ll visit the recently updated model of Jerusalem near the Shrine of the Book. Dinner and overnight are in Jerusalem. We begin the day by driving to Ein Karem village, the birthplace of John the Baptist, to see the Church of Visitation, and then go to Mt. Zion, The Upper Room, where Jesus spent those last momentous hours with His disciples before His passion, and it was also here where the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on Pentecost. From there we will go to the Israel Museum, including the Bronfman Archaeological Museum and the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Late in the afternoon we will visit the Garden Tomb with an optional communion service. With the completion of our Israel tour we will then being our passion play 2020 portion.
Passion Play 2020
After breakfast at our hotel, we drive to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport for our flight to Munich to begin our Passion Play 2020 tour. After customs and passport formalities, we meet up with our driver guide who welcomes us to Germany. The drive between Munich’s airport and the tiny village of Oberammergau is spectacular. First we have a brief orientation tour of Munich, Bavaria’s capital, then we drive south towards the snow-capped Alps. Our accommodations for the next two nights are in a village near Oberammergau. This village is also famous for woodcarving craft and for its colorful and attractive frescos know as Lüftlmalereien. In the morning before we experience the passion play 2020, we explore the lovely village, the museum, the parish church and a woodcarving workshop. Then we should take our seat at the Passion Play Theater for the early afternoon performance. Between the different scenes of the life of Jesus Christ we can admire “living pictures” – scenes from the Bible presented as still life. After 2.5 hours it is time for a dinner break, which is waiting for us in a local restaurant. After dinner, we have the opportunity to stroll around in the village and to do some shopping. Later this evening, the second part of the play starts and will end at approximately 11:00 pm. We go back to our hotel in Oberammergau for overnight after the play. Today we end our Passion Play 2020 adventure and depart from Munich airport for our flight back to the USA. We return home the same day. Indeed we have experienced the wonders of Israel and the Passion Play 2020! We visited all of the sites connected with the Savior and the Bible in the Holy Land, then capped off these unforgettable experiences with the most memorable and spectacular presentation of Christ’s great Last Week, the traditional Passion Play of Oberammergau